Lahore Museum encompasses the history of many eras including the Sikh, British and Mughal. The structure of Lahore Museum is blended with the conventional old Mughal architectural style and fine British touch which makes it one fine piece of architecture in the city.
A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can. — Maira Kalman
Many historians believe that if people are unaware of the history of their country then they are like a tree without its roots. Lahore is the most culturally and historically rich city of Pakistan. The city of Lahore is the pinnacle of the rich and elaborate Mughal History but that’s the not the only accomplishment of this city. The red brick building standing tall on the Shahrahe-e-Quaid-Azam previously known as the Mall road right next to the famous National College of Arts.
Historical Collection at Lahore Museum
The extensive collection of historical relics in the Lahore Museum makes it one of the most highly visited and regarded museums of the country. This is the home for the largest collection of artistic, historical and cultural objects in the country. The range of objects that it withholds is vast and the different religious artefacts show the religious tolerance that the country always stands up for. The collection consists of Pre and Protohistoric Gallery, Coin collection, Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina Gallery, Islamic Gallery, Gandhara collection, manuscripts, miniature paintings gallery, arms gallery, ethnological gallery, postage stamps gallery, contemporary paintings gallery and Pakistan Movement Gallery.
Every gallery in Lahore Museum has its own speciality and uniqueness which provides the visitor with a historically and culturally engrossing experience.
The coin collection at Lahore Museum comprises of over 40,000 coins being one of the largest collections of the subcontinent. It includes coins from the eras of all ruling families in the region like Graeco-Bactrian, Indo-Greek, Mauryan, Indo-Parthian, Kushan, Indo-Scythian, Huns, Hindu Shahia, Arabs, Ghaznavids, the Sultans, the Mughals, the Durranis, the Sikhs, the British and the modern coins of Pakistan.
It is for this reason that many historians, scholars and archaeologists make sure that they pay a visit to this museum while in the city of Lahore. Coins from the reigns of Ummayds and Abbassids along with many other Muslims that ruled the central Asian region can also be found in this museum. The invaluable treasure also includes first coins issued by Mahmood of Ghazna at Lahore bearing the legend of Mahmoodpur, the new name given by Mahmood to Lahore. This section of the Lahore Museum is definitely one that provides the visitors with an exceptional experience through the journey of coins through time in the subcontinent.
The Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina gallery is another example of the fine preservation of history that the government of Pakistan has been involved in since the beginning. Lahore Museum has preserved artefacts as old as the 7-8 C which includes a stone piece with sculpted figures of Shiva and Parvati found from a sie near Lahore.
A huge sculpted architectural piece depicting Durga as Mahesha Mardini (slayer of the buffalo demon) is also on display for the public to get closer to their riveting history. The gallery at Lahore Museum also has a collection of Nepalese, Tibetan and Burmese historical relics showcasing the prolific history of this region. Similarly, the collection of Islamic gallery shows a diverse range of objects that the civilizations used over the years. An early Muslim settlement dating to the 9-13 centuries called Bhanbhore is of special interest to historians.
The Gandhara collection at Lahore Museum may not be as vast as the museum of Peshawar but it still has a lot of interesting objects on display and in the reserve collection. The statue of Fasting Siddhartha ranks not only as one of the finest specimen of Gandhara Art but also as one of the rarest antiquities. It is one of the most famous galleries of this museum.
The ethnological section, however, has become a tourist favourite these days. The gallery consists of two sections that dive into the culture of the country. The first section depicts the heritage of Pakistan’s very own Switzerland known as Swat. Swat is not only famous for its picturesque mountains but the blend of Greek, Buddhist and Islamic traditions makes the social and cultural life very interesting for visitors.
The display shows garments, jewellery, utensils, furniture and other household objects in addition to examples of the traditional wood carving of swat. The second section is a collection of various textiles from different regions of the country truly depicting that this one small country has so much more to offer in every one of its regions. Every piece has a unique material and design making it stand out amongst all the others.
Every gallery provides the visitor with a captivating and enthralling experience. Lahore, as we know it today, is very different from what it used to be and if you are looking for a historic and futuristic experience then Lahore Museum must be visited.