A treasure trove of Stone Age yogini statues, ancient Jain idols and old weaponry, the Maharaja Chhatrasal Museum in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh will soon be made into a tourist hot spot.
The museum in Dhubela, the ancient capital of the Bundelkhand kings and located about 350 km from Bhopal, would be made into a "complete destination for tourists", Tourism Minister Tukojirao Puar said.
It was inaugurated by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Dhubela Palace in September 1955 and is the largest in the Vindhya region in central India.
Run by the state's archaeology department, the museum - which houses a unique collection of Stone Age yogini statues - is a record of archives. It has a vast and rare collection of paintings, arms and weaponry, inscribed stones and Jain idols.
While the articles preserved at the museum date back from 4th century AD to 16th century, most of the statues and idols housed in it date back to 10th and 12th centuries AD. One of its galleries is also devoted to mirrors of various kinds and designs.
Puar, who had recently sought funds from the centre for the development of the museum, told IANS on Thursday that with the central tourism ministry sanctioning Rs 48 million, work to uplift the museum would begin in about a fortnight.
He said the plans to develop the museum as a tourist attraction includes the renovation of the building and its approach road, beautification of museum premises, and restoration work at the Dhubela Palace, the Hriday Shah Palace, and a mausoleum in the town.
"Since the image of Chhatrasal Museum in the water reservoir behind Dhubela Palace leaves the watcher spellbound, we are also planning to introduce limited-scale boating in the reservoir and illuminate the monument," Puar said.
The state's tourism ministry has forwarded a proposal for illumination of important monuments in the state to the union government.