Close to that iconic landmark of Mumbai, the Gateway to India, amidst the complexity that is Mumbai, positioned in three acres of grounds planted with palm trees and ornamental flower beds is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, recognized earlier as the Prince of Wales Museum that was founded in the early 1920s to commemorate a pay a visit to to Bombay (Mumbai) of the then Prince of Wales. It was renamed following Shivaji the founder of the Maratha Empire in the 1990s along with the renaming of Bombay as Mumbai, thus dropping all colonial associations.
Built in a combination of types, mainly Indo-Saracenic and Western Indian, the three storied basalt stone structure is surmounted by a prominent white central dome that has an arrangement of pinnacles surmounted by smaller domes about it with two domes at each end of the creating. The interior layout is a combination of Mughal, Maratha and Jain architectural features. This Grade I Heritage Creating houses 12,143 sq meters of exhibition and other spaces. A 2008 renovation programme added two,800 sq meters for new galleries, conservation facilities and spaces for seminars. The aim of the museum is to generate an awareness of India’s exceptional cultural heritage.
The museum’s wealthy permanent collection of 50,000 pieces of art, archaeological and natural history artifacts across civilizations, grew over time with a lot of contributions from people. Critical donations of private collections from Sir Purushottam Mavji in 1915 and from Sir Ratan and Sir Dora Tata in 1921 and 1933 helped to establish the museum as an crucial portion of the cultural life of the city. Other exciting collections include an exhibit of timber specimens grown in the Bombay Presidency from the 17th to the 20th century, a maritime heritage gallery, the 1st of its kind in India, useful collections of miniatures and illustrated manuscripts of palm leaf dating from the 11th and 12 centuries in Mughal, Rajasthan, Pahari and Deccan styles a manuscript of the renowned Hindu saga Ramayana dating to the 17th century from Mewar, an exceptional ivory section with artifacts dating from the Gupta period (320-550 CE), ancient textiles, metal and terracotta ware Japanese and Chinese porcelain and jade, European paintings, Nepalese and Tibetan artworks, artifacts from Indus Valley civilizations and Buddhist artifacts are amongst a host of other people covering the different civilizations of the Indian subcontinent.
The museum’s all-natural history section showcases Indian wildlife through dioramas and other instructional strategies.
In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also shows short-term collections and functions as a centre for culture and education disseminating info through seminars and other outreach programmes.
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