Visit the Shankar's International Dolls Museum located in Delhi and emerge in the splendid craftsmanship of the craftsmen and artisans who bring alive the vibrant and diverse microcosm of our country and craft depiction from other countries as well through an assortment of dolls.
Timing: 10 am to 6 pm (Monday closed)
Location: 4, Nehru House, Bahadur Shah Zafar Road, New Delhi
Entry Fees: Adults Rs17, Children Rs6
To the outsiders who haven't explored the bustling city of Delhi, it is often bound by great architecture, scrumptious food, and magical nightlife. But little do they know that the city is inoculated with a diverse variety of museums that grab the attention of visitors ranging from little kids to age-old adults. One such museum where visitors of all age groups flock is the Shankar's International Dolls Museum located in the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg which has been existing since the time of our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Established by K Shankar Pillai, a political cartoonist in 1965, he gathered over 6000 dolls from 85 countries and set up this museum to showcase his vibrant collection of dolls.
Shankar Pillai got the idea of collecting dolls from all the countries he has visited when he was gifted a doll by a Hungarian diplomat. The collection of dolls in the museum is categorized into two distinct sections with one section housing dolls from the western countries such as the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, and the Commonwealth of Independent States, while the other section houses dolls collected from the Asian countries like Middle East, Africa, India, etc. The museum is mostly visited by children with their family members who take an eager interest in the diverse range of beautiful dolls showcased on the aisles, but it won't be true if we say that the adults are not mesmerized with the collection as well.
The museum highlights over 150 types of dolls adorned with different Indian costumes that are created in the museum workshop only. The craftsmanship which is seen in the dolls created in the museum workshop is up to the utmost perfection giving rise to the harmony of physical features, costumes, and adornments. The assortment includes characters from different Indian dance styles such as Kathakali, a dance form from the state of Kerala, with its extravagant costumes and jewelry. Other kinds of dolls included in the collection are the Boys and Girls festival dolls from Japan, replica Dolls of the Queen's collection from the UK, Maypole dancers from Hungary, Kabuki and Samurai dolls from Japan, Flamenco dancers from Spain, Women's Orchestra from Thailand, and Kandy Pehara from Sri Lanka. The International Dolls Museum is no less than an enchanting place for young visitors and mesmerizing to even the adults, it is one of the most visited museums in the capital city of Delhi.