Allahabad Museum was founded in 1931 and was formally inaugurated in 1947 by India's first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. This Museum has, over the years acquired a wide variety of exhibits from all parts of the country. Allahabad Museum has impressive collection of Sunga, Gupta, late Gupta and early medieval period sculptural masterpieces, discovered at different places around Allahabad.
The Library Manuscripts has a number of unpublished and rare Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and Hindi manuscripts.
Important Collections: Allahabad Museum has 18 galleries housing a wide range of stone sculptures. The sculptures include 2nd BC pieces from Bharhut and Kausambi, 1st Century AD Kushana from Mathura, 4th-6th century Gupta and 11th century carvings from Khajuraho.
Terracotta Collection: The museum also displays terracotta figurines from Kausambi, Rajasthani Miniatures, coins and paintings by Nicholas Roerich and artifacts donated by the Nehru family. The terracotta collection is one of the largest in India
During the last 20-30 years, a sizeable number of sculptures, mostly pertaining to the early medieval and medieval art styles have been added to the collection of the museum.
The Museum has comprehensive selection of of objects from 3rd century BC, first through 3rd century AD, 4th through 7th century AD and 8th through 14 th century AD. These periods roughly correspond to the Maurya, Sunga, Kushan Gupta and medieval periods of Indian history.
Beautiful stone images, intricately carved temple pillars and lintels dating from the 3rd century BC to the 12th century AD, represent important dynasties, both ancient and medieval.
The museum also has antiquities from renowned schools of sculpture like Gandhara, Mathura, Kausambhi and Sarnath as well as important archaeological discoveries from Bharhut, Bhita, Kausambhi and Jhusi.
The outstanding objects include the tasselled head of Shiva arojecting from a stone linga which portrays the classical purity of Gupta art. A blue schist bodhisattva in the image of the Greek god Apollo depicting the syncretisation of Indo-Greek styles and the bejewelled dancing yakshi from Jamsote.
Exuberant folk lifestyles are captured in dancing and amorous scenes, bacchanalian feasts and hunts. There are a number of toys like clay carts, animals and birds.
An interesting piece from Ahichchatra depicts an episode from the Mahabharata, the killing of Pralamb.
Coin Collection: Allahabad museum has good collection of coins. It has outstanding Kushana and Gupta gold coins, while the manuscripts, mainly in Sanskrit, date from the 16th century onwards.
Allahabad Museum also has on display the pistol used by freedom war hero Chandrashekhar Azad to fight the British imperialists and finally to commit suicide, the truck that carried ashes of Mahatma Gandhi to the Sangam here and the original manuscript of Jawaharlal Nehru's autobiography.
The Museum depicts India's evolution from a colony of the British empire to a modern nation state that it is today.