Pune is known as the cultural and educational capital of Maharashtra. Right from musical events to plays, theatres to film festivals, a lot is regularly happening in this city. Apart from the rich cultural heritage, the city also holds historic importance. Pune was the city where young Shivaji was educated and trained under the able guidance of Dadoji Konddeo. It was the seat of power during the Peshwa era. Similarly great social reformers and educators like Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar to name a few lived and worked in Pune. In modern India, Indian Army’s Southern Command is headquartered in Pune.
If you want to introduce a city’s heritage to a child, it is important to explore places of historic and cultural importance. To explore and fully understand such rich heritage, it is important that we explore the museums of Pune.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
This is a museum that hosts the collections of Dr. Dinkar G Kelkar. It mostly has collections from the 18th and the 19th century. The museum has nearly 20,000 objects. There are a lot of items in the museum that were used in everyday life. The museum also holds an impressive collection of musical instruments, battle armor and weapons from the Maratha empire, door frames, ornaments and paintings.
Aga Khan Museum
Aga Khan Palace was the place where Gandhiji and Kasturbaji were kept under house arrest. The rooms used by them are now converted into a Museum. There are a few items used by Gandhiji and Kasturbaji, photographs and hand written letters from that period. As Kasturbaji died during the same period, her Samadhi too is housed in the Aga Khan Palace.
Southern Command War Memorial and Museum
The Southern Command War Memorial and Museum is something that children will like and learn a lot from. The War Memorial wall displays the names of all the soldiers martyred from Southern Command. The war memorial has some real fighter planes like MIG, tankers and guns on display. The museum also showcases the kind of uniforms that soldiers wear in different terrains, photographs, information about some important wars, winners of gallantry awards from Southern Command and the stories of their valor. The museum gives an insight into the lives and armaments of our soldiers.
FTII is where yesteryears Prabhat Studios was established. The erstwhile building of Prabhat Studios and some of their instruments etc are still preserved. The campus is huge and you will find a lot of places that hold memories of Prabhat Studio era. The museum showcases the ornaments, instruments, photos and clothing etc from the era of Prabhat Studios. Apart from that you can see the wisdom tree, a place where the illustrious alumni of FTII always found inspiration. The film and sound studios too can be visited, if permitted. The campus is also thrown open to the public in August. You can check the exact days on the FTII website.
Tribal Art Museum
The tribal art museum hosts the artwork and gives a glimpse of the culture of tribes from Maharashtra. There are 45 tribes in India and this museum showcases their culture, musical instruments, artwork, jewellery etc. The museum was established in 1965 and is located in the campus of Tribal Research and Training Institute. There are over 1350 exhibits here and this is a good way to introduce the melange of sub-cultures and identities that India is rich in, to our children.
Joshi Miniature Railway Museum
Joshi museum is a private museum that hosts miniature models of railways. It is a great place for children to learn about locomotives and know about the types of engines. This is a small museum as compared to the other museums but it is a fun place for small children.