From the National Gallery of Modern Art, we decided to visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, which is located at close distance to the gallery. We followed the map we had and crossed the road; moving north, we found the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya on the right side.
This is one of Mumbai’s most valued, British Raj era structures. The building is astonishing with its beautiful architecture. It is constructed in the Indi-Saracenic style and the structural design of the museum is a merger of 15th to 16th century Gujarati and Islamic design, which is accentuated with the English brickwork. The architecture is further ornamented with a notable Mughal white dome, which gives a splendid appearance to the building. The museum is encircled by beautiful and lush-green gardens.
The building is designed as a museum, and its construction started in the year 1905 with the placement of the first stone of the building by the then Prince of Wales and hence, the museum is also called the Prince of Wales Museum.The entry to museum is chargeable at Rs.25 for natives. We entered the museum and observed that it is divided into three parts for Natural History section, Archaeology section and Art section.The museum was recently renovated to introduce a new but captivating miniature-painting gallery and a gallery comprising of contemporary art. We were amazed by the vast collections exhibited in the museum. There were impressive collectibles of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures, terracotta collectibles of the Indus Valley and some unique vicious-looking weaponry.
There was a range of art and artifacts from India, Tibet, Nepal and many other eastern countries, which are carefully preserved in the museum. We also found the decorative artworks made from wood, metal, jade and ivory displayed beautifully in the museum. Also, among the exhibits, was the miscellany from the ‘Maurya’ and ‘Gupta’ periods, which were brilliantly displayed in the museum.
We were fascinated to see the ‘Natural History’ section where there was a collection of reptiles, mammals, amphibians, birds, and fishes. There was an outdoor cafeteria where we spent a lot of time cherishing the precious artifacts that we witnessed at the end of the visit.