Don Bosco Museum: Asia’s Best Museum of Indigenous Cultures

 In Holidays, India, Meghalaya, Travel

If you want to understand the lifestyle of the entire northeastern region and the neighboring countries that border it, then visiting the Don Bosco Museum in Shillong should definitely be a part of your Meghalaya Packages.

Regarded as one of the finest museums of Asia and the largest museum of indigenous cultures, the Don Bosco Museum in Meghalaya will give you an insight into the history, way of life, languages, occupation, houses, and a lot more of all the tribes in the region without actually visiting all the places. This Museum in Meghalaya offers a one-stop view of all.

About the Don Bosco Museum


The Don Bosco Museum in Meghalaya is also known as the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures (DBCIC) as it is more than just a museum. Other than the museum, the other two distinct operational areas of this museum in Meghalaya are the research wing and the publication center, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Meghalaya.

DBCIC puts together studies and research on topics related to North East India’s traditional culture. It’s got a huge library(the Otto Hopfenmueller Library) right next to it, with lots of books on the region and enough space for study and research to really get the job done.

The third dimension of DBCIC is the publications on Culture and related themes. Over the last few years, DBCIC has published 12 publications and held various workshops, courses, and workshops.

In addition to the above-mentioned publications and cultural activities, visitors can also access information on native cultures through the use of multimedia devices such as touch-screens, plasma screens, computer screens, and documentaries.

DBCIC is a project of the Don Bosco Salesians of North East India. The aim of DBCIC is to develop professional facilities for the protection and promotion of many beautiful and varied indigenous cultures in the region, particularly in India, and in connection with indigenous cultures worldwide.

Apart from being the finest museum, this seven-storey museum in Meghalaya adds charm to the daunting skyline of Shillong. The Don Bosco Museum building in itself is a top tourist attraction in Shillong with its unique hexagonal structure.

The DBCIC is an architectural pride of Shillong and is a masterpiece by Vivek Varma. The structure of the building is really strong, robust and easy to move around. The honeycomb hexagonal structure was a good idea as it perfectly utilizes the spaces and corners of the building. It also allows a lot of natural light and fresh air to enter the rooms and galleries.

There are over 18 galleries in the Don Bosco Museum, each with a different theme, systematically distributed on the 7 floors. If you want to explore the museum thoroughly, it would take half a day, but tourists mostly spend 2-3 hours exploring these galleries.

The Galleries of Don Bosco Museum in Meghalaya


Exploring the different galleries of the Don Bosco museum in Meghalaya is definitely one of the top things to do in Shillong, as it showcases the rich culture and heritage of Northeast India.

  1. Introductory & pre-History Gallery: Begin your exploration by learning about the region’s history and prehistoric roots. Discover the early life and culture of the people in a visually engaging display.
  2. Land & People Gallery: This gallery presents an insightful look at the diverse landscapes and the different communities residing in the Northeast. Explore how geography has influenced the way people live.
  3. Religion & Culture Gallery: Dive into the vibrant religious practices and cultural traditions of the Northeast. Witness the spiritual diversity that shapes the lives of the people here.
  4. Language Gallery: Delve into the linguistic diversity of the region, where numerous languages are spoken. Learn about the scripts and writing systems used by various communities.
  5. Neighbour’s Gallery: Discover the connections between Northeast India and its neighboring countries. Explore the cross-cultural influences and historical ties that bind the region.
  6. Agriculture Gallery: Explore the agricultural practices that sustain the people of the Northeast. Gain insight into traditional farming methods and the importance of agriculture in the region’s economy.
  7. Alcoves Gallery: This gallery offers intriguing insights into the unique aspects of the Northeast’s culture and heritage. It’s a place to discover hidden gems and get detailed information within its 10 sections.
  8. Art Gallery: Immerse yourself in the artistic expressions of the region. Marvel at the intricate artworks that showcase the creativity of the people.
  9. Basketry Gallery: Witness the exquisite craftsmanship of basketry, a traditional art form that plays a vital role in the daily lives of the people in the Northeast.
  10. Costumes and Ornaments Gallery: Admire the vibrant and diverse traditional clothing and jewelry that adorn the people of the region, reflecting their culture and identity.
  11. Fishing, Hunting & Gathering Gallery: Learn about the traditional methods of fishing, hunting, and gathering that have sustained communities for generations in this resource-rich region. 
  12. Housing Pattern Gallery: Explore the various architectural styles and housing patterns that are shaped by the climate, culture, and materials available in different parts of the Northeast. 
  13. Traditional Technology Gallery: Discover the innovative technologies and tools that have been used by the people of the Northeast for daily life, agriculture, and more, in this most loved gallery by tourists in the Don Bosco Museum.
  14. Musical Instruments Gallery: Experience the melodies and rhythms of the region through a collection of traditional musical instruments that are both fascinating and culturally significant.
  15. Weapons Gallery: Gain insights into the martial traditions of the Northeast and the weapons used for self-defense and in cultural practices.
  16. Photo Gallery: View captivating images that provide a visual narrative of the region’s history and contemporary life, offering a window into the past and present.
  17. Skywalk Gallery: Get a bird’s-eye view of the Don Bosco Museum and its surroundings. Enjoy the stunning panoramic vistas of Shillong from this unique vantage point.
  18. North East Space Centre: Explore the unique exhibit showcasing the achievements and developments in space and technology in the Northeast, highlighting the region’s contributions to the field.

These galleries at the Don Bosco Museum offer an engaging and educational journey through the cultural, historical, and artistic tapestry of Northeast India.

Other Information of Don Bosco Museum


Food Court

After exploring the galleries of the Don Bosco Museum in Meghalaya, you must visit the food court in the museum premises, as it serves some of the most popular northeastern delicacies. You can treat your taste buds with Pork Chops, Bamboo Shoots, and the famous Raja Mirchi of Northeast, which ranks among the top hottest chilies in the world, at this food court. You can also treat yourself to exquisite dishes from other parts of the Northeast like Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, etc.

Since this museum in Meghalaya is located in the capital city of Shillong, you can also try some Meghalayan delicacies like Jadoh, Tungrymbai, etc. Other than this, you can also enjoy traditional Indian dishes, Continental and Chinese dishes at a fairly reasonable price.

Souvenir Shop

Take the traditional handicrafts of the Northeast as a souvenir for you and your loved ones, which you can buy at the souvenir shop located on the premises of the museum. It is a one-stop shop for all the traditional items across the Northeast. If not, you can also enjoy shopping in Shillong’s Police Bazaar, located just 3 km away from the museum.

  • Timings

The Don Bosco Museum is open from Monday to Saturday [Sunday closed]

  1. Summer (Feb. 01-Nov. 30) – 09:30 am to 05:30 pm [Last Entry at 4:30 pm]
  2. Winter (Dec. 01 to Jan. 31)09:30 am to 04:30 pm [Last Entry at 3:30 pm]
  • Entry Tickets
  1. Adult (Indians): INR 100
  2. Adult (Foreigners): INR 200
  3. Students (Indians): INR 50
  4. Students (Foreigners): INR 150

Frequently Asked Questions For Don Bosco Museum

What is Don Bosco Museum, and where is it located?

The Don Bosco Museum is a renowned cultural museum situated in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, India. It stands as a significant attraction in the Northeast region. It is located in Mawlai Phudmawri area of the city of Shillong, which is just 3 kms from the city centre.

What does the Don Bosco Museum exhibit?

The Don Bosco Museum exhibits the diverse and rich culture of the Northeastern states of India. It features a wide range of galleries showcasing aspects like art, history, indigenous traditions, and more.

What are the operating hours and admission fees for the Don Bosco Museum?

The museum’s operating hours are typically from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. As for admission fees, adults are usually charged around 100 Indian Rupees, with discounts for students and children.

Are guided tours available at the Don Bosco Museum?

Yes, guided tours are available at the Don Bosco Museum. Visitors can opt for guided tours to gain a deeper understanding of the exhibits and the cultural significance they hold in the Northeastern context. For more information on guided tours visit –

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