Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya
The capital city of Maharashtra, Mumbai is a famous city worldwide. The city houses a decent number of tourist destinations which are of varied genres ranging from historical places, cultural hubs and educational destinations to paces having abundance of natural beauty. Since, the city envelopes this amount of history there also exists a decent number of museums in the city. One such museum is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya. This museum is the biggest museum in the city and a popular tourist destination.
About Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya CSMVS built in the early years of the 20th century to commemorate the visit of Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales at that time. Formerly this museum was known as Prince of Wales Museum of Western India. Then it was renamed in the year 1998 after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja who was the great Maratha ruler and also the founder of the Maratha Empire. It is located in the heart of Western Mumbai near the Gateway of India.
Architecture of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya is built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. One can see an amalgamation of different architectural styles in the design of the museum. This includes a hint of the Mughal, Maratha and Jain elements as these three had a prominent part to play in the making and breaking of Maharashtra.
The museum is built across an area of 3 acres of land and is surrounded by a well maintained garden as well as formal flower beds. It is built in in grey Kurla basalt and buff coloured trachyte Malad stone.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya accommodates a central entrance porch which is headed by a dome. The dome is well tiled in white and blue which is in turn supported on a lotus-petal base. This fine architecture housed in the museum is a sight to hold. In addition to this the museum also houses several other eye catchy elements including an Islamic dome, beautiful columns, railings and a balcony belonging to a wada and Jain style interior columns.
In the year 2008 five new galleries were incorporated in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya. The museum houses a library too.
What to explore when at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya is a hub of historical artifacts and documents. There is loads to explore in here. Lovers of history will cherish this place like anything. This museum gives even a layman a clear insight into the important historical events that had occurred. There exists around 50, 000 exhibits in here. In addition to exhibits of Indian history Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya also houses objects from foreign lands which are in turn categorized into three categories namely art, archaelology and natural history. Exhibits of Indian history includes objects or artefacts belonging to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and other relics belonging to the period of Guptas, Mauryas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas.
There also exists a forestry section which has timbers grown in the Bombay Presidency. There also exists an exhibit of fossils, small local geological collections, rocks and minerals.
Since, Mumbai is a coastal city and is also known as the city of seven islands, an exhibit portraying navigation tools and other elements related to maritime is also housed in here. This gallery is known as the ‘Maritime Heritage Gallery’ which is also a first of its kind in the whole of India. There is also a section dedicated to numismatics. There also exists a picture gallery as well as a sculpture gallery which is stacked with wonderful artifacts and paintings. Several new section have been added in here like the art gallery, textile gallery, miniature painting gallery etc.
The beautiful complex of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya is art in itself. The interiors are also spell bounding. When in here the visitor escalates to some unknown dimension. Even a naïve person will be forced to think, rethink and go in awe after witnessing the wonderful exhibits housed in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya.
A Tourist’s Guide
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya is open on all days of the week from 10:15 am to 6:00 p and the ticket counter closes at 5:45 pm. The nearest railway head from here is Churchgate. The nearest airport from here is Mumbai Airport. Since, the museum is located in the heart of Western Mumbai thus reaching this destination isn’t much of a big deal. One can hail public transport from any part of the city to reach this place. Accommodation is also not a problem when in Mumbai. The city of Mumbai hosts a range of comfortable and varied hotels.
When in Mumbai one must make a point to visit this museum as a visit here is a highly informative experience. One can come here with children and make them explore the beauty of this place. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Vastu Sangrahalaya is a wonderful place to soak in history and also have some productive time with friends and family.