Talk on Manuscript collection of Rampur Raza Library on 16th December

Talk on “Manuscript collection of Rampur Raza Library: An Exposition” by Prof. Azizuddin Husain, Director, Rampur Raza Library. 

The exhibition will remain open to public from 16th- 22nd December, 2013, 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m
Venue: Lecture Room, New Delhi – 110 001.

About Rampur Raza Library 

The Rampur Raza Library is a treasure house of Indo Islamic learning and arts which was setup by the erstwhile Rampur State which was founded by Nawab Faizullah Khan in 1774, who ruled the State up to 1794 and formed the nucleus of the library through his inherited collection of valuable manuscripts, historical documents, Mughal miniature paintings, books and other works of art kept in the Nawabs Toshakhana. He also substantially added to the collection by his acquisition.

The library has a unique collection of 17,000 manuscripts, in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Pushto, Urdu, Turkish and other languages. It also has a rich collection of 5,000 miniature paintings belonging to the Turko-Mongol,Mughal, Persian,Rajput, Deccani, Kangra, Awadh, and company schools. It also has a collection of 1500 rare gold, silver and copper coins datable from 5th century B.C to 19th century A.D.

Among the rare illustrated large size manuscripts is that of Jamiut-Twarikh by Rashid ud-din Fazullah who was a reputed scholar, scientist and physician of his time and prime minister of Ghazan khan of Central Asia. The book was compiled in A.H.710 (A.D.1310).It has 84 illustration depicting the life and times of Mongol tribes.

Another important illustrated manuscript is the Shah Nama of Firdausi with 52 paintings, scribed in A.D.1430.There is yet another rare illustrated manuscript Masnavi Laila Majnu by Nizami Ganjvi, scribed in elegant Nastaliq script in A.H.949 (A.D.1542-43).Mention may also be made of illustrated manuscript of Abdur Rahman Jami,scribed by jamalud-din-Katib shirazi, in Nastaliq characters in A.H.977(A.D.1569-70).

Among the rare and valuable illustrated manuscript is Diwan-i-Hafiz which was scribed during Akbar’s reign most probably between 1570-80 A.D. and illustrated by the the celebrated court painters. The manuscript written in elegant Nastaliq script and bears eleven miniatures.
Another important illustrated manuscript Kalila-wa-Dimna by abul Ma ‘li Nasrullah in Persian Nastaliq script which was scribed by Sultan Muhammad bin Nurullah in early 16th century A.D.

There is a unique album of 157 paintings of Emperor Akbar (1575-1580 A.D) which is popularly known as Tilism, prepared by the renowned painters of Akbar at Fatehpur. These paintings throw light on the beliefs and practices of Indian people in 16th century A.D. Akbar’s powerful personality is depicted in one of the large paintings of Zodiac sign of his birth (The burj-i-Asad) or Leo in which the Emperor appears on the top amidst lions, tigers, leopards and other animals of its species. The sun (source of energy) shines on his head. This is most impressive painting of Akbar’s album.