Located in the historic town of Junagadh in the state of Gujarat the Durbar Hall Museum is arguably one of the most famous tourist attractions in the state. The museum used to be a court of the erstwhile Nawabs of Junagadh till the time India got her independence.
There are multiple ways of getting to Durbar Hall museum ranging from hiring a private auto rickshaw to a tuk-tuk (shared eight seat vehicle). Walking to the museum is another good option since the museum is located about a 20 minute walk away from Kaiwa Chowk which is the main four way junction in the town.
Durbar Hall Museum can easily be spotted from a distance since it is the only building in that area which always has a well maintained exterior. Durbar Hall Museum has an entry fee and there is also a fee for the use of cameras inside the museum premises. Paying for the camera is surely worth it.
Once inside the Durbar Hall Museum the first thing one will notice is a huge hall which has beautiful ceiling chandeliers and on the left side of the hall there are chairs arranged in a rectangular manner all facing the throne which is at the far end of this hall. The walls of the huge hall have plenty of ancient armour and portraits of the previous Nawabs of Junagadh.
After passing through the huge hall, there is a passage that leads to the next room. This passage has a room on the left side that is locked and is only opened to people who have paid for the camera access. This locked room contains the royal palkies (palanquins to carry the royal family). There are six palkies that are kept on display in the room. All of them are handmade with beautiful artwork in real silver on them. The room also has a large portrait of one of the Begums on the wall.
At the end of this passage there are a few stairs that lead to the next room which has all the royal textile on display. From the Nawabs and Begums clothing to the carpets and mats that were used during their reign, all of them are on display. Right in the centre of this room there is a small miniature replica of the Nawab’s palace.
The next room which is adjoining the textile room is one that has all the possible armour and weapons that were used during that period. This room attracts the most crowds. The weapons are enormous and of different sizes and displays the creativity that they had even during the time when modern day technology was unheard off.
The weapons range from short guns to walking stick guns to even umbrellas that have a gun. There are swords, knives and daggers of various sizes kept on display and also huge riffles and arrows that are hanging on the walls of this room. There are a few dummies dressed in the warrior attire, holding all the required attacking and defensive war gear.
On the way out there is a narrow passage that has frames and portraits both big and small of all the various Nawabs that ruled over Junagadh. This passage is more like a walk down memory lane.
Durbar Hall Museum gets its name from the Gujarati word for court i.e Durbar and it is open from 9am to 1:15am and then in the afternoon again from 2:45pm to 5:45pm. The museum is closed on Wednesdays and also on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month and on public holidays.
This museum is really a place worth visiting both for the culture as well as the history lovers. It takes a good hour or more to go through each and every piece of history that is on display in this museum. Durbar Hall Museum is a must visit place while in the town of Junagadh.