“Museums are managers of consciousness. They give us an interpretation of history, of how to view the world and locate ourselves in it. They are, if you put it in positive terms, great educational institutions “.
Museums are centres filled with information designed to enlighten and educate the curious mind. Especially for children, museums introduce them to unknown worlds, spark their imagination and provide them with valuable learning experiences. Despite popular belief that museums only help fuel academic education, they, help broaden their horizons and provide knowledge regarding all spheres of life.
The Shri Pratap Singh Museum, commonly known as the SPS Museum, is a museum in Srinagar, Jammu, and Kashmir, India. Established in 1898, the museum houses a collection of over 80,000 objects from various regions in Northern India.
All the faculty members of standard 4th and 296 students visited the museum with Zeal and enthusiasm and under the supervision of Ms Radifa Khan (Academic incharge) and Ms Resmeet (Incharge).
The students of grade 4th visited SPS Museum on 15 September 2022. The trip began with a lot of joy and vigour. Talking about the experience, when we entered the museum there were many people along with school children who were accompanied by their teachers.
Sri Pratap Singh Museum stores treasures of the past. As one enters the main gate, the sight of lush green gardens complements the alluring old heritage complex of the museum on the left side. The high-ceilinged rooms welcome visitors with delicate murals, paintings, and a repertoire of antique architectural and ornamental delights that transport one to the mysterious tales of antiquity. The meticulously designed colourful walls furnish an artistic grandeur to it. The horns of hunted animals decorated on the colourful Dogra Art walls can be seen telling tales of bravery and splendour. The sculpture sections preserved many such treasures from the powerful dynasties who ruled the state of Kashmir. The statues were excavated from all over Kashmir and some were found buried amidst the urban areas. Those were found during the construction of buildings. the Pratap Singh Museum is home to ancient terracotta heads dating back to the 3rd century, found at the Buddhist site at Ushkur and moulded terracotta plaques of the 4th & 5th centuries from Harwan. It is a great place to go housing the 19th Century Museum named after a Dogra ruler – Maharaja Pratap Singh.
The museum is divided into the following section:-
- Archaeology gallery – consisting of the collection right from the 2nd century. It comprises the most singular sculptures, terracotta and pottery excavations, bronze sculptures, metallic objects, clay images, and much more. The Museum is divided into sections such as sculpture, painting, village life section, etc. New galleries have also been added such as the Woodcraft gallery and Natural history gallery. To go through every object properly, would probably take a whole day.
- Decorative Art Gallery- holding the collection of various fields of arts and crafts. It includes paper machines, woodwork, metalwork, musical instruments, brass ornaments, leather, grass, and willow work.
- Numismatic Gallery-This section forms the largest collection of museums containing rare gold, silver, and copper coins of different periods.
- Arms and Armoury Gallery
- Manuscripts, and Paintings Gallery
- Textile Gallery
- Natural History Gallery
The visit was very educative and therefore it was overall a very nice experience for both children and teachers. It reminds us of our glorious past and a journey through the museum gives a full glimpse of the history of Kashmir.