Museums have always attracted me since my college days. I love to explore and read and check out the objects and paintings that are on display. Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum surprised me with its classy interiors and the number of objects they have on display. In terms of size, the Prince of Wales Museum is definitely larger, but Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum is no less. The moment you enter the museum the interior décor of the museum captures your attention. The long hall of the museum makes it look grand right away.
The museum is closed on Wednesdays and certain public holidays. So, make sure you don’t visit the museum on public holidays. The museum also offers pay and park facilities within the compound for two-wheel vehicles, cars and buses. It is also wheelchair friendly and has ramps and hydraulic lifts to access the first floor. The curatorial team of the museum is very friendly and supportive and provides free public tours on weekends. So, if you are visiting the museum on weekends you can ask for it. You can also check out the timings of free public tours on the official website page.
Apart from the museum building, there is an open space behind the museum (Museum Plaza) which you can access. You can explore some open painting galleries here after exploring the museum. Museum Plaza offers a unique way to the visitors to explore art and culture in a natural environment. I loved the open art gallery concept where I can appreciate the art and nature at the same time.
I also got the opportunity to participate in a lecture ‘Marathi Katta’ by Amol Palekar. He is an eminent actor, director, painter, and producer of Hindi and Marathi films and theatre. This was a bonus for me as I am a great fan of his work. Palekar has won six State Awards for Best Actor and many of his films have fetched him critical acclaim. For events like this, the museum has transformed a dilapidated cottage into Museum’s Education Centre. Here, the museum organises lectures, seminars, and audiovisual interactions. The cottage has state-of-the-art equipment for effective communication and retains its Victorian interior décor.
Right next to it is the Museum Shop. Here you can buy books, diaries, postcards, paperweight clocks, fridge magnets, coasters, t-shirts and key chains. The designs take inspiration from the Museum’s collection which makes it unique. If you want to take a quick bite, the Museum Café is here to offer a selection of snacks. The café provides tea, coffee, cold beverages and Wi-Fi connection.
The East Garden of the Museum is a great outdoor venue and the grand Gas Lamp immediately commands your attention. This Gas Lamp used to stand at the Metro Cinema cross section in Bombay. The lamp was erected in the honour of Sir Seymour Fitzgerald, Governor of Bombay by the Esplanade Committee in 1867. You also get to see the 6th Century Elephanta Elephant statue.
Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum is very active and their official website allows you to know their upcoming events, programs and workshops that they conduct here. The museum is also coming up with ‘Friends of the Museum’ program where you can become a part of the museum. With this program, you enjoy the exclusive member benefits and privileges and promote the future development of the museum.
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