There is more to Hyderabad than its flavourful biryanis. Let's talk about their fantastic architecture, sculptures, and paintings.
Hyderabad is a 430-year-old city. The land of Biryanis. Musi river has split this city into two. There are twin cities- the old Hyderabad with its historic significance and the new city with its bright lights. Of course, all the spectacular historic monuments are in the old city- the delightful Charminar, the Mecca Masjid, which is a confluence of religion and beauty, Nizam’s palace. There is a new museum that’s part of history- the Salar Jung Museum.
Some of the world’s marvels can be seen inside this museum in the form of sculptures and paintings. No one who visits Hyderabad misses a visit to this fabulous museum. It was Jawaharlal Nehru who introduced this museum to the world. The museum is a wonder world! Let’s meet two of the wonders of this museum.
The Salar Jung family were the Diwans of the Nizam King. There are some priceless artefacts collected by their family over the years seen inside the museum. Salar Jung the 3rd has collected the maximum artefacts. For that very reason, you can see one of his finest portrait paintings there.
It’s a huge oil painting of Salar Jung the 3rd. And the strangest part of that painting when you look at his shoes, it will be pointing in your direction and a person who is standing on either side of you will also feel the shoe being pointed in their directions. Of course, the painting remains static. It’s a smartly created illusion. There is a similar painting of a street in the museum, and both are stunning.
The second wonder is a statue. In that statue made of wood, you can see two people. Mephistopheles is a demon featured in the German folklore. In Literary writer Godhe’s Dr Fost drama, the hero offers his soul to Mephistopheles. The later events that unfold result in Fost’s lover Margareta’s death.
The single wood sculptor of Mephistopheles and Margareta will amaze us. An arrogant Satan and Margherita who carries a book with a downcast face is etched with finicky details in that sculptor. This is the second wonder of that museum. Mephistopheles has tied his hands back and his hands hold the book that Margareta carries. What a brilliant work of art indeed!
Even their clothes have been carved with such finesse. Mephistopheles' face is cruel while Margareta has a kind face. Maybe that nameless sculptor was bringing together two sides of a human being in that sculptor.
Unusual museums of the world
Soane Museum, London: As you step inside the Soane Museum you will be barraged by masterworks on every wall, surface, and in every crevice. And add this to the fact that the museum will be lit with candles in the evenings, and you get a strangely magical experience. Another interesting thing in this museum is that some masterworks are hidden away in cupboards and only shown to select visitors at select times- half of Hogarth’s ‘A Rake’s Progress’ for instance.
Kafka Museum, Czech Republic Museum: Many museums dedicated to authors try to recreate the intricate worlds of the books, be it the Victoriana of Dickens or the quaint animal lands of Beatrix Potter. However, when an author is known for his books about paranoia, purgatorial dread and psychological horror, this approach seems a bad idea. Somehow, however, the curators behind the Kafka Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, have pulled it off. Alongside artefacts and history from the author’s life are pieces like a replica of the torture machine from his short story ‘In the Penal Colony’. They stay so close to the feel of his work that you feel like you might metamorphosis into a cockroach at any point. This long-term exhibition takes us into the world of Franz Kafka (1883-1924), born in Prague and one of the greatest figures of 20th-century world literature. The exhibition presents: most of the first editions of Kafka’s works letters, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, and drawings never before displayed in Prague, 3-D installations and audiovisual pieces and a soundtrack specially created for the exhibition
Museum of Broken Relationships, Croatia: Broken and failed relationships are things we want to quickly recover from and never see again. The Museum of Broken Relationships, however, takes a different path, sharing in the collective misery of love gone wrong. Exhibits include video confessionals, items full of romantic memories gone sour, and, in one case, an axe that a woman used to dismantle her ex’s furniture when she was jilted. Call it sadism of the worst kind, but this acclaimed museum, winner of the Kenneth Hudson Award that is only given to Europe’s most innovative museums, manages to get great entertainment out of one of life’s most painful events.
The Mütter Museum (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA): An informative medical museum packed full of anatomical oddities, eye-watering equipment, and bizarre specimens. Most notably from Europe, Joseph Hyrtl’s 139 Caucasian skulls of varying shape, which he gathered to disprove a racial belief that cranial features were evidence of intelligence.
The Museum of Bad Art (Somerville, Massachusetts, USA): A hotchpotch of artwork spawned by the “deranged and deluded” (as one critic put it). MOBA has spent 20 years celebrating bad art in all its forms, qualifying them as more of a museum than a gallery. Their online collection is neatly categorised for ease of repulsion.
Messner Mountain Museum (South Tyrol & Veneto, Italy): A central museum with five branches across northeast Italy comprises Reinhold Messner’s homage to the mountains, from the science of glaciers to rock climbing and local mythology. Not only are the locations breath-taking, but the website is also well worth a visit. Leave your crampons behind.
Gold Museum (Bogotá, Colombia): All that glitters in this case is, in fact, gold. A collection of over 55,000 pieces fill the Banco de la Republica’s building, many of which are fashioned from the precious metal, sacred to Colombia’s indigenous cultures. The website also provides a thorough insight into gold across pre-Hispanic societies.
Currywurst Museum, Berlin, Germany: Visiting Berlin? When you’ve been to Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate, head to the Currywurst Museum for the ultimate German experience. Stop by the ketchup bottled-shaped audio station to listen to currywurst-themed songs, take a selfie on the sausage sofa or learn about the dish’s key spices at the sniffing station. There’s also a huge collection of currywurst literature to peruse, should you wish really would torture your stomach.