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Travel back in time with Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum that is home to some of the oldest artefacts from all states of India. This is also the oldest museum the city has.
What Is It?
When Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria, wanted to present the best of India to the world, he set it all up at this 167-year old museum. It was called the Victoria and Albert Museum then. Previously known as the Victoria and Albert Museum, this place was a ground to showcase industrial arts and crafts of Britain’s colonies and thereby stimulate trade for these products. Established in 1855, this architectural wonder holds some of the biggest secrets of this city. It’s very rare that one comes across a ‘Pandora’s Box’ such as this ready to spill out some great historic secrets about the very city it is in.
Also read: 5 Most Unique Museums Around The World
Why You Must Visit?
If you wish to see how right your grandparents were about India’s wealth and rich heritage, a trip to theDr Bhau Daji Lad Museum will put all your doubts to rest. Apart from housing some of the oldest artefacts from all states of India, various art exhibitions are held here, including couture line-up for the Lakme Fashion Week!
What’s In It?
Discover the grand renaissance- restored structure at just Rs 10 for your entry
1850: The Bombay Presidency was prepping for the first Exhibition Works of Industry & Nations to be held, and the idea of this very museum popped up.
1855: The Museum was established in the Town Barracks as the Central Museum of Natural History, Economy, Geology, Industry and Arts.
1872: Dedicated to queen Victoria, the museum was named Victoria & Albert museum and was opened to public. This also happened to be the very first colonial structure the city had. The design was sent to London for inspection, and every detail was meticulously looked into. Materials were flown in from England, right from tiles, all the way to railings and so on.
1975: The museum was re-christened to Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, thereby honoring the Indian scholar & physician who built the establishment.
2005-2008: Unfortunately, as years went by, political and social changes the country was witnessing, took a toll on this colonial structure, and it hence underwent major restoration, when the museum remained closed- 2005-2008.
2017: What we see now, is a beautifully restored building standing tall and handsome; showing off 24k gilding done by a craftsman from Vasai, and a completely re-painted interior. Now, it’s a museum of industrial art. All Indian states have presented their best artefacts from the 18th century.
The King of Bidar invited craftsmen from Iran to design the Bidri artefacts, such as a foot warmer. The design element on the roof is an ode to the leader of Jewish community in Bombay, David Sasoon. Pottery installations you see here now, were made by students of the School Of Art, Bombay in the 19th century.
Address: 91A, Lalbaug Flyover, Byculla East, Near Byculla Railway Station, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400027
Timings: 9 AM- 6 PM (Tuesday to Sunday)
The museum is closed on Mondays
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