A historic architecture that documents the history of India from the prehistoric to modern times, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya or Museum is a major sight to take a visit in the city of Mumbai to delve deep into the world of history and arts.
Timing: 10:15 am to 6 pm
Location: 159-161, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Entry Fees: Ranges from Rs20 to Rs650 and varies from Indian adults, foreigners, children, students, senior citizens, and groups.
Located in the dream city of Mumbai in Maharashtra, one of the greatest historical architectures and a monument of identification is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya. This Indo-Saracenic style of architecture is characterized by arches, domes, geometrical patterns, and pillars and is a combination of Mughal, Jain, Maratha, and Western architectural styles. Formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, it is one of the leading museums in the country that houses artifacts from the pre-historic era and particularly explores art and history in a comprehensive manner. With an astounding number of exhibits that is close to 50,000, the galleries in this museum are guaranteed to keep you occupied and fascinated for hours.
Constructed in 1914 to commemorate the visit of Prince of Wales, King George V, the museum was opened to the general public in 1922 after it was used as a military hospital in WWI. The museum houses several types of artifacts ranging from natural history, sculpture, textile industry, prehistoric art, Indian paintings, European paintings, numismatics, and Chinese and Japanese artifacts. One of the major highlights of the historic gallery here is the pieces of clay and terracotta statues from the Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilizations. There are some classic paintings as well by some famous artists such as Sir Thomas Lawrence, Matia Pretty, Jacob de Baker, William Strong, Bonifacio Veronese, and Peter Paul Rubens which are a delight for any art aficionado. The galleries in the museum are:
Indian Textile and Costume Gallery, Numismatic Gallery, Prints Gallery, Pre, and Proto Historic Gallery, Indian Miniature Painting Gallery, Natural History Gallery, Sculptures Gallery, Arms, and Armor Gallery, European Decorative Art Gallery, Chinese and Japanese Art Gallery, Indian Decorative Art Gallery, and Himalayan Art Gallery.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Museum is popularly known for its vibrant collection of Paintings and Art galleries and the Natural History Gallery. The famous art galleries in the museum are Krishna Kala Dalan, Lakshmi Kala Dalan, Epigraphy Kala Dalan, and Sculpture Kala Dalan. The Epigraphy Art Gallery has in in-display the orders given by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka found at Sopara while the Art Gallery of Sculpture houses some of the rarest and antique sculptures reported from Elephanta Island and other parts of Mumbai along with many other miniature paintings. The beautiful European Art Gallery offers visitors a peek into the 19th and 20th-century art made by different European artists. The Department of Natural History is another main gallery that houses preserved animals and birds from various parts of the country and attracts numerous visitors from all over the country.
The Children’s Gallery is a new addition to the museum that has several play areas and fun activities where the children can enjoy and learn. A short movie of 17minutes called the ‘Mumbai Express’ is screened at certain times every day, which is a replay of the major events that happened in Bombay from the pre-colonial era to the present day.