Located near Rana Pratap Railway Station, Udaipur, the Ahad Museum has the distinction of being the only one in Rajasthan built on the spot where the remains of an ancient culture were found. It is a site museum as the remains of the houses of iron-copper age found during excavations have been preserved at the site and this makes it easier to understand the housing system of that period. The place where the Ahad Museum was set up in 1961-62 is also called Dhoolkot, a small raised place. Its ancient name is Aghatpur and Ahad is only its degenerated form. On the banks of Berach river, a tributary of Banas, passing through village Ahad have been found remains of an ancient culture or the Banas culture which extended to the banks of the Banas in Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Ajmer and Tonk in Rajasthan and Mandsaur in M.P.
During the excavation of the Dhoolkot hillock under the supervision of noted archeologists- Akshyakirti Vyas in 1953, Ratanchandra Agarwal in 1956 and H.D. Sankhla in 1961-62 were found houses and domestic implements that belong to the 4000 year old copper and iron age rural civilizations. The houses have been preserved as such with great care. Structures of big houses, stones for grinding spices, floors of houses etc. are on display. Also can be seen idols belonging to the post middle age including two sun idols and Jain idols recovered from Ahad village. The one of Vishnunath is remarkable for its excellent sculpture. Objects that belong to the copper-iron age include small stone implements of 2000 B.C. Copper age products are rings, copper pieces, rods, axes, bowls and knives all made of copper. Painted black and red ware 1700 B.C. grey ware storage jar, beads and cones of terracota, pots and painted Handi can also be seen here. A dish on stand is a special attraction. Iron implements (200 BC) and stone and terracotta jars, pots, beads, skin scrubber, bone spike, seals, ear ornaments, rings, conch, Jaladhari, incense burner and moulds of Ganesh are also on display. Human and animal figurines also attract the visitors. A model of a trench at Ahad cannot be missed.
Other attractive objects include idols of Annapurna (10th Century : Ahad) Jain sculpture (Metal) Jain Tirthankar, Mastya Avatar (Vishnu) Shiv Parvati (10th century), Chamunda, Ganesh, Durga, Kacchapa Avatar (Vishnu) nag nagin, standing sun, standing Parvati, Maheshwar, Vishnu and Vaman Avatar and a lady in dancing pose (17th century).
Painting lovers have a lot to attract them. Vanabhatta, the renowned poet of the great classic Kadambari lived in the court of Harshavardhan in the 7th century. It is a masterpiece that vividly portrays various facets of human nature. Based on Kadambari, 66 mini paintings each with commentary in Sanskrit have been displayed in the form of photographs.
Some extremely interesting facts have been revealed through the various objects. Before coming to Ahad people used to make arms with stone. But finding copper within a radius of 15-20 miles in regions like Debari, Delwada, Matoon and Umra, they began to make copper arms. A crescent shape furnace for smelting copper has been found. Copper arms are more durable. It is much easier to repair them and make new ones out of the old. Later on, iron was used to make arms. The inhabitants also knew the art of making objects from clay. They found that the utensils made of clay did not last long. So they began to bake objects made of clay. They were strong and had decoration. The finding of a row of ovens in one room indicates the vogue of joint family system at that time. The remains of the houses are still present in the trenches. The houses were built of crude bricks 4000 years ago. The ceiling were of crude form and it seems bamboo was used below them. They were supported by wooden logs which were fastened in crude floor. The ancient inhabitants of Ahad knew about a scientific method of sanitation for which 15-20 feet deep ditches were dug and rings of baked clay were set one on other. Dirty water fell into these ring wells. A specimen of one such well has been preserved in this museum.
Ayad that remained the capital of Mewar from 10th to 12th century was also known by other names like Ahad, Anandpur, Ahagtpur and Tambarwati Nagri, copper town.
To popularize the museum, especially among foreign tourists, a webportal has been created to provide detailed information about the museum.
To attract more visitors different kinds of activities like exhibitions of rare paintings and heritage postal stamps and local Brahamini Daak of Mewar state are organized from time to time.
No wonder, for lovers of ancient culture and heritage of Mewar the museum provides an exciting experience.