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Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai

April 3, 2010

Near the Bazaargate of old Bombay stood the Officer’s quarters, which for sometime housed the BOMBAY MUSEUM which subsequently shifted to the Victoria and Albert Museum at Victoria Gardens, Byculla. It was the Museum of the  then Bombay presidency on the whole.

Victoria & Albert Museum is the oldest museum in Mumbai built in 1872. Now renamed as Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, after the social reformer who was also a medical practitioner of repute for his research on leprosy and in archaeology and was a prominent citizen of Bombay. He, together with a number of his colleagues and men of influence, conceived the idea of erecting a new building .

The 135-year-old Bhau Daji Lad Museum at Byculla Zoo has been restored by architect Vikas Dilawari working with National Trust for Arts and Culture Heritage (INTACH ). It had bagged the UNESCO Award of Excellence in 2005.

The museum split on two levels built in Italian Renaissance style, houses two levels. Level one houses the Industrial arts collection, which consists of the illustrious crafts of the sub-continient. Displayed in old wooden top-lit cases,  hand-outs on the side provide information of each craft on display.

Level2 is the city museum of Mumbai with archaeological relics, maps and photographs that relate directly to Mumbai’s history,developement and diverse communities.

As a city Museum, it may not be exhaustive, but charming it sure is. Also, outside and in the Zoo gardens you would find the famous Elephant and the original Kalaghoda Statue of King Edvard VII, the original namesakes for Elephanta Islands and the Kalaghoda precinct,respectively.

The most well-designed museum in the city, with well-designed informative display, planned circulation and carefully restored to the last detail, it is a gem that also shows off the history of the Bombay presidency to the Metropolis that it is today.- Must Visit.

Text-Swa, Photographs: Own + FB page, Wonderful pictures by AnushaYadav

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