Having been ill with ear ache for the whole of the previous week, I suggested to Mr Jules that visiting a museum would be a nice, calming and cultured way to spend a Saturday afternoon. So it was with this in mind that we set off in the car to visit the Prince of Wales Museum in South Mumbai. Or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya as it is more catchily known as these days.
|The exterior of the building, surrounded by lush greenery - rare to find in Bombay
|Images from the Natural History section - once majestic animals
Of more interest to me was the collection of Decorative Art objects in jade, wood, ivory, metal and textiles, described as 'magnificent' by the museum curators. I have to say, they weren't a patch on the displays at the Victoria & Albert Museum back home in London, but they weren't bad. The selection of art originating from all parts of India was also interesting - some of it gaudy, some of it naive, some intricate, some very very beautiful.
As is always the case, Mr Jules and I never seem to be able to go anywhere without some sort of drama. Today, it happened to be schoolkids. Hundreds (maybe thousands!) of schoolkids. Schoolkids emerging out of every crevice of of the building, marching through every room, filling every stairwell, sitting on every seat. Every corner we turned they were there. And then some of the school girls started to bet each other that they could speak to us. So then they started shouting 'NAMASTE!!!' (welcome) every time they saw us (which was every two minutes), stopping to put their hands together and then asking for me to photograph them. The noise these schoolchildren were making was riotous, disturbing my nice peaceful day and hurting my already overwhelmed eardrum. We tried to dodge them by going in the opposite direction or going to another part of the museum but there were so many of them it was impossible. In the end we just gave up and fled. We will go back another day when it's quieter! (why aren't schoolkids at home on Saturdays?)
|School children coming out of every crevice of the building
Some more images from the museum (I had to pay an extra 200 rupees on top of the entry fee to use my camera)
|A good collection of Blue and White Chinese pottery
|Nice bit of Chinoiserie
|Art at the Sir Ratan Tata Gallery (his statue in the foreground)
|Some very decent western art in the Ratan Tata Gallery (didn't note the artist of this one)
This is a very important book - the Panchatantra. - an ancient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables in verse and prose. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma. It is based on stories told from one generation to the next, including "animal fables that are as old as we are able to imagine". It is the most frequently translated book in India.
|Attractive slightly Gothic interior of the museum - a Grade 1 listed building completed in the early 1900s
|A statue of a Hindu Goddess
or.....Katie Price formerly known as Jordan?
|A guard having five minutes to himself
The Prince of Wales Museum
(Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya)
159/61 Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Fort, Mumbai 400 023.
Telephone Nos.: 22844484 | 22844519
VISITING HOURS Tuesday to Sunday,10:15a.m.to 6:00 p.m. Monday closed
The Museum remains completely closed on following days:
January 26, May 1, August 15, October 2
|ADMISSION (free for disabled visitors) fees
|Type of Visitor
|Visitors above 12 years of age
|College Students bearing their college identity card
|Child Visitors (between 5 and 12 years) and Students coming through schools
|International Visitors above 12 years of age (includes complimentary audio guide) (That's us)
|International Students bearing school / college identity card
|International Child Visitors between 5 to 12 years of age
|Group concession available