The Shri Pratap Singh (SPS) Museum used to be the summer palace of the maharajas who earlier ruled Kashmir. It is named after Maharaja Pratap Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. Started in 1898, it houses a large collection of handicrafts as well as archaeological artefacts from across the Union Territory.



While the facade of the museum reflects royal panache, the interior displays several antique objects that have been sourced from Baltistan, Gilgit, and other corners of Kashmir. There are different sections in the museum. The archaeology section has Pandrenthan sculptures, Awantipura sculptures, Parihaspora sculptures as well as Buddhist antiquities from Ladakh. One will also find books and royal edicts that date back to the 17th century and late 19th century in the manuscript section. Some of these fascinating documents are written on birch tree bark called bhoj patra or on Kashmiri handmade paper called koshur kagaz. The documents include Tafseer-i-Kabeer, Kashmiri Koran, Haft Paikar Makhzan Asrar, Sikandernama and Shahnama.


The metal section has exhibits of some royal utensils as well as normal ones. In the 300 displayed items, the metals used include tin, copper, zinc, iron, brass, white metal, chipped turquoise and Tibetan metal.


The textile section is noted for exhibits of Kashmiri shawls, all with complex weaves and intricate patterns - the hallmarks of these shawls. There is a separate section for enamel ware along with decorative art, naqashi, paper mache. The museum also has a collection on natural history. It is situated in the Lal Mandi area of Srinagar and is closed on Mondays.

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