The Indian city of Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, has a number of museums and galleries which are worth visiting. Here are details of just five of them.
1. The Nehru Centre (Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai)
Mumbai’s Nehru Centre was constructed in the 1970s and includes Nehru Planetarium, the Nehru Centre Art Gallery, a Culture Wing, and the Discovery of India Exposition.
The Nehru Planetarium is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday, (although it is closed on some public holidays). There are usually four shows each day: two in Hindi, one in Marathi and one in English – check the Nehru Centre website for further details. There are also a number of telescopes outside of the planetarium, through which you can watch the skies during major astronomical events.
Regular exhibitions of works by young artists are held at the Nehru Art Gallery, whilst the Culture Wing is used as a venue for dance, music and drama performances.
The Discovery of India Exposition includes more than 50,000 exhibits, which are displayed within 14 galleries. The exposition tells the story of the history of Indian achievements and its exhibits include works of art, photographs and audio-visual displays.
Image: Art Poskanzer
2. The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (91 A, Rani Baug, Veer Mata Jijbai Bhonsle Udyan, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Marg, Byculla East, Mumbai)
The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum was originally known as the Victoria & Albert Museum, and opened to the public in 1872, making it Mumbai’s oldest museum. Its name was changed in 1975 in order to honour one of its founders.
The museum’s collection consists of examples of Indian fine and decorative arts, and is displayed within the following themed galleries: the Industrial Arts Gallery; the 19th Century Paintings Gallery; the Origins of Mumbai Gallery; the Founders’ Gallery; the Kamalnayan Bajaj Special Exhibitions Gallery; and the Kamalnayan Bajaj Mumbai Gallery.
The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is open between 10 a.m and 5.30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It’s closed on Wednesdays and on public holidays.
3. Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya (19 Laburnum Road, Gamdevi, Mumbai).
Mani Bhavan, in Mumbai’s Laburnum Road, was the headquarters of Mahatma Gandhi between 1917 and 1934. This 2-storey building, which was owned by Gandhi’s friend, Shri Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri, has now been turned into a museum and research centre.
You can see the second floor room in which Gandhi lived and worked during his time in Bombay, together with a number of other exhibits, including a series of tableaux depicting scenes from Gandhi’s life, and photographs and documents relating to Gandhi. There is also a library which contains more than 50,000 books and periodicals, and an auditorium.
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya is open daily between 9.30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
4. The National Gallery of Modern Art (Sir Cowasji Jahangir Public Hall, M G Road, Fort Mumbai).
Mumbai’s National Gallery of Modern Art opened to the public in 1996. Its permanent collection includes works by Indian artists, such as F. N. Souza, Akbar Padamsee and K. K. Hebbar, as well as a number of works by Picasso. It also holds regular temporary exhibitions.
The National Gallery of Modern Art (Mumbai) is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m, Tuesday to Sunday. It’s closed on Mondays and on public holidays. Admission fees apply.
5. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Previously known as the Prince of Wales Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is Mumbai’s largest museum. It’s situated in South Mumbai and the beautiful building in which it’s housed was designed by George Wittet, who also designed the nearby Gateway of India.
The museum contains more than 50,000 exhibits, including works of art, old coins and other archaeological finds. There is also a natural history section and a new textile gallery.
Image: Elroy Serrao
A number of airlines operate flights to Mumbai, and there are plenty of hotels and guesthouses within the city.