Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay (Prince of Wales Museum)
The Prince of Wales Museum now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay 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 visit 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 Mauraya periods. The museum is known for its collection of miniature paintings. The Museum is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday between 10.30 am and 6 pm.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Victoria & Albert Museum)
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 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Bombay Natural History Society
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 Vaastu Sangrahalay. 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.
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.