Friday, 7 January 2022

149. Islamabad Museum

Islamabad, the national capital of Pakistan is counted among the beautiful capital cities. Once a small sleepy town, Islamabad over the decades has grown into a big vibrant city. Its natural beauty and greenery are the biggest charm. There are many beautiful parks, picnic spots, museums and historic places. Today I shall take you on a tour of a place which is as interesting as it is unknown. Yes, this is Islamabad Museum, a well kept secret of Islamabad and apparently, the authorities are successful in keeping it that way. It is housed on the ground floor of a big building known as Liaquat Memorial.

Liquat Memorial. (03.01.2022.)

On the right and the left walls of the entrance are huge have been made, showing scenes of historical battles and events. 

After passing by the reception you will find a head bust of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the famous thinker, educationist, scholar and political thinker of the nineteenth century, who is often credited with the renaissance in education in the Muslim community and thus laying down the foundation of the Pakistan movement.

Bust of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. 

The collection of antiquities and artifacts is comparatively small but covers the history of Pakistan from the Mehargarh and Indus Valley civilizations to the present time. The items on display start from the tools made of stone, belonging to the Stone Age. The next shelves show utensils made during the Neolithic Age. Especially the small figurines catch your attention. Next to it is the world famous Indus Valley Civilization, one of the earliest civilizations of the world. Earthen pots, vessels, bowls, and even toys are part of the collection, giving a good idea of life in those times.

Stone tools, up to 12 thousand years old. (03.01.2022.)

Utensils found in Mehargarh, 3,000 - 4,000 BC. (03.01.2022.)

The next three pictures are showing the items found in different parts of the country belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization from the era 1,500 to 3,000 BC. 

Items belonging to the 1st millennium BC. (03.01.2022.)

However, the most impressive collection belongs to the Gandhara Civilization. This collection includes the statues of Buddha in different postures and some other items shedding light on the Buddhist religion and the Gandhara Civilization.  A few rock edicts related to Gandhara Civilization are also on display. The next two pictures show untensils found at Taxila around 2,000 year old. 

Bodhisattva, 2nd - 3rd Century C.E. (Gandhara) (03.01.2022.)

Meditating Bodhisattva, 2nd - 3rd Century C.E. (Gandhara)

Buddha in preaching post, 2nd - 4th  Century C.E. (Gandhara)

Rock Edict, 2nd - 4th  Century C.E. (Gandhara) 

Statuettes of Hindu deities, made in the 19th century AD. (03.01.2022.)

The central area of this hall is dedicated to the Islamic era, especially the Mughal. Extremely beautiful paintings are part of this collection, besides that painted vessels, weapons, coins, etc. are also worth seeing. However, the handwritten Qurans are, in my opinion, the best items in this section.

An inscription found in a mosque at Udigram, Swat. Giving the date of construction of this mosque as 400 AH, that is 1048 - 1049 AD. (03.01.2022.)

Beautiful artifacts found in Manusra, Sindh. 8th cent. AD.  (03.01.2022.)

Glazed Jar, Bhanbore, Sindh. 7th century AD. (03.01.2022.)

Glazed bowls and flask, Nishapur. 11th and 12th centuries AD. (03.01.2022.)

Glazed bowls motifs and paintings, Nishapur. 11th and 12th centuries AD. (03.01.2022.)

Muhal paintings. 

Bronze oil lamps, candle stand etc. 17 - 18th centuries AD.

Old and comparatively modern weapons. (03.01.2022.)

Porcelain Jar, 18th - 19th century, China. (03.01.2022.)

The museum has a beautiful collection of hand written Qurans and other manuscripts on display. 

Huge door knockers found at Al Mansura, an Arab city Sindh in 8th century(03.01.2022.)

This museum is located in G-5/1 sector of Islamabad. And a must see place for the residents and tourists. The entry is free and a great place to learn and enjoy our history, culture and art. 

Tariq Amir

January 07, 2022.


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