Raja Dinkar Kelkar museum was developed through collections of late Padmashree (one of the highest awards from the government of India) Dr. Dinkar Gangadhar Kelkar (1896 – 1990). He dedicated it to his only son Raja. Hence, the name Raja Dinkar Kelkar museum.
Address: 1377-78, Off. Bajirao Road, Natu Baug, Shukrawar Peth, Pune, Maharashtra 411002
Time: 10 Am – 5.30 PM apart from 3 holidays (Indian independence day, republic day, Anant chaturdasi)
Rs. 10.00 for children below 12 years
Rs. 50.00 for adults above 12 years
Rs. 200.00 for Foreigners (adults)
Rs. 50.00 for Foreigners (children)
Museum entry is free for the Blind and the Disabled
The museum has 4 floors and has a huge collections of various antique and ethnic artifacts. The museum describes itself as the museum of everyday traditional art.
The museum is divided in the following section:
|Ground floor A Wing||Gujarat Galley|
|First floor A wing||Utensils Gallery|
|Third floor A wing||Special Exhibition and Toys Gallery|
|Second floor A wing||Textile Gallery|
|Second floor B wing||Lamps Gallery|
|First floor B wing||Musical instruments Gallery and Mastani Mahal|
|Ground floor B wing||Ivory and Doors Gallery|
Visitors are advised to view the museum in the above order. The exterior of the museum building also has a very contemporary look and gives a feel of bygone era. The entrance was also interesting With the blueish lighting on the antique marble and stone statues at the passageway in the entrance. At the end of the passageway, a huge beautiful lamp greeted us and around it was ornate wood doors. Little further was a larger than life size wood statue of Yali (evil crusher). This figures are normally found in south Indian temples.
Collections were numerous – starting from sandalwood box to comb, ornaments, textile, utensils, weapons and many more. It is one of most versatile collection of antique and traditional art collection I have seen in any Indian museum. I was in awe to see the beautiful artifacts and detailed work on some of the items. Some worth mentioning are the Mughal lamps, musical instruments, Mastani Mahal, old doors and windows etc.
It also has a life size palace of Mastani. Dr Kelkar had dismantled the palace which Bajirao I had built for her and re-created it here in the museum. Mastani was the concubine of Maratha Peshwa (prime minister) Bajirao I. A Bollywood movie was made recently based on the love story of Bajirao I and Mastani.
I would suggest visitors to keep atleast one half of the day to enjoy this treasure house of artifacts. It should be in every traveler / tourist’s must visit list in Pune.
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