The Meherangarh museum has various pieces of art owned by the royal family of Jodhpur. Various types of arms and ammunition, royal dresses, swings, paintings of Jodhpur style, palanquins, turbans, musical instruments, cradles, tents etc. are an evidence of the rich heritage of Marwar. The beautiful camping tent which Maharaja Abhay Singh used in the battle field is one of the unique tents of the world. Besides, there is the 3 centuries old golden throne of Jodhpur rulers and statues and other items made of ivory. One of the tents of this museum was exhibited in the festival of India in New York (U.S.A.). This tent of 17 century was known as Lal Dera, which fascinated the Americans very much.
Cannons Collection : The Fort also stores many historical guns (cannons). Many of these have historical events associated with them. Some of these cannons are named as Kilkila, Shambu Ban, Jamjama, Gubara, Dhuldhani, etc. Kilkila was made by Maharaja Ajit Singh when he was the Governor of Ahmedabad. It is also said that Ajit Singh had bought this cannon from Vijai Raj Bhandari for Rs. 1400 from Ahmebadad. It is said that women used to get aborted hearing the booming sounds of Kilkila and Jamjama. Shambhuban canon was acquired by king Abhay Singh by defeating Sar Buland Khan of Ahmedabad (1730 A.D.). It is also said that Abhay Singh bought this cannon from Surat. Karak Bijali was brought from Ghanerao during Ajit Singh's period. This cannon weighs 14 tonnes. Nusarat was obtained in 1730 A.D. by King Abhay Singh by defeating governor Sar Buland Khan, Sarkar Khan and Gajni Khan of Ahmedabad. "Gazni Khan" was acquired by king Gaj Singh from Jalore Fort when he attacked Jalore in 1607 A.D. One cannon was brought by Sir Partap Singh from China in 1901 A.D. during the reign of Sardar Singh, which can still be seen in the Fort. During King Bhim Singh's reign Mehrangarh had Nagpali, Magwa, Vyadhi, Meerak Chung, Meera Buksh, Rahsya kala and Gajak cannons. All the available cannons of British period have been preserved on the walls of the fort. One has the British crown made on it. This has many barrels, each barrel having holes like cannon from where cannon balls can be fired. Another gun made of fine metal has its front part like a fish's mouth, tail like a crocodile, feet and neck like that of a lion. This cannon has been kept in the Daulat Khana and is sent for international exhibitions. Cannons kept on wheeled trollies were called mobile cannons whereas those kept on the walls etc. of the fort were stationary.
Elephant Haudah Section : This collection of gold and silver Haudahs or Ambaris is perhaps one of the best in the country. A notable and unique historical piece is the silver Haudah of the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan. This Haudah (Ambari) was presented by the Emperor as a mark of special honour to Maharaja Jaswant Singh I of Jodhpur with an elephant alongwith 100 horses on the 18th December 1657. It is an interesting Haudah following the patterns of Persian style with figures of lion, fish, peacock and a lady surrounded by floral designs, Besides, there are some typi¬cal Handahs of interest. All these have been displayed each on a rectangular platform mounted by 9 traditional flag colours, each having different colours, Crest and Mottos of former states of Rathore Dynasties, off shoot of Jodhpur House.
Royal Costume Section : Ajit Vilas has a rich and supurb collection of Costumes of Maharajas, Maharanis and princes. Such as furgals, Angarakhis, skirts, achkans, Kashmiri Shawls and host of other exhibits of interest. In this section one can see a pair of historical pearl shoes of Anara Begum. She was the favourite Cuncubine of Maharaja Gaj Singh I of Jodhpur He was a Mansabdar of high rank in the court of Emperor Shahjehan early in the 17th century.
Mahi Maratib : It was gifted by Shah Jahan to Gaj Singh in 1628 A.D., which used to be given only to the rulers having 5000 Mansabs. It has the mouth of a crocodile, shape of a fish and crown as a moon.
Daulat Khana (Art Section) : Formerly it was in use for display of jewellery and later on as State Drawing Room. Now keeping in view of its originality, the central space has been utilised as Drawing Room with carved wooden furniture of Victorian period. The outer gallery has been used for display of rare objects of arts made of gold, silver, ivory, etc. in floor and wall show-cases.
Maan Vilas (Armoury) : This section is unique with display of most selected varieties of arms and armour. Some of them are studded with real gems, sword-hills of jades, shields of gems and dealers. The Match-locks and flint-locks complete with gold and silver work on the barrels, were presented by the Mughal Emperors to the rulers of Jodhpur from time to time. Besides this, there are swords, kataris, bugdas attached with pistols and host other varieties can be seen here. There are some old historical heavy swords of the period ranging from 15th to 18th cenury A. D. The khanda of Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, is noteworthy, weighing over seven pounds. Collection of rare swords bearing Quranic verses and gold seals on the blade, is an outstanding historical piece.
Folk Musical Instrument Section : This section pertains to the rare collection of folk musical instruments of Rajasthan, found in deep desert as well as from other places, are on display. Their tunes have been tape recorded along with the photographs of the musicians while singing or playing the instrument.
Mandore museum was established in 1968 in one of the old palaces of Janana garden. The museum exhibits many inscriptions, potraits, miniatures, handicrafts, remains of various civilizations and things related to body and natural science. All this has been exhibited, in different rooms.The statues section has statues and architectural remains from Mandore, Osiyan, Kiradu, Ghatiyala, Juna, Salawas and Jalore. One sub section has been made especially for Mandore. It houses statues and sculpted structures of Sun, Trivikram, Sursundari, Nat, Yaksha, Durga, Shiva, Kichak, Navgriha etc. from 9th-10th century. These remains show that the artists with religious feelings did not ignore reality in the creation of these artistic pieces.
Mandore itself was famous for its aesthetics. All the ancient monuments in this sub-section speak further about their excellence in beauty, spirituality, simplicity, decency and expression. Two rectangular rock pieces named 'Arhat' are important monuments exhibited in the museum. One shows a horse rider and a few camel riders. Nearby there is a camel drinking water from the pond. This rock shows the old system of pulling water from the wells. The second rock depicts some soldiers in a chariot pulled by a horse and a few pawns.Two pillars of red stone from Mandore show the mutual attraction between man and woman. It has a few erotic figures in a circle, flowers and leaves and other attractive figures. The second pillar also depicts some erotic scenes with men dancing, singing and playing music. Thus erotic figures and depictions can be seen not only in Khajuraho, Bhubneshwar, Chittaur, Dwarka and Somnath temples, but even in the architecture of Mandore, because 7th to 13th century experienced a wave of such depictions in temples and these pillars are an example of that. The hair styles and dresses in these figures are very attractive.A Sarvatobhadra Ganesh statue obtained from Ghatiyala has been put on a pillar in the porch.
In Ghatiyala, there is a pillar having Ganesh statues facing all four sides. This pillar was unscripted by Pratihar Kakkuk, brother of Bauk, the ruler of Mandore. Kakkuk had good relations with Marwar and Gujrat. A link to the history of Mandore, this inscription is dated V.S. 918 (862 A.D.).
Sardar Government Museum, Jodhpur
Sardar Government Museum, located in Public Park (Ummed Bagh) Jodhpur was established in 1909 and formally opened to public on 17 March, 1936. The museum is named after Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur. The collection consists of 397 stone sculptures, 10 inscriptions, 1951 miniature paintings, 12 terracotta, 32 metallic objects, 178 arms, 111703 coins, 4107 miscellaneous objects displayed in Archaeological Section, armory, art & craft and historical section. It preserves antiquarian objects which are divided into 22 categories as under: ivory, stone, khas, patwa, metal, arms, wood, leather work, lacquer work, pottery, alum, natural history, miscellaneous textiles, minerals, glass, chir, paintings, educational appliances, antiquity, mother of pearl, salt, numismatics. The prize possessions of the museum are— (1.) Two stone pillars from Mandore, supposed to be of Gupta period, presents various scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. (2.) Padampani Kubera image from Mandor. (3.) Yoga Narayana image (sitting) of 8th century A.D. from Didwana. (4.) Lord Vishnu image (standing) of 7th century A.D. from Pali. (5.) Jivant Swami Image (Standing) of 10th century A.D. from Nagaur district. (6.) Arab coins hoard (8,774). (7.) One Coin of Edward VIII.
Government Museum, Pali
Bangar Government Museum, Pali was opened to public in the year 1991. Exhibits of the museum include Costume and Jewellery of Garasia tribe, 326 stone sculptures, 10stone inscriptions, copper plates and 409 coins of medieval period, 22 miniature paintings, 4 terracottas, 3 metallic objects, 8 arms and 258 objects of miscellaneous nature.
Maharaja Man Singh Pustak Prakash
The present collection of manuscripts in the royal library of Mehrangarh fort, was started by Maharaja Vijay Singh in 18th century. He was devotee of Vaishnavism. He was fond of paintings and music also. The manuscripts collected by him were mostly religious. This collection was further enriched and bulk of manuscripts, with variety of subjects was added by Maha¬raja Man Singh due to which it took the present form and it was named by him as Pustak Prakash. The Institution has a manuscript library of national importance. Some of the most rare and important oriental books are preserved in its collection. The library contains above 5000 volu¬mes of old manuscripts; 3300 granthas on different subject written in Sanskrit, and 2000 Hindi and Rajasthani granthas. The major portion of collection is in Sanskrit and Rajasthani written by the poets patronised by the Marwar rulers and only few of them have seen the light of the day.
Rajasthani Shodh Sansthan, Jodhpur
It is situated about five miles west of the city of Jodhpur in the compound of Choupasani School. The institute came into being in 1955 for the purpose of conducting a scientific study of the history of Rajasthani literature and culture. It has collected about 15,000 old manuscripts, 350 old paintings of Rajput style and thousands of folk songs and examples of folk literature. It has also published a Rajasthani dictionary in four parts and it also arranges to publish important theses on Rajasthan. It has facilities for research work also. Research scholars from India and abroad have availed of this facility so far. Twice a year scholars are invited to lecture on their speciality, at the institute. The organisation is recognised and aided by the Rajasthan Government.
Rupayan Sansthan, Borunda
This institute was established in 1961, in the village Borunda stituated at a distance about 100 kms from Jodhpur. Its aim is to collect and publish the folk lore of Rajasthan. In the beginning this endeavour was tentative but, soon it gathered momentum and 13,000 folk tales, 10,000 songs and thousands of proverbs and riddles have been collected. These have been documented through scripting the oral tradition or recording it. This documented material is then disseminated and made available to fellow researchers. It has published, in all, one thousand folk tales in a series entitled Batan-ri-phulwadi in ten volumes, each containing about 500 pages. In the field of music, thousands of songs have been documented. To make the documentation more authentic and vivid 12 songs were made into gramophone records. In association with the National Centre for the Performing Arts,in Bombay the institute made a short film of fifteen minutes in black and white strictly for archival purposes. The film manages to convey to the spectator a fair idea of the musical instruments and song styles and offers a glimpse into the folk legacy of Rajasthan. A monthly magazine devoted to folk culture is being brought out (Lok Sanskriti) by the institute since 1960.
Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur
The institute was established in 1960. Valuable collections of manuscripts numbering about a lakh written in Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhramsa, Persian and other languages many valuable manuscripts like Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads, Vedanta, Darshanas, Jyotisha, Nyaya, Ayurveda, History etc. are preserved in the institute. Some of the manuscripts are extremely rare. The collection abounds with hundreds of extensively illustrated manuscripts comprising thousands of genuine paintings of brilliance, which flourished during the ancient medieval ages.
The institute endeavours not only to preserve rare manuscripts but to publish them. Under the name of "Rajasthan Puratan Granthmala" a series of eighty works have so far come out. Catalogues of Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts were also published by the Institute under a scheme financed by the Government of India. Several Rajasthani works printed under the scheme "Development of Modern Indian Languages-Rajasthani". A scheme for the preservation and publication of important manuscripts in the Jain Granth Bhandars of Jaisalmer was also taken up by the Institute.In these collections are some manuscripts written on paper belonging to the 12th and 13th centuries.
A good number of palm leaf manuscripts belonging to still earlier centuries are the main attraction of this treasure. Besides manuscripts, the institution has a useful reference library of printed books containing about 12,000 volumes relevant to higher researches. The institute has seven branch offices established at Jaipur, Alwar, Kota, Udaipur, Bikaner, Tonk and Chittaurgarh. Jodhpur branch has opened an art gallery for general visitors in which many charts, diagrams and calendars related to the tantrik, Jyotish and other subjects have been shown.
Sangeet Natak Academy Jodhpur
Sangeet Natak Academy Jodhpur was established in 1957 A.D. It has a vast collection of folk music instuments like Khanjari, Daf, Chang, Madal, Dhol, Damru, Nagara, Damama, Matta, Sarangi, Jantar, Ravan-Hattha, Kamayacha, Rawaz, Tandura, Ektara, Jhanjh, Manjeera, Thali, Khartal, Algoja, Bansi, Poongi, Shahanai, Satara, Mashak Nad, Morchang, Bhapang etc.
Arna-Jharna Desert Museum
Padmbhushan Komal kothari established this Desert Museum in outer area of Jodhpur city in recent years. A unique collection of brooms used in nearby villages, Puppets of Marwar area, and various types of arts, local flora and fauna are the speciallities of this museum.