Mumbai is a city that has risen out of the seas and has proved itself to be resilient time and again, despite many challenges. It is also a very integral part of Indian history – and the only way to truly appreciate its strengths is by a visit to the Museums in Mumbai.
The city has several museums – not all are worthy of a visit – not because their exhibits are not important, but rather that their upkeep has a lot lacking. At the same time, there are a few museums of Mumbai that are gems – in terms of their exhibits and presentation alike.
These museums of Mumbai have been listed in this travel guide to Mumbai.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya / Prince of Wales Museum
One of the most-appreciated museums in Mumbai as well as India, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya offers a treasure-trove of artefacts collected from across India and across centuries.
The artefacts in this Mumbai museum are beautifully organized in specific exhibits; informative brochures and strategically placed labels provide detailed information on the exhibits; and audio guides are available to further enhance your experience.
The museum is divided into Galleries across 3 levels and include Sculptures, Decorative Art, Miniature Paintings, Textiles, Natural History and a collection of Chinese & Japanese Antiquities.
Most visitors who reviewed this Mumbai museum recommended the buying of a Photography pass. The fee is nominal for hand-held cameras and mobile cameras.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya was formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum and is housed within a building that dates back to the early 20th Century. It is located on the Mahatma Gandhi Road in the Kala Ghoda Art precinct.
Other Mumbai museums near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya include the Jehangir Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Modern Art.
Bhau Daji Lad Museum / Victoria & Albert Museum
The oldest museum in Mumbai, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum is a place where architecture and historical heritage meet to create one of the most enriching experiences of being in Mumbai. This is one museum, where you can get to know, exactly how Mumbai got transformed from the initial 7 islands to the mesmerising and energetic coastal city of today.
Most guided sightseeing tours of Mumbai include a visit to the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, which was one of the rare museums of India to be housed in a building built originally for its use.
Its architecture in itself is very unique and Victorian and includes railings, iron palisades, arched supports, and Corinthian capitals and columns that were shipped from London. A walk through the museum for its architecture itself is worth every minute of your time.
The exhibits, which represent the 18th to 20th century Mumbai, are the icing on the cake. The exhibits of the Bhau Daji Lad Museum are beautifully organized and displayed across 6 galleries – 19th Century Paintings Gallery, Industrial Arts Gallery, The Founders Gallery, Origins of Mumbai Gallery, Kamalnayan Bajaj Mumbai Gallery, and the Kamalnayan Bajaj Special Exhibitions Gallery.
Each gallery has been skilfully organized to give you an enriching experience.
The Bhau Daji Lad Museum is located in Byculla East, less than 2 km from the Byculla East Station. It is within the Byculla Zoo complex and a visit to the two can be easily combined.
Most Guided Sightseeing tours of Mumbai include a visit to the Bhau Daji Lad Museum and the Byculla Zoo too.
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
From the outside and its name, one would expect only the patriotically and historically-inclined persons to be interested in the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum in Mumbai.
However, just step inside and your entire perception of this Mumbai Museum gets transformed within seconds.
Yes, it was once the home of Gandhi Ji when he was in Mumbai or Bombay as the city was known as at that time. With his passing, it was transformed into a museum in his honour – and it is not a simple museum housing his personal artefacts. Instead it is a full-blown museum that brings alive the key happenings of the freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi with life-size sculptures and art pieces.
You can also see models of his ashram, a collection of varied types of chakhras or Spinning Wheels, and many photographs of Gandhi ji as he travelled across India, gaining momentum for the freedom struggle. Mani Bhavan also includes a library and an auditorium, where films on Gandhi ji and videos of his speeches are regularly shown.
The museum is located on Laburnum Road in Gamdevi locality, close to the ISCKON Chowpatty Temple. A visit to both the attractions can be planned for the same day. The Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum in Mumbai is also included in almost all Guided Sightseeing Tours of Mumbai.