Museums in Mumbai: “The more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future”
Fondly known as the city of dreams, the bustling metropolis of Bombay attracts thousands of people every year; be it in search of fortunes, or just to get a taste of the city. Known for being a cultural melting point, Bombay is a city of extremes and contradictions. What sets the city apart is its unique blend of the old, the new, and the modern; and what better way to explore and understand the city than through the guardians of its history, the museums and galleries? So, here’s a list of the four best museums in Mumbai that you must visit:
1. Chatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya: Built in 1905 to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales, George V to Bombay, the museum was known as the Prince of Wales Museum till 2000, when it was renamed as the Chatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya. With a collection of up to 50,000 artefacts, the museum is divided into the following wings: archeology, natural history, and arts. In addition, the museum also houses a Maritime Heritage Gallery and a forestry section. This Mumbai museum remains open from 10.15 AM to 6.00 PM, Mondays to Sundays, and remains closed on national holidays and public holidays falling on Mondays.
Courtesy: Incredible India
2. Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum: Formerly known as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum was later renamed in honor of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad, as a testament to his contribution to the fields of art and heritage. Located opposite to the Bycullah station in Mumbai, the Bhau Daji Lad museum is the oldest museum in Mumbai. With its collection of arts and artefacts tracing the history of the city, this is a museum in Mumbai, about Mumbai. Walking along this museum is akin to taking a walk in the city of Bombay 100 years ago, and is one of the must visit museums in Mumbai. This museum remains open from 10 AM to 6 PM on all days except for Wednesdays.
3. National Gallery of Modern Art: Though inaugurated in 1954, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai was opened to the public only in 1996. Known for housing the country’s richest collection of modern art, the gallery is home to over 17,000 works of art, and features works by stalwarts like M.F. Hussain, Rabindranath Tagore, and Raja Ravi Varma. It also traces the evolution of art forms throughout the art hubs of the country- Bombay, Delhi, Chennai, Shantiniketan, and Kolkata. The Gallery remains open from 11AM to 6.00 PM on all days except for Mondays and national holidays.
4. Mani Bhavan: Once used as a temporary residence by Gandhi from 1917 to 1934, Mani Bhavan is now preserved as a library cum museum in Mumbai. It was while he was here, that Gandhi formulated his famous theory of Satyagraha, and launched the Civil Disobedience Movement. The museum traces the life of Gandhi; right from his childhood to his unfortunate demise, through pictures and anecdotes. The room used by Gandhi is preserved in the same way, with his books, bed, and spinning wheels. This Mumbai museum remains open from 9.30 AM to 6.00 PM every day.