India // Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh //

The archeological museum


A short walk north of the Gwalior Gate, just outside the fort compound, the modest Gujuri Mahal was built by Man Singh to woo his favourite rani, Mrignayani, when she was still a peasant girl. The elegant sandstone palace now houses the archeological museum, whose large collection of sculptures, inscriptions and paintings is well worth a look, even if the labels are woefully uninformative. Highlights include the twin Ashoka lion capitals from Vidisha in gallery two, and gallery nine’s erotic bas-relief, but the most famous exhibit is the exquisitely carved salabhanjika, a small female figurine. Noted for her sensuous curves and sublime facial expression, the statue is often dubbed “India’s Mona Lisa”.

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