Today, when it’s all a mad rush, finding ways to bond as a family is difficult. We live today bent over our smartphones, while our kids are playing on their Xbox. Somehow, at the dinner table, we lose the simple pleasures of life, like sharing a few laughs. But we can’t blame anyone then. It’s only the times in which we live.
Mumbai as a city is much more than its malls, beaches and skyscrapers. The city boasts of a rich culture and heritage which has been preserved for decades in museums. If you are a resident of Mumbai or a tourist with kids then, you must visit these museums to learn about Mumbai’s rich culture and heritage.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
This museum was formerly known as the Prince of Wales museum which is located at the Mahatma Gandhi Road at Fort. It was designed by a person known as George Wittet. This museum was built in the early 20th century. It is a place which is apt for people who love art, archaeology and natural history. There are artifacts from the period of Guptas, Mauryas, Chalukyas, Indus Valley civilizations etc. over here. The museum is renowned for harboring artifacts from the Mughal Empire, as well as rare heirlooms from Europe, Nepal, Tibet, Japan, and China. The best things to see here are the Indus Valley civilization artifacts, the Coin Museum and the Indian Miniature painting collection. The museum is open on all the days from 10am to 6pm. Keep aside a good 2 to 2.5 hours to cover the entire museum and to enjoy all the artifacts.
If you admire Mahatma Gandhi, then this place should be your abode. At the Mani Bhawan, you will get a firsthand experience of Gandhiji’s transition from childhood to adulthood. There is an array of his personal items which are displayed here and there is also a representation of how Mumbai (then Bombay) was run under the British Raj. The best things to see here are the letters to Adolf Hitler and Franklin D Roosevelt and the tributes from Ho Chi Minh and Einstein. The museum isn’t very huge so an hour should be more than enough to cover everything. It is open on all the days from 9.30am to 6pm. Mani Bhavan is located at Gamdevi, Mumbai and is very close to Grant Road station.
National Gallery of Modern Art
If you are an art lover and you want to inculcate this interest in your kid then, this is the best place to be at. This art gallery was established half a century ago and it hosts over 17,000 works of art. The best exhibits to look at are Pablo Picasso’s works, the very famous Egyptian artifacts such as mummies, statues etc. and the Raja Ravi Varma paintings. An hour should be good enough to look around the art gallery. It’s open all days from 11am to 6pm except Monday and National holidays. The art gallery is at M.G. Road, Fort.
Bhau Daji Lad Museum
This museum is a combination of old and modern exhibits. There are some fun and educational programs which are arranged here in the museum. But, you need to keep aside at least 4 hours in hand as there is a vast collection of exhibits which you may end up missing due to lack of time. The museum was formerly known as the Victoria and Albert museum. The major focus is on the culture of Mumbai and it has the most beautiful interiors that you would have seen in a colonial building. The best things to see here are the room of David Sassoon who was an opium trader, the models of traditional games which are on the first floor and many other such interesting artifacts. The visiting hours are from 10am to 6pm from Thursday to Tuesday. Set aside an hour to delve into this interesting museum. It is located at Byculla East, Mumbai.
CST Heritage Gallery and Railway Museum
If you’re intrigued by the CST train station then you are going to love their heritage gallery. Bombay was India’s first city to get trains — and the wealthy history is well documented as model trains, ancient tickets, the wonderful structure itself. The best attraction of the place is the General Manager’s wide, wooden chair, the old trains with green engines and red coaches and the old brass bell. You need to plan your visit to this museum as it accessible to the public from only 3pm to 5pm on weekdays. Getting there isn’t a task as it is located at the CST station at the backside of the ticket window known as Star Chambers.
In today’s time when gadgets have taken over almost everything in our lives; places like these revive and refresh our minds plus we get to learn a number of new things. A great idea would be to tag your children around for them to experience the rich culture and heritage of our country.
Great list, saving this for later when the world is safe to step out of our homes. Meanwhile, I am taking my kids on virtual tours to India museums and other attractions through Google. We spend around one hour every day checking out different places in India. Hope this helps other parents too.
My family is planning a week-long holiday trip to Mumbai in May. We have Kidzania, Gateway of India, Marine Drive and Elephanta Caves on our sightseeing list. I wanted to take my kids to a museum also but was not sure which were the good ones. Your recommendation comes at the right time. Bhau Daji Lad Museum sounds interesting!