There is no surprise as to why Pune is known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra. It has a unique blend of art, literature and theatre which enriches the history of the city. Here’s a list of nine museums that will connect you to the city’s glorious past.
- Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Based on the collection put together by the late Dr D G Kelkar, this museum displays an impressive assortment of more than 20,000 priceless artefacts. The museum is home to various antiques like writing implements, kitchen utensils, wooden objects and musical instruments. Every item is a reminder of craftsmanship and art that went behind making simple utility objects.
Must-see: Mastani Mahal, Gujarat Gallery, Bal Gandharva’s tamboori
Where: Off Bajirao Road, Shukrawar Peth
Timings: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
- Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum and Memorial
This museum is dedicated to bringing back Dr Ambedkar’s life through the various items of his that are displayed. Known as the Father of the Indian Constitution, he had a long list of achievements but not that many belongings. Amongst the collection, you can find a list of items that were presented to him on his visit to different places as well as the bed on which he breathed his last.
Must-see: Dr Ambedkar’s Bharat Ratna, his violin and his handwritten letters
Where: Senapati Bapat Road
Timings: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
- Tribal Museum
Exploring the varied cultures of tribes in Maharashtra, this museum feeds the curiosity of researchers, tourists and cultural enthusiasts. Visitors are enchanted by the collection of tribal artefacts that have been collected from the Sahyadri and Gondwana regions of Maharashtra. Some of the objects exhibited include jewellery, black magic tools and musical instruments.
Must-see: Warli paintings and papier-mâché festival masks
Where: Queen’s Road
Timings: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Mahatma Phule Museum
This institution was constructed more than a century ago and was renamed after the 19th century social reformer only post-Independence. A vast collection of handicrafts, textile objects, oil paintings, armour and stone carvings can be found here. The museum also houses a library that maintains a collection of rare books and novels. Seminars and film screenings are occasionally held here as well.
Must-see: Mughal and Maratha period armour and the well opened by Mahatma Phule for people belonging to backward classes to use
Where: Ghole Road, Shivajinagar
Timings: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Blades of Glory Cricket Museum
Pune celebrates yet another landmark with this museum dedicated to the love of cricket. It was set up by Rohan Pate, a diehard cricket fan. The memorabilia includes a collection of bats signed by famous cricketers that include Ricky Ponting, Sir Donald Bradman and many others. The museum was inaugurated by Sachin Tendulkar and there is a special section devoted to him as well.
Must-see: 100 miniature bats denoting the century record made by Tendulkar, signed bat of Australian cricketer Sir Neil Harvey and signed personal cricket gear
Where: Swanand Society Lane 1, Sahakar Nagar 2
Timings: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railway
With an early obsession of collecting train models, founder B S Joshi, initially wanted to manufacture model trains. Instead, he propagated railway modelling as a hobby. The exhibition includes lampposts, signals, flyovers and the miniature trains running through an entire city. Be sure to eat at the railway-themed restaurant run by the museum!
Must-see: A sound-and-light show of the model train running through a miniature city
Where: Karve Road, Kothrud
Timings: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
- Gandhi National Memorial Society
The Aga Khan Palace holds a special place when it comes to the history of the Indian Independence. The palace is also where Kasturba Gandhi was held captive which led to her demise. Her samadhi can be found here. The museum also hosts a shop that deals in khadi and handloomed textiles.
Must-see: Picture gallery and Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi’s samadhi
Where: Nagar Road, Yerwada
Timings: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
- National War Museum
This unique war museum makes its visitors proud by its impressive collection of arms, uniforms and mementos. The museum also exhibits the journey and the achievements of the Indian army all the way from World War I up to the Kargil War through a 15-minute video.
Must-see: MIG 23 BN Jet Fighter used during the Kargil War and the replica of INS Trishul which served in the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971
Where: Prince of Wales Drive, Ghorpadi
Timings: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Tilak Museum
Through this museum, we get the unique opportunity to connect with the noted social reformer and freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak. Poems written by him in Sanskrit while he was just a school boy are kept on display. Various photographs of Gandhi bowing down to Tilak’s dead body and his parents around Pune are some of the astonishing things to see here.
Must-see: Tilak’s handprints on his genealogical table and a replica of the Mandalay jail and his study
Where: Kesari Wada
Timings: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Cover Image courtesy : Blades of Glory
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