The day continued to look gloomier. The Himachal State Museum, Shimla, which was my destination at that moment, is a house of carefully collected and well-preserved works of artistic value. So I took a bus from the Photo Gallery, Shimla to the State Museum. It is housed inside a Victorian mansion, which had turned pretty old then. The mansion has been cleverly reconstructed, keeping the structure as same as it was. But after some small changes in the mansion, it was used as a museum. The museum stands tall on a hilltop called ‘Inveram’. Not only as a photographer but also as a normal human being, I felt crazy amidst the solace, the quietude and the serenity of the place stretching till the distant mountains. Previously that building was the residence of Lord William Beresford, who was the Viceroy Lord William Bentick’s Military Secretary. Since he left India, Sir Edwin Collan followed by Sir Edward Law stayed here. Before turning it into a museum the government used it as a residence for its officials.
For a photographer like me, I was in for a treat. This place had works of ethnological, artistic, archaeological, ancient and historical significance all over. This was planned in a way so that generations to come may have access to the treasure of cultural value, which was found in the past. The entry fee for Indians was only Rs.10 but I had to pay an extra Rs.50 to be able to use my camera. Some of the wall paintings, which were contemporary paintings, were the evidence of good work but the Pahari Miniature paintings were the best of the lot. I took photos of some fine wood carvings, Numismatics, Himachal Sculpture and some random decorative art. In a different room, a seminar was being held on the different disciplines of Art and archaeology.
I had done filling up my camera storage with possibly all the pictures one could get at the Himachal State Museum, Shimla. I was done there. Next to visit was Annandale, Shimla for it rained that day and the next day was giving me hope for clearer skies.