Mumbai is a cluster of islands lying on the western coast of India. The city has several historical monuments and museums that attract visitors from all over the world. Mumbai is the melting pot of cultures. It is home to Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and even Jews. The cultural diversity has made Mumbai one of the best destinations on the world tourism map.
A visit to this beautiful city will be incomplete without taking a walk into its history spanning several centuries. Mumbai has several museums devoted to arts and crafts. Some of them have changed their names over the years.
Do you enjoy astronomy? Visit the Nehru Planetarium at Worli to see astronomical presentations, documentaries and artistic works. The ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya’ (formerly ‘Prince of Wales Museum’) displays artworks, archaeological findings and artifacts. If you are interested in industrial arts and agriculture, the ‘Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum’ is worth visiting. By the way, it is the oldest museum in Mumbai.
Come and explore Mumbai’s celebrated museums.
Victoria & Albert Museum (currently Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum)
Built in 1872, The Victoria and Albert Museum (now known as Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum) is the oldest museum in the city. It is situated in Byculla East.
How to Reach: Take the bus or train from CST to reach the museum. If you are taking the train, get off at the Byculla railway station. If you are traveling from the central suburbs, take a train that halts at Byculla. If you are traveling from the western suburbs, you will have to get off at Dadar and then board a train to CST. Make sure that it halts at Byculla. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi or an auto rickshaw. The museum is open on all days except public holidays from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
The museum is inside the Byculla zoo complex. Inside the museum, there is a special gallery which shows the growth and development of Mumbai from a quaint fishing village to a world class metropolis. The exhibits give information about the traditional communities of Mumbai, their lifestyle and occupations.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is an important landmark in Mumbai. Its architecture is inspired by the Greco-Roman style. This museum houses rare photographs, archeological findings, maps and other relics. There is a garden surrounding the museum structure and it is currently known as ‘Rani Jijamata Udyan’ or ‘Rani Bagh’. The museum attracts tourists from all over the world interested in seeing the beautifully preserved artifacts of the nation.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum)
CSMVS is an important art and history museum in India. The museum building is a great example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. It is a Grade 1 Heritage building. It won the ‘2010 UNESCO Asia – Pacific Heritage Award’ for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
The museum aims to create awareness about India’s rich culture and heritage. It organizes fun-n-learn activities that will interest kids as well as adults. Visitors can buy artifacts and preserve them. Other highlights include rotating exhibits and cultural activities.
CSMVS grants free entry to school children every Tuesday. The museum has a gallery on natural history and Indus Valley Civilization. Children will particularly enjoy browsing the artefacts. In order to make learning more fun and interactive, the museum has introduced tools like touchscreen and audio visual aids. There are numerous stuffed birds, animals and reptiles in the natural history section. Children can take pictures with these animals. There is an in-house store which sells children’s books and traditional Indian toys.
Visiting hours: 10.15 pm to 6 pm.
Taraporewala Aquarium, Marine Drive
This landmark site at Marine Drive has attracted five generations of school children. The aquarium has a wide variety of fresh and salt water fish, jellyfish and eels.
Best time to visit Mumbai
Anytime is a good time to visit Mumbai. This being a coastal city, the weather is usually pleasant. Summers are not unbearably hot and winters are not awfully cold either.
Mumbai has a rainy season lasting four months. The rains will hit the city in the first or second week of June.