Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum is in the heart of Raipur city. It exhibits monuments and discoveries during excavation projects.
About the Museum
At the very entrance of Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum aka Raipur Museum is the Rudra Shiva. Almost giving a feeling of Rudra welcoming the visitors for a travel to past. It is two floors building and has a nominal entry fee. The museum tells about an hour and a half long story to inquisitive visitors with amazing collections. The museum was rebuilt in 1875 by the king Mahant Ghasidas and it was restored to this building in Raipur by his son Digvijay. In 1953 the first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad inaugurated this very museum.
The arrangement of specimens keeps changing at this place. The section on the ground floor has display of utensils, coins, ornaments and weapons dug from many locations of Chhattisgarh including Sirpur, Tala, Madku and many others. These specimens date back from 6th to 12th Century AD when the Chhattisgarh region was under Dakshin Kosal. Another section goes way back in the history with a display of ancient stones, mud structures and some metal weapons used in ancient times. Next section on the ground floor boast amazing display of Hindu deities and moieties prevalent during those days. You’ll be surprised to know that many specimens are from our neighbouring state – Madhya Pradesh. These sculptures are meticulously engraved on black stone, river stone and granite type rocks. There’s a dedicated room for ancient scripts engraved on stones. A timeline of language starting from histograms to Sanskrit can be seen here.
The first floor of Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum is indeed unique as it exhibits the lifestyles of Chhattisgarh. It has rare collection of masks often used during rituals. There are torcher weapons and we suggest you stay away from them. There’s a collection of musical instruments used by various tribes. If you’re a musician then you’ll be amazed to see a pentatonic flute. Tribes also use to jazz in those days?
There’s also a well-preserved gallery of various tribal outfits. Many brass and metal artworks that tells about tribal lifestyle. One of the best effort the museum took is to create a scaled model of various tribes of Chhattisgarh. Then Chhattisgarh Government took it a step further and created a full-scale model of these tribes in Purkhoti Muktangan.
For a moment this place will have you lost in a totally different world. The way our ancestors connected nature to their daily life is one heck of a remarkable feat. Everything made of wood, clay, stones, bones and similar natural things. And they might not have language through which they could write and communicate. But they had elaborated system of art which can express things way beyond words. Traveling in Chhattisgarh I’ve seen the moieties they’ve sculpted on doors, on the pillars of temples and even on wood. And then at this museum just by looking various things around, connecting them to my journey and improvising, my mind can just recreate their whole world. Like a movie. Well, almost.