L D Museum Of Indology
L D Museum Of Indology
The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad was started in 1956, to preserve a repository of rare art, manuscripts and archaeological objects of India. In 1984, a museum was opened to cover topics ranging from Buddhism, Jainism and its darshans, grammar, tantra and poetry, Vedas and other different branches of Indian Philosophy. The museum houses about 76000 hand written Jain manuscripts with 500 illustrated versions and 45000 printed books, making it the largest collection of Jain Scripts. It has precious old books written in languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Old Gujarati, Apabhramsa, Hindi and Rajasthani. It also showcases Indian sculptures, terracottas, miniature paintings, cloth paintings, printed scrolls, bronzes, woodwork, Indian coins, textiles and decorative art, paintings of Rabindranath Tagore and art of Nepal and Tibet.
The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum (also known as L. D. Museum) is a museum of Indian Sculptures, Bronzes, Manuscript Paintings, Miniature Paintings and Drawings, Wood carving pieces, ancient and contemporary Coins and lastly Bead work art pieces. Ever since its inception in 1956, the L.D. Institute of Indology has been collecting and preserving rare manuscripts and artifacts of various kinds, some of which are handed over to the L.D. Museum. The Museum is the product of the vision and energy of two remarkable persons who were responsible for its establishment: Muni Shri Punyavijayaji, an erudite monk scholar and Sheth Kasturbhai Lalbhai, the well-known industrialist of Ahmedabad. As the collection grew over the years, the Board of Trustees (of the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Bharatiya Sanskriti Vidyamandir), felt strongly the need for a separate museum building to house the display of its collection. Consequently, a new museum building was built adjacent to the existing building of the Institute, which was also designed by the internationally acclaimed architect, Shri Balkrishna Doshi. The collection in the new museum building was opened to the public in 1984 and was formally inaugurated by Shri Braj Kumar Nehru (Governor of Gujarat) in 1985.
The collection is rich and varied. It includes seventy-five thousand manuscripts on palm and paper, many with painting dating back several centuries. The other treasure include stone bronze and wood sculptures. Indian miniatures, painting on cloth, painted scolls in the form of the ‘letter of invitation’ known as Vijanpatipatra, textiles, woodwork and Indian coins.
- Madhuri Desai Gallery: Smt. Madhuri D. Desai, an art connoisseur, collector and the daughter-in-law of the veteran freedom and jurist, Shri Bhulabhai Desai, has been a major donor to the sculpture gallery named after her. The gallery is unique since all the major and minor style of the sub-continent are represented here. The outstanding pieces include the earliest cult image of lord Rama (early 6th Century) from Devagadha, the largest head of Buddha (c. 3rd – 4th century) is stucco from Gandhara, the standing Vishnu (c. 3rd-4th century) from Mathura, a small rare figure of the river goddess Ganga (late 4th Century) from Mathura, the sanmukha Kartikeya (early 6t century) from M.P., the Adinath bronze image (c. 7th – 8th century) from sirpur, the Adinath bronze image (d. 1066) from Ghogha (Dist. Bhavnagar, Gujarat) and some of the finest examples of Chola sculptures (c. 10th – 11th century) from Tamilnadu.
- Muni Punyavijayaji Gallery: The Museum has one of the finest collections of paintings of pre-Mughal times in the Gujarati / Western Indian painting style; which are on display in the Muni Punyavijyaji Gallery. The collection has some rare illustrated wooden book covers created for palm-leaf manuscripts. This includes the book cover of Vidyadevis (c. 12th century) of world fame. The jain pilgrimage painting executed in 1433 at Champaner (Gujarat) is the earliest extant examples of such a painting on cloth. Similarly, a “vinaptipatra” painted at Agra by the Mughal painter Ustad Salivahana in 1610 is the earliest painted document of its kind. It refers to the Mughal emperor jehangir’s lost firman prohibiting the killing of animals in his empire during the jain festival of Paryusana. Other outstanding examples on show include the illustrated ms.of the Mandu Kalkacharyakatha(c.1430), the Matar Sangrahanisutra(d.1583) painted by Govinda, the naladamyantirsa(c.1610) in the Popular Mughal style, a rare cosmological diagram called Astadvipa(c.1440) and numerious others.
- Harappan Section:A small section on the Harappa civilization also called the Indus Valley civilization has been developed for school children with a view to supplementing their class-room learning. The museum has many more exciting treasures which make a visit there a wonderful aesthetic experience.
- Other Sections:The Muni Punyavijyaji Gallery also has a section which highlight the age old traditional of wood carving in Gujarat. Some assorted coins from the P.T. Munshaw coin collection on display include the earliest punched-mark coin called 'bentbar' (c.600 B.C.), Akbar's Din-I-Ilahi coin. jehangir's zodiac series in silver, and Adil Shah's larin (d. 1668).Visiting Charges: No Entry Fees.
Note: Photography is not permitted
Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum
Nr. Gujarat University,
Navrangpura, Ahmedabad – 380009
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
Closed on all Mondays and public holidays
Visiting Fees: No Entry Fee.