Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

There was a lecture by Dr. Kavita Singh, Art Historian attached to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The topic was ‘The Future of Ethnographic Museums’ and I don’t quite know what made me decide to attend. Dr. Singh’s lecture was very informative, only I could not relate much to the topic.

Prince Albert on the pedestal flanked by two lovely ladies; a bust of David Sassoon
I enjoyed the visit to the Industrial Arts Gallery on the ground floor of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. It used to be called Victoria & Albert Museum after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A tall statue of Prince Albert on a pedestal flanked by two lovely women is placed in the centre of the hall. There are busts of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert behind the tall statue. There is also one of David Sassoon in front of the main statue.

The ceiling with a chandelier at the entrance
As I walked from the left, I saw glass cases filled with different wares created across India as well as some foreign lands.

There were swords and shields made of iron wrought with gold and silver. This work is called Koftagiri. Bison horns were used in making different ornamentation like lampshades and more.

The main hall ceiling. Doesn't it look gorgeous?
There were Ivory works from Japan & China; metal figurines from Nepal & Tibet. Lacquer ware – items made of lac looked amazing. I think these were from Kashmir.

The Art Gallery & a view of the first floor gallery
There were works from Ceylon (today called Sri Lanka), Dacca, Burma and more.

Intricate stone carving of Sun!
The papier mache work was very attractive – hand painted with vegetable colours. While there were pieces from South India, those from Kashmir were the best.

Model of Bidri Craftsman
Bidri work is black in colour and is made from an alloy of tin and copper. It has the advantage of never fading. Hooka bases, betel nut containers, jug and spittoon were some of the pieces on display. The Surahi was lovely.

A model of a weaver's home
There were brass lamps collected since the Harappan period (3300-1300 BC).

A decorate hooka
I will leave you to check out the rest of the items on display instead of making this a lesson in History.

Sandalwood carving
I remember visiting Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad a few years back. In fact, I have been there at least three times. Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is the only other museum I have been to. While you cannot compare the Mumbai City Museum with the collection in Hyderabad, it was quite an interesting visit.

One of the beauties on the side of Prince Albert's statue
I did not have the time to check out the first floor and the rest of the place as it was closing time. I am sure I will be visiting the place once again pretty soon.

On the way to the first floor
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
91 A, Rani Baug,
Veer Mata Jijabai Bhonsle Udyan,
Byculla East,
Phone: +91 2373 1234

Visiting hours: 10 am-5.30 pm
Closed on Wednesdays

Rs. 10 for adults
Rs. 5 for under 12
Rs. 100 for foreigners

1 comment:

  1. wow! Looking forward to visiting in person someday.
    Thanks for the tour.