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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum
Mumbai and surrounding
Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions
Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Museum in Mumbai is considered one of the best not only in the state of Maharashtra but in all India. Paintings of diverse centuries, miniatures of the Mughal Empire times, porcelain and arms – here is an incomplete list of all the historical collections.

This treasury is famous under its former name – «Prince of Wales Museum of Western India». At the beginning of the 20th century, a group of wealthy citizens of Bombay (that was the name of the city at that time), currently Mumbai, initiated the creation of the museum. A semicircular piece of land was granted for the construction of the museum and the garden. It was the Prince of Wales, the future King George V, who laid the foundation stone in 1905.

The magnificent building itself can stand for the key exhibit of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu: it was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet in 1909. His project won the design competition. Of course, it did – the concept of the building seemed sublime! The world-known Taj Mahal in Agra and the Gol Gumbaz Mausoleum in Bijapur served as inspiration for the structure in the Indo-Saracenic style with the elements of European architecture. The museum building looks terrific from the outside, but the inside is no less impressive. Its beautiful octagonal wooden arched pavilion, artistically introduced into the central lounge is especially remarkable. Initially, the pavilion was a part of the «Wada» house of the 18th century, a traditional mansion for the Marathas, the aboriginal people of the Maharashtra state.

The construction was completed by 1914. But these weren’t the best times to visit museums. Initially, during the First World War, the museum palace served as a Children's Welfare Centre and a military hospital.

Only in January 1922, the building was opened for the general public for its intended purpose.

Today, the museum is featured in the cultural itinerary of Mumbai. Among its neighbors, within walking distance, are the National Gallery of Modern Art, the Wellington fountain of the 19th century, and the Jehangir Art Gallery.

Address: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Published by

Diane Mikheeva

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