Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum), besides being a mouthful, is a Mumbai landmark ... More
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum), besides being a mouthful, is a Mumbai landmark situated between the historic areas of Colaba and Fort. Completed in 1914-1915 to commemorate the first visit of King George V to India, the museum was opened to the public in 1922. Designed by George Wittet and John Begg, who also have designed the G.P.O. (1913) and the Gateway of India (1924) to their credit, this Mumbai museum stands proud in the midst of a beautiful lush garden. The extensive collection includes miniature paintings, decorative arts, sculptures in various media, weaponry, and rare pieces from Elephanta and the Indus Valley.
Liked the ambience of the place. It's spacious and quite and that too in such an upmarket hustling bustling area of Mumbai. There are three floors and all halls are spread out , it can be quite tiresome a walk.
No water bottles are allowed inside. You can carry your cameras but need to pay a fee for clicking photos. ( 200/- INR )
There is no brochure or handouts given at the entrance so you have no clue of the lay out or how to go about with your viewing. There is a shop inside the museum where you can buy the brochure about the Museum for 150/- INR.
The audio guide ( headphones ) seems novel but i did not use it.
The articles donated by the tata family are just magnificent. The chinese and japanese sculptures are great.
This pleasant little museum is a charming melange of colonial India and pre-British India. Though the Moghul miniatures draw many visitors, I particularly enjoy the natural history section, with its impeccably mounted specimens (almost certainly all the work of the erstwhile taxidermists from Mysore, Veningen and Jenson). However, I'm sorry to have to state that most of the animals and birds on display are today very scruffy and dusty and badly in need of cleaning.
The art galleries on the upper floor are surprisingly rich in treasure. There are even two small but significant Boudins, and some fine, large canvases by a couple of prominent British masters - the names escape me, but I think they are Constables and/or Gainsboroughs. The building and gardens are a joy. Somehow, though, I think the original name of this Mumbai landmark should have been retained, since it lent its own echo of history to the place. Hopefully they will not move the statue of the Prince of Wales from where it stands in the museum garden.
I felt that this was the best museum in all of Mumbai. Formerly called the Price of Whales Museum, it offers a relatively large array of statues, paintings, sculptures, etc. and a very interesting building and surrounding grounds to boot! The entrance fee, like virtually all Indian museums is different for Indian citizens and foreigners, but the foreign entrance fee includes an audio-guide with a lot of information about the various exhibits in several languages -- it is an MP3 based system so you don't have to do things in a fixed order and can often hear additional details about things you like best. Overall, you can put in a very pleasant afternoon at this museum; I would recommend it highly for anyone visiting Mumbai!
Like anything else in India, there are two different admission fees, one for Indians and one for non-Indians. The 200 rupees admission for non-Indians include audio guide, so don't forget to rent it. It is a small, but decent museum.