In the ever-buzzing city of Mumbai in Maharashtra, there are many interesting museums to visit. And one such must-visit museum is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum. Officially known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and also called by its former name, Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, this museum houses thousands of historical, artistic, and cultural artefacts from India and abroad. One of India’s finest museums, it was established during the British colonial rule to welcome the then-Prince of Wales, George V, and boasts a marvellous architecture. Its location in the scenic south Mumbai area adds to its charm and allure. As a heritage building listed in the Grade I category, it welcomes millions of visitors each year. Fringed by serene palm trees and landscaped gardens, it should be on every visitors’ itinerary. To know more, check out our guide to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, Mumbai.
Things to do/ highlights
View the magnificent artefact collections
The museum has a vast collection of artefacts that number more than 50,000. Displayed in distinct sections such as natural history, art, archaeology, forestry, geology, maritime heritage, and more, visitors can spend almost an entire day viewing the magnificent collection of the museum. Must-see artefacts here include a Bahubali statue from the ninth century, a terracotta figure from the fifth century, a Shiva statue from the sixth century and the personal armour of Emperor Akbar from the fifteenth century. Artefacts and relics from ancient Indian kingdoms of Mauryas, Guptas, and more are displayed along with historical items from other countries. Visitors should also check out the exhibit on the coins of ancient India.
Browse through the beautiful artwork in the museum galleries
Numerous galleries housing priceless artwork are also situated in the museum. Paintings, textiles, sculptures, antique coins, folios, and more are displayed in various art galleries. Must-see artwork at the museum includes folios from a 17th century Ramayana and an illustrated manuscript of Anwar-i-Suhayli from the 16th century. Galleries filled with oil paintings by Europeans masters, textiles from across Asia, miniature paintings from ancient India, intricate sculptures from Buddhism and Hinduism, Indus Valley figurines, and more can be admired here.
Admire the stunning architecture of the museum building
Just like the beautiful artefacts that it houses, the museum building itself is quite gorgeous too. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic architecture style in the early 20th century by Geroge Wittet, a renowned British architect. It fits in very well with other stunning buildings of that era surrounding it and has been honoured with the ‘UNESCO Asia - Pacific Heritage Award’. Its exterior consists of a majestic local Kurla basalt and russet hued trachyte Malad stone. It has a massive dome set upon a building comprising three floors.
Where to eat
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Looking out to the lush green and manicured gardens of the museum is the museum café. It serves a wide variety of tasty snacks, tidbits, and hot and cold beverages. Must-try items at the cafe include local delicacies like samosas, sandwiches, and masala tea. Given the vast collection of artefacts at the museum, visitors often find the cafe a great place to take a break and relax with a cup of coffee or a quick bite.
Located at a mere two-minute walking distance from the museum, is the upscale and stylish Khyber restaurant. In its rustic-chic interiors, the restaurant offers diners a taste of the north-western frontier of India. Must-try dishes at Khyber include a range of delicious curries, creative desserts, and biryanis.
The museum caters to the needs of all kinds of visitors and offers several accessibility options. Audio guides in seven languages, including English, are available at the museum. Wheelchairs can be obtained on site and several lifts are available for the use of visitors in a wheelchair or seniors. The museum also has labels in Braille in some galleries and tactile tours are offered to visually impaired visitors in groups.
The museum has several restrictions and security protocols that all visitors must follow. Visitors are not permitted to use selfie-sticks in the museum. Commercial photography and professional video shooting with tripods will require prior permission from the museum authorities.
How to get there
Both Churchgate and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus local train stations are equidistant from the museum, at a walking distance of about 20 minutes. Visitors can also board various local B.E.S.T buses like 122, 132, 137, 106, 123, and 70 from Churchgate and 101,14, 130, and 69 from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to reach the museum.
Taxi or ride-hailing apps
Hiring a taxi is the easiest and most comfortable way to get to the museum. Visitors can also hail a car from Uber or Ola ride-hailing apps to access the museum.
Located in a prominent and well-known location, Kala Ghoda, in south Mumbai, the museum is easily accessible by road. You can easily drive to the museum in your own car or a rented one.
If you choose to reach the museum in a vehicle, you can use the paid parking lots nearby, at Kala Ghoda or Hutatma Chowk, to park your car or motorcycle.
How to get tickets
The only way to obtain a ticket to the museum is on site, at the entrance of the museum. Admission fees vary for different types of visitors, including students, seniors, defence personnel, Indian nationals, and foreigners. Additional charges are also applicable for photography. If you wish to see ‘Mumbai Experience’, a 17-minute film, you will have to pay an additional charge of INR 50 (0.7 USD).
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum information
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum
Address: 159-161, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400023, India
Opening hours: 10:15am - 6pm (daily)
Cost: 1 USD onwards
Official ebsite: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum
Department of tourism: Maharashtra Tourism
News & updates for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum: Mumbai’s Chhatrapati museum gets a rare recognition | Mumbai’s first children’s museum opens to public at Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Mumbai Private Museum Tour
Duration: 5 Hrs Duration
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