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The site museum was established in 1984 in the Hospital and Jail building of the British period. Located in front of Hathi pole gate of Gwalior fort, the museum comprises of a large rectangular hall, a chamber linked to it and two verandahs one in front and another on the rear side with exhibits of different kinds. The museum is enriched with a large and varied collection of antiquities, collected from Gwalior and its adjoining areas. Prominent places among them are Amrol in Distt. Gwalior, Naresar, Bateswar, Padawali, Mitawali, Sihonia in Distt. Morena, Kherat and Ater in Distt. Bhind, Terahi, Ranod and Surwaya in Distt. Shivpuri.Sculptural wealth of the museum can be classified under Shaiva, Vaishnava, Jaina and miscellaneous groups. They reflect the development of sculptural art and style in India from 1st century BC to 17th century A.D. to which they belong.
Sculptures from Mitawali are the earliest collection of the museum. They belong to Sunga and Kushana period. These are life size and colossal figures shown in heavy garments and ornaments. Noted sculptures of the period are Balarama, Kartikeya and Lakulisa. Sculptural repertoire found from Nareshwar, Bateswar, Kherat, Ater, Rannod, Surwaya and Padawali are of Pratihara period (8th century A.D. to 10th century AD). Images of the period have retained the rich art traditions and plasticity of the Gupta period. They appear slim, slender, graceful and divine. Among them Nataraj, Ekmukha Sivalinga, Maha Pasupatinath Siva, Saptamatrika, Adinath, Parsvanath etc. are few examples, enriching the display of the museum.
Sculptures from Suhania of 11th century AD indicate the later endeavors which preserve elements of the unique art tradition of Gupta Period. They are natural, dynamic and graceful. Noted sculptures of the period include -Asthadikpalas, Surasundaris, Dancers, Vidhyadharas and Mithuna figures, etc. Besides, sculptures retrieved from Ater display the synthesis of Hindu and Mughal art, patronized by the local Bhadoria kings of 17th century AD.
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