Bhau Daji Lad Museum: A Visit To The Oldest Museum In Mumbai

 In Holidays, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Places To Visit, Travel

Museums are a time traveller machine without Quantum Physics. It transmits you through the different eras and ages. In a well-planned city, the museum functions as a cultural landmark and has a significant role in the city’s architecture. 

The peninsula of Mumbai is an abode for many museums that have preserved the history of several centuries. Some of these museums include Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mani Bhavan, the National Museum Of Indian Cinema, the National Gallery Of Modern Art, and the list goes on. 

It all started with the oldest museum in Mumbai famously known as Bhau Daji Lad Museum located in the vicinity of Jijamata Udyan. It is known for its magnificent architecture and is one of the historical landmarks of Mumbai.

So, without wasting any more time let’s take a seat and transmit back to the era of Indian history. 

About Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum In Mumbai

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Nestled in the vicinity of Jijamata Udyan, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai is located in Bycualla. It was established in the year 1872 as a treasure house of the decorative and industrial arts. Bhau Daji Lad Museum has also been awarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award of Excellence in Cultural Conservation. 

This museum has housed centuries-old art and artefacts some of the most iconic artefacts including the Kala Ghoda Statue, the sculpture of the elephant that has been excavated from the sea near Elephanta Caves from which the name of Elephanta Caves has been derived, the manuscript of Hatim Taj which are as old as 17th century. 

Apart from all the art and artefacts the architecture of the Bhau Daji Lad Museum is one of it’s kind. The architecture of this oldest museum is no less than a palace.

History of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

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As per the history of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai, the idea of setting up a museum was mooted by Prince Albert in 1850 as the ‘Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations’ was to be held in London. The idea to build the museum was to exhibit India’s rich cultural tradition to the world. 

A committee was formed comprising  George Birdwood,  Bhau Daji Lad, and Jagannath Shunkersethto raise money for the construction of a new building for the museum. The foundation of the new building was laid in 1862. Many wealthy businessmen, historians, physicians, surgeons, secretaries, and philanthropists contributed to the building of the Bhau Daji Lad Museum.

The museum was finally opened on 2 May 1872 as The Victoria and Albert Museum, Bombay. After a century the museum was remanded the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in honour of the man on whose vision the museum was built.

Fun Fact: Formerly Known as the Victoria and Albert Museum a palindrome of V and A is welded into the railing. 

Exploring Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

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The two-storey building is an abode for many artefacts from all over the nation. These artefacts are one of the best artifacts presented by all the states from the 18th century. The King of Bidar invited craftsmen from Iran to design the Bidri artefacts, such as foot warmer.

The design element of the roof of the museum is an ode to the leader of the Jewish Community in Bombay, David Sassoon. Pottery installations were made by students of the School Of Art, Bombay in the 19th century. 

While visiting you could explore many arts international and national artists. The museum also has aboded various day-to-day artifacts of the royals and the common people. It has a magnificent collection of knives, daggers, and swords. The miniature idols of the people showcase their occupation, culture, and clothing style. 

This museum has housed centuries-old art and artefacts some of the most iconic artefacts including the Kala Ghoda Statue, the sculpture of the elephant that has been excavated from the sea near Elephanta Caves from which the name of Elephanta Caves has been derived, the manuscript of Hatim Taj which are as old as 17th century. 

How To Reach Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

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Mumbai is not only well-connected by local trains but roads also, therefore, how to reach Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is not a tough question to answer. The route to reach the museum is easily accessible by Local train as well as roads. 

By Rail

The nearest railway station to Bhau Daji Lad Museum is Bycualla Railway Station (Central Line) around 850 m. If you are coming from the Western Line then Mahalaxmi Railway Station is the nearest Railway station, it is around 2.8 km from Jijamata Udyan Mumbai

Via Road

Located in Jijamata Udyan Zoo Bycualla the roads to Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum are well-connected with other parts of the city. It is on NM Joshi Marg Road. 

Suggest Read: Madh Island Mumbai: Unplugged Music Of The Notorious Sea

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum Timings

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum timings are from 10:00 am to 05:30 pm. It is open on all days except Wednesday. However, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum is closed and is under construction. The estimated time for the opening of the museum is not yet clear.  

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum Ticket Price

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum ticket price is free of cost.

Hotels Near Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

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Source: momondo

Nestled in the heart of South Mumbai there are many hotels near Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, if you plan to stay near the museum it is advisable to pre-book your hotel to avoid last-minute hassle and save from breaking the bank. Following are some of the hotels near Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. 

  1. Treebo Trend Amber Imperial 
  2. Hotel Plaza Byculla
  3. Comfort Inn Heritage
  4. ITC Grand Central
  5. Itsy By Treebo
  6. Hotel Sagar
  7. Hotel Orient Regency

Restaurants Near Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

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Source: Justdial

There are many options of restaurants near Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. However, there is a restaurant in Jija Bai Udyan also known as The Museum Cafe.

Apart from that following are some of the curated restaurants near Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

  1. Burger King
  2. Persian Darbar
  3. Avenue 27 Kitchen and Bar
  4. Hotel Ajay Palace
  5. Lion Heart Lounge
  6. Hotel Sadanand
  7. New Sunrise Restaurant
  8. Mumbai Darbar

Places To Visit Near Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

Located in South Mumbai there are many nearby places to visit near Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum that you can visit. 

1. Jija Mata Udyan

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Located near Bycually Railway Station Jijamata Udyan Mumbai is popularly known as Ranichi Baug (Queen’s Garden) and sprawls approximately 53 acres. The ambiance created in the zoo is more for educational purposes. Jijamata Udyan Zoo Mumbai hosts many species of animals and birds including preserved and endangered species. 

The latest attraction of this zoo is the Penguins. The total number of penguins in the zoo is 18, comprising nine male and nine female flightless birds. Here you could also see tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, hippopotamus monkeys, deer, parrots, turtles, cranes, and so on.

2. Nehru Science Centre

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Nehru Science Centre is around 4.1 km from Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Located in Worli it is one of the largest Science centres in India. This science centre is for all inquisitive minds who are fascinated with science as a subject apart from just theory. 

Nehru Science Center is spread across 8 acres the center has five major parts including Science Centre, Science Odyssey Film, Science On A Sphear, 3-D Science Show, and Motion Simulator. 

3. Haji Ali Dargah

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Haji Ali Dargah is 5 km from Bhau Daji Lad Museum and is one of the iconic mosques with Indo-Islamic architecture. Haji Ali Dargah is dedicated to a Sufi saint named Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari; he was one of the famous and wealthy merchants from Bukhara now Uzbekistan, who left everything, including wealth before he visited Mecca. After that, he explored places around the world and settled in Mumbai.

4. Marine Drive

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Marine Drive is around 7.4 km from Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Being one of the most iconic landmarks of Mumbai, Marine Drive known as the Queen’s Necklace, is one of the city’s most well-known Landmarks. 

It is the best location to experience stunning sunsets and to indulge in leisurely walks. Every day thousands of tourists assemble around the area to experience the exquisite views of the city’s skyline.

5. Mani Bhavan

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Mani Bhavan is around 4.9 km from Jijamata Udyan Zoo Mumbai. This two-storied building is where Gandhiji used to stay when he was in Mumbai. Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalya has many things related to Mahatma Gandhi including the collection of books, Gandhi’s spinning wheels, photographs, etc. Mani Bhavan also has a small auditorium and Gandhiji Room where he used to stay when he lived in Mumbai. The room has Gandhi’s spinning wheels, a hand fan, a study table, a stick, and other things related to him.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which railway station is near Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum?

Bycually Railway Station (Central Line) is the nearest railway station to Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum

Which is the oldest museum in Mumbai?

Bhau Daji Lad Museum is the oldest museum in Mumbai

What was Dr. Bhau Daji Lad the proponent of?

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad was the proponent of Widow remarriage and worked for the issue.

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