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Museums in Mumbai

Museums in Mumbai

Antarang, the country’s only sex museum, even so it has ironically received little attention. Purposefully located in Kamathipura, it is the result of the efforts of a Grant Medical College alumnus, artist Dr Prakash Sarang and the Mumbai District Aids Control Society (MDACS) the museum is an intriguing experience to say the least. “It is ironic that in the land of Kamasutra we have sex dealt with in a prudish way. Very few people are aware of the museum existence. I think with such a strategic location, it would be great if we manage to add it into the tourism itinerary of the city,” says Jasmeer Thakur, an NGO working for AIDS awareness among sex workers.
BEST Transport Museum
Inside Anik Depot
Mumbai - 400031
The BEST Transport Museum is located at Wadala’s Anik Bus depot. It features amateur mini models of BEST buses and the ancient trams. The museum fascinating as it has been badly kept. “We try to maintain it by cleaning it regularly, but the underdeveloped surrounding makes it dusty all over again. It is a very old museum and we have always got a positive response from the visitors,” explains the BEST public relations officer. Entry is free but few know of its existence. Even the city’s well-traveled bus conductors have never heard of the museum. The Museum is open to the public from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.
Bombay Natural History Society
Hornbill House
Dr. Salim Ali Chowk
Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road
Mumbai - 400023
The Bombay Natural History Society was founded in 1883, in order to discuss observations on natural history and for exhibiting interesting specimens. Today the BNHS is the biggest non-governmental organization in India undertaking conservation of nature and natural resources, education and research in natural history. The BNHS has more than 30 member countries. The Society's leading principle has been conservation based on scientific research. The Society is adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. Nature lovers have been donating their prized specimens for more than a century now. The Society has a good collection of beetles, butterflies and embalmed reptiles. If you are interested you can become a temporary member of the Society for the duration of your stay in Mumbai. The membership will allow you access to the library of the Society and allow you to attend the various lectures and slide shows that are held weekly.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
159-161, M.G. Road
Mumbai - 400023
2284-4484 / 2284-4519
The Prince of Wales Museum now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai, was set up in the beginning of the 20th century, by some important citizens of Bombay with the help of the government, to honour the visit of King George V's to India, while he was still the Prince of Wales. The museum is located in the middle of South Mumbai close to the Gateway of India. The Museum building is considered one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in Mumbai. There was an open competition to design the building of the museum. George Wittet was hired to design the building in 1909. The design used is the Indo-Saracenic style and has an imposing dome in the 15th -16th century western Indian style. The other buildings in Mumbai built by George Wittet include the General Post Office, which he built along with John Begg, the Court of Small Causes and the splendid Gateway of India. There is no doubt that this museum in Mumbai is one of the best museums in India. It has three main sections: Art, Archaeology and Natural History. The museum has an excellent collection of rare and ancient exhibits of Indian history and many interesting artifacts from foreign countries. It also has artifacts from the Indus Valley Civilization and relics from the Gupta and Maurya periods. The museum is known for its collection of miniature paintings. The Museum is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday between 10.15 am and 5:45 pm.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
91A, Dr. Babasaheb Amberkar Road
Byculla (E)
Mumbai - 400027
In the heart of the city are the Victoria Gardens, now renamed as the Rani Jijamata Udyan (Rani Bagh). This garden was laid out in 1861. The Bombay Zoo is also on the premises of the garden. Located in the Victoria Gardens is the Victoria and Albert Museum, now renamed Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. The museum has articles that relate mainly industrial and agricultural interest. On display are the archaeological finds, maps and photographs connected with the history of Mumbai. On the east hand side of the gardens that surrounds the museum, is a huge statute of an elephant that was brought from Elephanta Caves. What is ironically about the present name of the museum is that Dr. Bhau Daji Lad, after whom it is presently named, was the person who suggested the original name "Victoria and Albert Museum". Dr. Lad devoted his life to this museum and it is in his honor that the museum bears his name. The museum is open to the public on all days expect some important public holidays from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
FD Alpaiwalla Museum
Khareghat Memorial Hall
Khareghat Colony
Kemps Corner
Mumbai - 400036
The only community museum in the city, the FD Alpaiwala museum, named after a Parsi merchant, is run by the Parsi Panchayat of Bombay. “The museum was open for public in 1954. But it had to be restored in 1984, which was done by the Panchayat, “says Nivedita Mehta, the curator. A silver clock belonging to Sir Jamshedjee Jejeebhoy is one of the star displays. There is an archaic chest belonging to Dadabhai Nowroji.
Mani Bhavan
19 Laburnam Rd.
near Nana Chowk
Mumbai - 400004
This is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. Gandhi stayed in this simple house between 1917 and 1934 every time he visited Mumbai. The room in which Gandhi stayed, his belongings including his books are on display. Today the building contains a picture gallery, a 20,000-volume research library and a film and recording archive. Mani Bhavan is on Laburnam Road, close to the August Kranti Maidan where the 'Quit India' Movement was started. This museum is open on all days between 9.30 am to 6 pm.
Nehru Museum
Dr. Annie Besant Road
Mumbai - 400018
This Cylindrical shaped building, includes a planetarium, art gallery, restaurant, library, cultural center and a 14-gallery exhibit called Discovery of India. There are antique exhibits like a railway engine, tramcar, supersonic airplane and steam lorry. It is also a venue of numerous international trade fairs and local exhibitions. The discovery of India expo is open daily except Monday from 10.30am to 5pm. Entry is free.
RBI Monetary Museum
Reserve Bank of India
Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg
Mumbai - 400001
The first of its kind in India, the monetary museum is located on the floor of the RBI. The museum hopes for the sake of posterity to document and preserve the monetary heritage of the Country. It has three galleries on the concepts, ideas and curiosities related to money.

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