Situated in Mumbai, the Prince of Wales Museum
is a magnificent monument which is considered to be one of the most important
heritage structures in the city. Prince of Wales laid the foundation of this
structure on 11th November 1905 and later in the year 1922 it was converted
into a museum. You will be fascinated by the sprawling portico of the Museum
which is adorned with lush green meadow and a garden. The edifice represents a
perfect fusion of Mughal, Indian and British architectural styles and houses almost
50,000 wonderful artefacts pertaining to India’s rich past. Your attention will
be grasped by a well-defined latticework and embedded colourful stones on the
walls of the museum.
The museum has now been renamed as
‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay’ and is included in the list of
India’s most famous museums. The structure houses a wide collection of artworks
of the past, artefacts and sculptors. A visit to this museum will for sure
prove to be an enriching and insightful experience. Recently, the museum under
a massive renovation during which many new sections and galleries were included
in the museum. The newly added establishments exhibit artworks pertaining to
Hindu Gods, traditional costumes and textiles, and many other things related to
Indian culture. The museum is indeed a
perfect demonstration of India’s rich culture of the past.
More on Prince of Wales museum
History of Prince of Wales museum
The idea of building the Prince of Wales
Museum was proposed in 1904 in order to celebrate the visit of King George V to
India. The foundation of this edifice was laid down in 1905 and the first brick
was put in place by the Prince himself. Later a piece of land was granted by
the Government of Bombay on 1st March 1907 to allow the construction
of this museum.
The mastermind behind the design of this
monument was the Scottish architect, George Wittet. The construction was
finally completed by 1915. During the First World War, this museum was used as
a military hospital and a welfare centre for children. The museum was finally
inaugurated by Lady Lloyd, the wife of George Lloyd on 10th January
This monument is now recognized as one of the
Grade I Heritage Buildings in Mumbai and was also awarded Urban Heritage Award
in 1990 by Bombay Chapter of the Indian Heritage Society. To honour the bravery
of Marathas, the name of this museum was changed to ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji
Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya’ in later years.
Architecture of the
Built over an area of about 12,000 sq. meters,
the museum complex is a perfect illustration of British engineering and
craftsmanship. The architecture of the museum is a combination of 15th
and 16th century Islamic and Gujarati architectural styles, with
splendid English brickworks. The Indo-Saracenic style of this monument is also
heavily influenced by the Mughal style which can be seen from a brilliantly
positioned dome on the top of the edifice. The beauty of the museum is further
enhanced by the lush green lawn located at its façade. The museum is divided into
three sections namely Archaeology section, Natural history section and Art
The main building of the structure is
constructed from Kurla Basalt and buff trachyte Malad stone. The three-storied
museum has a central concourse that is covered by a dome. There are many other
smaller domes surrounding the main dome and the interior of the structure is
adorned with railings, pillars and balconies that represent 18th-century
architectural style. After the renovation of the museum in 2008, new establishments
have been added to the complex including a conservation studio, five new
galleries, a visiting exhibition gallery and a seminar room. The museum also
houses a library that has a good collection of ancient books and scripts.
Collection at the
The Prince of Wales museum houses a wide
variety of artefacts and showpieces that are of national importance. The
artefacts here belong to several countries such as Tibet, Nepal and other
eastern countries. There is also a beautiful collection of 2000 miniature
paintings that hail from various popular school of art and culture in the
country. In addition to this, there are ancient art and sculptures displayed in
the art gallery of the museum. Decorative artworks made from metal, ivory, wood
and jade also form an important part of the museum collection.
The museum also comprises of ancient artefacts
that date back to 2000 BC Indus Valley civilization and also houses a few of
the remnants from Gupta and Maurya period. The Natural History section is known to house several mammals,
reptiles, amphibians, fish and birds.
A division in the museum is also dedicated to
Indian arms and armour that exhibits several types of weapons, shields, swords,
and many other objects used during warfare.
The walls of the museum are also decorated with European oil paintings
as well. The museum organizes lectures and exhibitions on various interesting
topics on a regular basis.
Tips For Visiting the museum
you want, you can opt for an audio guide while touring the museum. It is a good
way to enrich your knowledge about the museum and the information is provided
in English and many other languages.
2. The museum also houses a fancy cafeteria
where you can satisfy your appetite. You can even shop for a few souvenirs at
the museum shop.
How to Reach Prince of Wales museum?
The museum is located very close to both the
major terminal of Mumbai, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Churchgate. You
can walk to the museum from here and it will hardly take 20 minutes to reach
You can hire an auto-rickshaw from any part of
the city to reach the museum. Alternatively, you can take bus no 14, 69, 101,130
from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and bus no 70, 106, 122, 123, 132, 137 from
Churchgate to reach the museum.