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Fakir Khana is the private museum of the Fakir Family of Lahore. It is one of the largest private museums in South Asia. Considered a hidden treasure of art: paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, Chinese porcelain, Persian carpets and countless masterpieces of Art, it is situated in Bhati Gate, an old section of the Walled City of Lahore, Punjab province of Pakistan.
The Museum gives the visitor interesting information on the culture and history of Punjab. The exhibits of the museum include gifts from Queen Victoria and Maharajah Ranjit Singh to Fakir Syed Azizuddin and Fakir Syed Nooruddin who were ministers in his court. The Museum is currently managed by members of the Fakir Family. It is closed to the general public and visitations are by appointment only.
Collections within the Museum have been passed through generations within the Fakir Family and number approx 30,000 items from British, Sikh and Mughal eras. The Museum has survived several wars and the independence of India and Pakistan. Held within the Fakir Family were several prominent mansions (Havelis) in and around Lahore e.g. Mubarak Haveli and others. The art from those mansions and personal pieces collected by several prominent members of the Fakir Family have also been incorporated into the Fakir Khana collection. Historically the Family was known to possess a large collection of jewels and jewelled artifacts-many of which were personal gifts to the Fakir brothers by Maharajah Ranjit Singh. These items of historic and material have been looted from the museum and are known to have disappeared sometime before the independence of India and Pakistan due to neglect, outright theft and lack of accountability in the past.
While a wonderland for fans of the Sikh Raj and the Mughal Empire, the Museum continues to suffer from lack of proper equipment i.e. hermetically sealed containers to house items such as manuscripts and weaponry prone to rust. It is only recently that some members of the Fakir Family have taken a more active role in the management and restoration of art and artifacts.
Fakir Khana was the first museum in Pakistan to launch an eMuseum; an online site to share the art collected by the Fakir Family. The effort was led by the Fakir Sayyed Iftikharuddin (Fakir Khana museum co-coordinator and Associate Member of the Fakir Khana Trust). Fakir Syed Saifuddin is currently the fifth generation custodian of the Fakir Khana. The Museum is currently managed by members of the Fakir Family. It is closed to the general public and visitations are by appointment only, on prior, formal application.
- For further information about the Fakir Khana and the Fakir family of Lahore, also see the page on Hakim Ahmad Shuja
- For some further historical reference to the Fakir family and Ranjit Singh, see Emily Eden "Up the Country", Orig. Pub.London, 1866; Reprint London: Curzon Press, 1978, several references between pages 130-236
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- Visitors Information at fakirkhanamuseum.blogspot.com
- Fakir Khana
- Fakir Khana at museumstuff.com
- BBC covering Fakir Khana