Salarjung Museum is situated on the southern bank of the Musi River. It is the biggest one-man collections of antiques in the world and ranking as the third largest museum in India. It has the collection of different civilizations starting from the first century.
The seventh Prime Minister of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III (1889-1949) has spent thirty five years of his income on collections which made a priceless collection, of his life’s passion. At first, the collection was placed in the ‘Diwan Deodi’ the ancestral palace, and was open as a private museum which was inaugurated by the first prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru in the year 1951. The museum then was shifted to Afzalgunj in the year 1968 and then governed by Governor of Andhra Pradesh as ex-officio chairperson and Board of Trustees under the act of Salar Jung Museum Act of 1961.
The Salarjung Museum is a divine of knowledge with a collection of manuscripts, 43000 art objects and 50000 books. The collections include Indian Art, Middle Eastern Art, Far Eastern Art, European Art, Children Art along with a Founders gallery and a rare manuscript section. Indian Art includes stone sculptures, bronze images, jade carvings, painted textiles, wood carvings, miniature paintings, modern art, ivory carvings, textiles, metal-ware, manuscript, arms & armour etc.
Middle Eastern Art contains the collection of carpets, paper (manuscripts), glass, metal-ware, furniture, lacquer etc. from Persia, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt. Collection of Far Eastern Art exhibit porcelain, bronze, enamel, lacquer ware, embroidery, painting, wood & inlay work from China, Japan, Tibet, Nepal and Thailand etc. Oil and watercolour paintings form an important part of the European Collection.
Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III has made this museum as one of the biggest one-man collections of antiques of the world. The objects include Persian carpets, Moghal miniatures, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquer ware, famous statues including the Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles, a superb collection of jade, daggers belonging to Queen Noor Jahan and the Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb’s sword and many other fabulous items.
Coming to the discussion of the museum building, it has a semi-circular shape with 38 galleries spread on two floors displays only a part of the original collections. The ground floor includes 20 galleries and the first floor includes 18 galleries. Different subjects are shown in different galleries.