Watson Museum

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Watson Museum
Watson Museum.jpg
Established1888
LocationJubilee Garden, Rajkot
Coordinates 22°18′02″N70°48′06″E / 22.300532°N 70.801762°E / 22.300532; 70.801762
TypeMulti Purpose [1]
Visitors78,000 (2007-2008)
FounderColonel John Watson
CuratorS. M. Dalal

The Watson Museum, considered to be one of the best among the seven such museums located across Saurashtra (region) and managed by the Gujarat state Government, it has collections of precious objects from the princely State of Rajkot founded by the Jadeja Rajputs. It holds invaluable articles, artifacts, photographs, a reference library and the museum's publication are sold through a counter.

Saurashtra (region) Region in Gujarat, India

Saurashtra, also known as Sorath or Kathiawar, is a peninsular region of Gujarat, India, located on the Arabian Sea coast. It covers about a third of Gujarat state, notably 11 districts of Gujarat, including Rajkot District.

Rajkot State

Rajkot State was one of the princely states of India during the period of the British Raj. It was a 9 gun salute state belonging to the Kathiawar Agency of the Bombay Presidency. Its capital was in Rajkot, located in the historical Halar region of Kathiawar on the banks of the Aji River. Nowadays Rajkot is the fourth largest city of Gujarat state.

Jadeja

The Jadeja is a Rajput clan who claim to be descended from the Hindu god Krishna and thus to belong to the Yaduvanshi Rajputs, who in turn form a part of the Chandravanshi.

Contents

History

The museum is set up in the Queen Victoria memorial institute buildings located in Jubilee Garden, Rajkot. The museum was named in fond memory of Colonel John Watson in 1888 who was a British political agent of Kathiawar Agency from 1881 to 1889. Watson Museum is the second most important museum in Gujarat, after the Museum of Baroda and is the oldest museum in Saurashtra (region). Colonel Watson was fond of history and archaeology and used to collect information on Rajkot. Most of his collections and other artifacts are preserved here. The museum building was completed in 1893, and opened to the public by Governor Lord George Harris of Bombay Presidency. [2]

Kathiawar Agency agency of the British Raj

The Kathiawar Agency, on the Kathiawar peninsula in the western part of the Indian subcontinent, was a political unit of some 200 small princely states under the suzerainty of the Bombay Presidency of British India, now part of Gujarat state. About 1,245 square miles, with 173,436 persons, belonged to the Gaikwar; about 1,298 square miles, with 128,559 persons, to Ahmadabad District; about 20 square miles, with 14,614 persons, to the Portuguese possession of Diu; while the vast remainder was the territory forming the Political Agency.

Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery

The Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery in Vadodara was built in 1894 on the lines of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum of London. Major Mant in association with R.F. Chisholm who refined some of Mant's finest works to make genuine Indo-Saracenic architecture designed the Building of this Museum.

George Harris, 4th Baron Harris British colonial administrator and cricket player

Colonel George Robert Canning Harris, 4th Baron Harris,, generally known as Lord Harris, was a British colonial administrator and Governor of Bombay. He was also an English amateur cricketer, mainly active from 1870 to 1889, who played for Kent and England as captain of both teams. He had a political career from 1885 to 1900 and was for much of his life a highly influential figure in cricket administration through the offices he held with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

The Watson Museum exhibits copies of artifacts from Mohenjodaro, natural history, 13th century carvings, temple statues, costumes and design of the houses of the local tribal people. The Watson Museum also houses an excellent collection of traditional, archaeological items and coins.

While the museum's archeology gallery also boasts of artifacts of prehistoric period and the Harappan civilization in the archeology gallery, a treasure of sculptures belonging to erstwhile Ghumali - a capital of Jethwa - grace the sculpture gallery.

Sections

The statue of Queen Victoria, unveiled by the Lord Curzon of Kedleston in 1897 Watson Museum Queen Victoria Statue.jpg
The statue of Queen Victoria, unveiled by the Lord Curzon of Kedleston in 1897

Annual events

  1. Bhartiya Shilp Samruddhi : It is week-long celebration organized every year in the second week of January.

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References

  1. "Watson Museum", Retrieved on 5 December 2008
  2. "Visit Rajkot", Retrieved on 5 December 2008
  3. "Gets Rare Coins", Retrieved on 11 January 2008