Prince of Wales museum is a distinctive Raj-era building on
the Mahatma Gandhi Road. The museum houses a superb collection of
paintings and sculpture. The collection is so vast that one needs a
full day to see everything and several visits to get into the
details of each and everything. The foundation stone was laid in
1905 by the future King George v, then Prince of Wales. The design
of the museum was carried out by George Wittet-the architect of
Gateway of India.
A classic work of artist, the museum is the epitome of the hybrid
Indo-Saracenic style, it is said to be an educated
interpretation of fifteenth and sixteenth-century Gujarati
architecture. The building is topped by a massive Moghul-style dome.
The central hall, overlooked by a carved wooden balcony, provides a
snapshot of the collection inside. There are beautiful Moghul
paintings, Jade work, weapons, miniature clay figures from the
Mauryan and Kushana periods. Two sculpture gallieries on either side
of the hall open onto the front garden. The one on the right side
houses the museums natural history, which contains a large
collection of stuffed birds, fish and animals.
The main sculpture room on the ground floor displays some excellent
fourth-and-fifth century heads and figures from the Buddhist state
of Gandhara. There are vital Hindu sculptures like seventh century
Chalukyan bas-relief, sensuously carved torso of Mahisasuramaraini,
the goddess Durga with tripod. There are mysterious seal moulds and
antique Jewellery. The main attraction however is the sperb
collection of Indian paintings including that of Gita Govinda. On
the second floor, there is a huge collection of porcelain, jade and
ivory items. There is also a collection of weapons like swords,
daggers belonging to Mughal Warriors. Textile room showcases
brocaded saris, turbans, shawls etc.