Prince of Wales Museum
Famous exhibits: Indus Valley Civilization artifacts; Coin Museum; Indian Miniature Painting Collection
Built in 1905 to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales, George V to Bombay, the museum was named as the Prince of Wales Museum till 2000. Post that, it was renamed as the Chatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya. The mighty museum attracts hundreds of visitors everyday with its huge collection of more than 50,000 artifacts. The museum has several distinct wings, namely - archeology, natural history, and arts. Additionally, the museum also houses a Maritime Heritage Gallery and a forestry section. Among the most popular exhibits are the ones collected from Indus Valley Civilization archaeology site, the coin museum that displays coins from all over the world dating back to centuries. The Indian Miniature Painting collection is also among the major tourist attraction, and it would take at least 2 hours or so to complete the tour of the repository. The museum is open on all days, except on national holidays and public holidays falling on Mondays. Take a tour of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and get indulged into the ancient dose of India and its culture from time to time.
Famous exhibits: Letters to Adolf Hitler and Franklin D Roosevelt
Timings: 9.30am to 6.00pm
Exclusive for the history buffs, Mani Bhavan is a treasure for all who want to explore the life of Gandhi as a firsthand experience. The transition from Gandhi?s childhood to adulthood is captured and treasured here at Mani Bhavan. This library-cum-museum used to be the temporary residence of Gandhi from 1917 to 1934, and is now preserved as a memorial for the Indian leader. It was while he was here that Gandhi formulated his famous Satyagraha Movement. The Civil Disobedience Movement too was formed while he was residing here. The museum beautifully treasures the life of Gandhi through pictures, photographs, anecdotes, artifacts and some of the items that he used once. The room, where Gandhi stayed, is preserved in the same way till date with all his books, bed and other commodities intact at their respective places. The famous spinning wheels used by Gandhi to shape up Swadeshi Movement between 1918 and 1947 are also preserved in the museum. Apart from being a memoir for Gandhi with his personal items as exhibits, the museum is also a varied display of how Bombay was run under the British Raj. Among the most popular artifacts are the letters to Adolf Hitler and tributes from Ho Chi Minh and Einstein.
National Gallery of Modern Art
Famous exhibits: A collection of Pablo Picasso?s works; Egyptian artifacts such as mummies, statues; Raja Ravi Varma paintings
Timings: 11AM to 6.00 PM (Mondays and national holidays closed)
The National Gallery of Modern Art was opened for public in 1996, though it was inaugurated in 1954. The idea of the museum was first mooted in 1949 and was nurtured carefully by prominent national figures like Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Humayun Kabir and others. It was inaugurated by Dr. S.Radhakrishnan on 29th March 1954. The museum was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, as a residence for the Maharaja of Jaipur. The building is a beautiful butterfly like structure with a central dome built in 1936. Counted among the best bets in the list of museums in the city, the exhibits are among the rarest of their kinds. The museum houses the richest collection of modern art in the country and holds more than 17,000 rare works of art that date back to 19th century crawling till today. The collection includes works by stalwarts like M.F.Hussain, Rabindranath Tagore, and Raja Ravi Verma to name a few. Art has evolved through the ages and this evolution of art forms throughout the art hubs of the country like Bombay, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Shantiniketan are all preserved here.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
Famous exhibits: The bust in the centre of the room of David Sassoon ? opium baron, trader and architect of Colonial Bombay
Timings: 10am to 6pm (Wednesday closed)
Also known as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum got it renamed in honor of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad. The museum is dedicated as a testament to his contribution to the fields of art and heritage. Established in 1855, initially the museum was built as a treasure house of the decorative and industrial arts. It is the oldest museum in Mumbai with some of the most cherished edifices as its exhibits. The museum primarily focuses on the culture of the city and doubles as the home to hundreds of relics collected from all over the country as well as from outside India. This is a museum which is aimed at the detailing of Mumbai as a city with a huge collection of arts and artifacts that talk about the history and heritage of the city. A walk down the museum promises to take you back to Bombay that it was 100 years ago. The beautiful interiors reflect the architectural marvel of the colonial era, and a must visit to check out the intricate artwork in construction.
CST Heritage Gallery & Railway Museum
Famous exhibits: Old train with green engine and red coaches; old brass bell; huge peacock carving on the wall
Timings: 3pm-5pm (Saturdays and Sundays closed)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is a rare UNESCO World Heritage Site that has an actively working railway station, handling one of the busiest rail traffic and among the biggest crowds in the world. While the terminus itself is a state of art for its architecture, a section of the main building has been opened to the public as a Heritage Gallery named as CST Heritage Gallery & Railway Museum. This is for all those who are fascinated by the CST train station and want to explore Indian railways and its journey at and through CST. The fact, that Bombay was the first city in India to get trains and railway connectivity, is very well preserved in the gallery in the form of model trains, old tickets, photographs, pictures and the marvelous structure itself. The unique display of antiques associated with the Indian Railways namely crockery, telephones, brass bells, and an old railway engine with red coaches make it all the more interesting a place to check out. A Heritage Tour through the winding staircase offers a view of the impressive dome with gorgeous stained glass reflecting the light falling on the ancient stone. The elaborate peacock on the first-floor window is something one cannot miss.
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