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MUSEUMS IN GUJARAT
MUSEUM-GUJARAT

Laced with a glorious history and rich cultural heritage,

Gujarat is a land of traditions, customs and historic figures.

“We are not on this earth to just stand still & look pretty.

The museums already have enough statues.”

 

The richness of Gujarat’s culture and history can be best seen in its museums and galleries.
 

The state has numerous museums and galleries. Some of them house the royal belongings of the raja-maharajas of the bygone era. From sculptures to art and crafts, pottery works, ivory objects, antique pieces, weapons, paintings, court fabrics, carpets, costumes and textiles, these museums and galleries have a lot to enchant tourists.
 

Gujarat has a rich culture and history that has inspired many a people to come into this magnificent land of various customs, rituals and imperial figures. Gujarat is the westernmost state of India and is recognized for its industries and growing economy. Another jewel in its crown is the tourism industry. The various sites of tourist attraction at this place draws hordes of tourists from different parts of the country as well as the world. Gujarat has a long history of struggle and turbulence that can be best felt when one visits the museums in Gujarat.
 

There are many museums and galleries in Gujarat that house the rich culture and heritage of this place. You can also get a glimpse of the earlier rulers’ lives at these Gujarat museums. These museums are the true treasure troves of Gujarat. Out of the several museums in Gujarat, the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Vadodara is a notable name. This is built in the Indo Saracenic fashion of architecture and was once the abode of the Gaekwad family. This multipurpose museum showcases the rich collection of the treasures of erstwhile Gaekwad family who lived here.
 

The Gujarat museums and galleries are considered one of the top priorities of the government of Gujarat, that has in fact launched an entirely separate department which is sincerely dedicated to the development and wellness of museums and galleries. The department is regarded as the Department of Museums. As a matter of fact, Gujarat easily outnumbers neighboring states in housing the most number of museums.
 

This vast array of Gujarat museums and galleries, inevitably stretches to all its corners. Places like Dharampur, Rajkot, Surat, Varodara, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Bhuj, Prabhas-Patan, Ahmedabad, Varodara and many others serve as the proud bearers of one of a kind museums in India.
 

The Gujarat museums and galleries have truly proved to be a charm in inspiring the masses to take interest in intriguing subjects like archeology, science, art and many more and reinvent themselves through this exploration of a new horizon.

 

Famous museums and galleries in Gujarat

 

Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum

The Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum is constructed in the base of the scintillating Laxmi Vilas Museum. The exquisite pattern and the mind-boggling design that has been employed in the construction of this magnanimous structure reminds the viewer of its meek resemblance with the Indo-Saracenic manner of engineering.
 

The Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum was originally a residential complex that belonged to the Gaekwad family. Later the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum was built in the courtyard of the Laxmi Vilas Palace to house the personal souvenirs and other artistic marvels that exclusively belonged to the Gaekwad family.
 

The Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum was meant to be a poly-utility museum that reflects the true grandeur and classy taste of the Gaekwad family. The mansion was actually meant to be the school building that belonged to the the Maharaja’s kids. Most of the works that are exhibited here are procured by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III on his brief odysseys to India

 

Main attractions of the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum in Varodara are listed below :-

  • The Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum at Varodara houses the exclusive paintings from Indian as well as European artists that are truly life-like.
  • The most renowned paintings include the masterpieces of Raja Ravi Varma who painted amazingly life-like portraits depicting the Royal family itself and also some of his paintings depicted scenes from the Hindu mythology as well.
  • There are also exquisite works made of bronze and marbles that were created by artists who were specially called for this purpose by the king himself.
  • Among the artists who descended from Italy was Fellici.
  • There were other collections of sculptures that belonged to Japan and China were also displayed at the museum.

 

ENTRY FEES:
The museum ticket is priced as follows- Rs 60 for Indian Nationals, Rs 150/- for foreign nationals, Rs 40 for children & Rs 400/- for a group of 20 school children.

MUSEUM TIMINGS: – 10:30 am to 05:30 pm

 

Gandhi Museum

The Gandhi Museum is virtually a living testimonial to the Indian Legend in true sense, Mahatma Gandhi. He selflessly devoted his entire life to the struggle for independence and his doctrine on “Ahimsa” or Non-Violence is still reckoned to be the most lethal weapon that can demoralize and finally compel the foe to give up without a single drop of blood-shed. Mahatma Gandhi will always be an icon for the youth and live in our hearts through his immortal beliefs and wide-spread love and warmth. He is that person who virtually changed India’s destiny single-handedly and sowed the seeds of brotherhood and peace which have bloomed into independent and secular India.
 

The Gandhi Museum has been erected in order to commemorate this great human being and inspire the coming generation to continue the fight against evil keeping in mind, ‘Ahimsa’, or Non-Violence.

 

Special Attractions

  • Extremely uncommon snaps that portray memorable moments of Gandhiji’s life’s are displayed in Gandhi Museum. The visitors through viewing these priceless moments of the legend himself on film can relate themselves with him and realize that he was not so different from us, but it was his sheer will-power and courage that helped him to succeed in his endeavor to free India.
  • The Gandhi Museum also houses many letters, other documents and other possessions of “The Father of the Nation”.
  • There is also ample scope for prayers, documentary movies, recordings made from his lectures for the visitors.

 

Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya

The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya treasures the reputation of being one of those venues that houses the priced memorabilia of perhaps one of the most, influential and inspiring individuals who has ever walked this earth, Mahatma Gandhi.

The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya aims to pay homage to the greatest spiritual and political leaders who almost single-handedly freed India from the persecution, turmoil and total annihilation caused by the British rulers.

His doctrine of ‘Non-Violence’ still holds good even in today’s jet age.

Mahatma Gandhi is regarded as “The Father of the Nation”, for his indispensable contributions to aid India strive towards independence.

The modern architectural extension of the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya was completed in the year 1963. The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya displays pictographs that captured unforgettable moments from Mahatma Gandhi’s illustrious life.

 

Attractions:-

  • There are numerous pictures of Mahatma Gandhi sharing the screen space with her beloved spouse Kasturba Gandhi.
  • Several books, holographs and other priced possessions of Mahatma Gandhi are kept on display at the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya in Gujarat.
  • Other antiques include the authentic ‘Spinning Wheel’ that was manually used by ‘Bapu’, as he is affectionately designated as by his fellow country-men.
  • Life-like illustrations on canvas depicting Mahatma Gandhi in different postures really makes feel that you are actually with Bapu.
  • Other priceless souvenirs that Mahatma Gandhi had used include his own ‘Writing Desk’. This makes you realize the simplicity and honesty with which this great human being actually led his life.

TIMING :  8:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. & 2:30 to 7:00 during the winter season and from 8:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and from 2:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. during the summer season.

 

Calico Museums

A brief sojourn to the Calico Museum of Textiles will most definitely be an enlightening experience for the anxious visitors as it acquaints them with the lavish textile heritage that India possesses. The Calico Museum of Textiles is truly in every respect, an honest and a humble tribute to the sheer craftsmanship capabilities of the Indian textile artisans who have manufactured scintillating textile products that have wowed the entire globe for several centuries now.

The Calico Museum of Textiles came into existence in 1949 and was the inspiration of Ms.Gira Sarabhai.

 

Main Attractions

  • The Calico Museum of Textiles exhibits two groups of ‘pichhwais’ first of which depicts scenes from sarada purnima, Govardhana, Dharana, Gopastami, Ramanavami and Nandamahotsava. The other group of Pichhwais deals with seasonal themes like ‘grisma’, ‘varsa’, ‘sarada’ etc.
  • The ‘Parsvantha’ built out of bronze belonging to 1235 AD., a sand-stone-replica of the 12th century AD, embodiment of Tirthankara Digambara, another bronze statuette of ‘Dvitirthi’ dated back to the 7th century.
  • Ancient holographs that are created on palm leaves belonging to the Jainas are carefully preserved here like the ‘Kalpasutra’ that was further divided into three parts – Jinacharita, Samachari and Sthaviravali.
  • Among other Jaina holograph that are displayed at the Calico Museum of Textiles in Gujarat are the Samgrahani Sutra and Patas that depicts their version of the universe and different phenomenons occurring in the cosmos.
  • Adhai Dvipi Pata, Jnana Baji Pata are really ancient piece of embroidery that are on exhibit in the Calico Museum of Textiles at Gujarat.
  • Apart from religious textile articles there are also some exquisite carpets that are speculated to have descended from the workshop conducted by the Great Mughal emperor, Akbar and have a taste of Persian skills.
  • Mughal war protection attires includes Helmets, chain mall, shields in the shape of a rhinoceros, swords, etc.
  • 15th century Indian textiles associated with trade, silk weaving, ‘patolas’, patalu shawls, scarves, Sadi belonging to the 19th century, etc.

Timings: No entry after 11 am

Entry restricted to 30 visitors – 15 visitors on the basis of first-come-first-served and 15 by group booking. Organisers of tours up to 15 members are requested to contact the administration to make and confirm the arrangement in advance.

 

Baroda Museum

Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, a charismatic icon to many, laid the foundation of the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery in the year 1887. The Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery is well-endowed with a vast array of spectacular and extremely rare antiquities that has presented it with a completely new dimension and has also earned it immense respect and gratitude on a global scale.

Today, the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery is recognized as one of the most sought after museums located in the eastern realm of India.

The Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery comprises of two separate buildings that possesses a meek exuberance of Indo-Saracenic engineering. Majority of the coveted articles residing in the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery of Gujarat was personally accrued by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad.

It was the sheer aspiration of two men which laid down the corner stone of this legendary mansion. They were RF Chisholm and Major RN Ment whose architectural magnificence gave shape to the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery of Gujarat.

 

Special Attractions

  • Graeco-Roman gallery
  • European Roman, 7th-18th centuries AD (pre-industrial period) and 8th-20th centuries AD
  • Unique exhibition Vestibule
  • Library armed with many books.
  • Store, Civilizations and Arts of Asia
  • Japanese Gallery
  • Tibetan and Nepalese Gallery
  • Egyptian along with Babylonian Gallery
  • Gallery dedicated to Chinese artifacts.
  • Islamic Gallery containing pictures descending from Persia, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Spain, etc.
  • Baroda room (Depicting Gujarati and Maratha artforms)
  • Indian art gallery.
  • Central Vestibule (Baroda state history)
  • Prehistoric room and a section featuring Archaeological specimens
  • Picture Gallery contains pictures of the following
  • Modern Indian picture gallery, natural history room
  • Zoology, Paleontology and Ethnology
  • Mineralogy, petrology, geology

 

TIMING:  10:30am-5pm.  except on public holidays and Mondays.

Entry Fees:  for Indians: Rs. 10/-, for Foreigners: Rs. 200/-.

 

Saifee Villa Gandhi Memorial Museum in Dandi

Saifee Villa Gandhi Memorial Museum in Dandi Gujarat Saifee Villa Museum is a one of the very beautiful in Dandi. It is also known as the Gandhi memorial Museum in Dandi. The Saifee Villa Museum is located in Dandi. Saifee Villa museum have a gallery full of photographs belonging to Mahatma Gandhi. It has a graphic put on display which gives information with reference to Gandhi’s life and the Dandi March. Information of Saifee Villa Museum The Saifee Villa Museum was established in 1961 to commemorate the salt March. On April 5th 1930 Mahatma Gandhi and his 79 associates reached Dandi after March 385km from first to last hundreds of villages over a time of 23 days. Saifee Villa Museum building is above 100 years old. Gandhi Memorial presented in this museum.

 

Timing : 10:30AM to 5:00PM

Closing Day : Sunday

Distance between Ahmedabad to Dandi Ahmedabad to Dandi Distance around 279.2 KM. Saifee Villa museum house has various pictures and various personal effects from Gandhiji Life. Going on Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti, children as of villages visit Saifee Villa Museum to be given their respects. Saifee Villa Museum Dandi is one of the most famous at the present attractive a town of NRIs (nonresident Indians). Many from the younger generations of motivated to Saifee Villa Museum.

 

Museum of Antiquities

A major attraction of Jamnagar city of Gujarat, this museum is located in the complex which was once the royal arsenal of the Jam Dynasty. It is also called the Lakhota museum. The museum houses artifacts such as coins, paintings, copper plates, sculptures and photographs. It also houses a library where visitors can read the books on the artifacts.

 

Kutch Museum

Located in Bhuj, this museum was originally called Fergusson Museum named after its founder Sir James Fergusson. Established in 1877, the museum displays a wide variety of rare artifacts such as pictures, textiles, stuffed beasts, weapons, archaeological finds, musical instruments etc.
Apart from these famous museums, there are several other museums and galleries in Gujarat where you can visit on your Gujarat tour. City museum, Kite Museum, NC Mehta Gallery, Shreyas Folk Museum, Prabas Pata Museum, Durbar Hall Museum, Junagarh Zoo Museum, Rotatary Midtown Dolls Museum, Sardar Patel Museum are a few to name.
The Museum has been under renovation lately, check the hours before visiting.

 

Timing  : 10:00 am to 1:00 am

2:30 pm to 5:30

Closed : Wednesday, Public Holiday

Charges : Rs. 5/-

 

Dandi Kutir Museum – Gandhinagar

“Mahatma Gandhi – a global citizen, identity of an era. A legacy of human-centric development. A source of an unending power of the unfailing weapon of non-violence,”
“Dandi Kutir. It’s a pleasant feeling when the dream of creating a source of inspiration from Gandhi’s life to the young-generation through modern science and technology is coming true. It would be satisfactory doing work of human welfare if the life of pujya (respected) Bapu will inspire the future generation,”

 

Timing : 10:30 am to 01:00 am & 2:00 pm to 4:30

Closed : Monday

Charges : No entry fee

 

Interesting facts

The sculptures on Gandhi depict his childhood, early life, his return to India and his role in the country’s freedom struggle.

‘Dandi Kutir’ is located inside a 41-metre high salt-mound as a symbol of Gandhi’s famous Dandi march against the salt tax provisions imposed by the British regime in March 1930.

 

Aina Mahal – Bhuj

The Aina Mahal palace, or “Hall of Mirrors” was built during the flamboyant rule of Lakhpatji in the middle of the 18th century. Master craftsman Ramsinh Malam, who trained as an artisan for 17 years in Europe, felt unappreciated by lesser rulers in the area, so he went to the royal court at Bhuj and appealed to the king for work, who commissioned this palace. Malam designed it in a mixed Indo-European style and set about creating the materials for the palace locally. He established a glass factory at Mandvi, forged cannons in an iron foundry and manufactured china tiles in a factory in Bhuj. It seems Gandhiji’s ideal of swadeshi had an early proponent in Ramsinh Malam. He personally crafted the fountains, mirrors and glasswork, as well as many other wonders of artisanship—a pendulum clock in sync with the Hindu calendar, doors inlaid with gold and ivory… come visit to find out the rest.
The Aina Mahal is at the northeast corner of Hamirsar lake, easily walkable from most of Bhuj. Anyone along the way will give you directions. Be sure to explore the rest of the compound outside the palace, with its beautiful carved doorways, elaborate window boxes and balconies. Most of the compound is in ruins, some brought down as recently as the 2001 earthquake. Poke around and explore unexpected places; don’t settle for just walking into the palace museum with a ready-made experience.

 

Timing : 9:00 am to 12:00 am

3:00 pm to 6:00

Closed : Thursday

Charges : Rs. 20/-

Charges for Photography :    Rs.30/-

 

Archaeological Museum – Junagadh

Down the lane to the north of the temple is a museum with important archaeological remains from the former Somnath Temple. The museum is open from 8:30am-12:15pm and 2:30pm-6pm. To some, the museum is even more interesting than the modern temple, for it preserves stone sculptures, inscriptions and pottery from several periods.
Though lacking in proper documentation or guidebooks, the time spent here is supremely worth the journey, with the remains of the ancient shrine reconstructed by the Chalukyan Maharaja Shri Mularaja Deva Solanki of Anhilvada Patan.
Auto World Vintage Car Museum – Ahmedabad

“Auto World” is a part of one of the most important collections of Antique Vehicles, Cars, Motorcycles, Utility Vehicles, Buggies etc. built by one family over the last century. It represents several of the greatest marques of cars from all over the world, of all types and ages.

“Auto World” showcases that time of history when an automobile was not a mere means of transport but a symbol of wealth, power & style; the mighty ceremonial limousines, the romantic convertibles & the snappy Sports Cars, cars specially coach built like Railway Saloons, Horse drawn carriages, Boat tailed Wooden Speedsters, Shooting Brakes-Cars built for the rich & famous.Cars to see and be seen in.

At “Auto World”, various pavilions built on acres of verdant grounds showcase more than 100 of the finest cars in the world such as Rolls-Rocyces, Bentleys, Daimlers, Langondas, Mercedeces, Maybach, Packards, Cadillacs, Buicks, Auburns, Cord, Lancias, Lincolns, Chryslers and many other distinguished makes from USA, UK & Europe. Most of the cars are coach built by renowned coach builders like Hooper, Barker, Gurney-Nutting, Fleetwood, Labaron etc. They are all hand built to individual specifications of the buyer.Here are special cars like Limousines & Grand open Tourers for ceremonial Occasions, there are convertible cars for evening drives, there are station wagons like boats as well as like a horse drawn carriage especially built for the family’s evening drives in the Dastan estate.

Facilities at “Auto World” include an auditorium & souvenir shop, a cafeteria & station for fun drives in vintage cars. Witness the triumph of human creativity-the best of science & technology combined with sublime Art & Aesthetics – All at “Auto World” the largest and finest Automobile collection of India & one of the best in the world.

Visiting Charges: Rs.50 per Person

Bhavai Government Museum – North Gujarat (Ahmedabad)

There is a hall that pays tribute to all the artists of the Nayak community, who were known to perform the ancient bhavai form – the folk theatre of Gujarat. Bhavai was the most widely used tool for mass communication used since the 12th century till recent times. This museum helps introduce some of the legends of the bhavai artform, such as Jaishankar Sundari, Chhagan Romeo, Bapalal Naik to the everyday audience.

 

Jambudweep Temple / Exhibit – Rajkot

This temple has an excellent exhibit on Jain cosmology, describing the intricate divisions of the heavens and the earth, and an individual’s passage through the different stages of the universe. There is also an exhibit on Jain mathematics, for anyone intrigued by unusu
al systems of reasoning, whether a believer or not. It features uncommon units of measure for height, width, weight, time and so forth. The temple is open every day, with a free show every evening at 6pm.

 

Lakhota Palace and Museum – Jamnagar

On an island in the center of the lake stands the circular Lakhota tower, built for drought relief on orders from Jam Ranmalji after the failed monsoons in 1834, 1839 and 1846 made it difficult for the people of the city to find food and resources. Originally designed as a fort such that soldiers posted around it could fend off an invading enemy army with the lake acting as a moat, the tower known as Lakhota Palace now houses the Lakhota Museum.
The collection includes artifacts spanning from 9th to 18th century, pottery from medieval villages nearby and the skeleton of a whale. The very first thing you see on entry, however, before the historical and archaeological information, is the guardroom with muskets, swords and powder flasks, reminding you of the structure’s original purpose and proving the martial readiness of the state at the time. The walls of the museum are also covered in frescoes depicting various battles fought by the Jadeja Rajputs. The fort is connected to the banks by two causeways, but is only accessible from the north side.

Timing: 10:30am-2pm and 2:30pm-5:30pm.

Entry fees for the Indians is Rs.2/- and for Foreigners is Rs.50/-

 

Lothal – Ahmedabad Metro

You arrive in Lothal and see no intricate carvings or vibrant fresco walls. No grand fortifications or temples. Instead you see flat and desolate ruins.  But you have come not for what is visible now; rather, to imagine what once was. And in the emptiness, you recreate for yourself a unique drama of the place that some believe was the cradle of the subcontinent’s oldest civilization.

Lothal, literally “Mound of the Dead”, is the most extensively excavated site of Harappan culture in India, and therefore allows the most insight into the story of the Indus Valley Civilization, its exuberant flight, and its tragic decay.
Once a sleepy pottery village, Lothal rumbled awake to become a flourishing centre of trade and industry, famous for its expertly constructed system of underground sanitary drainage, and an astonishing precision of standarized weights and measures. Unlike many other doorways into Harappan culture, Lothal passed through all the phases of the society, from earliest development to most mature. In the height of its prosperity, it not only survived but was strengthened by three floods, using the disaster as an opportunity to improve on the infrastructure. The fourth flood finally brought the settlement to the desperate and impoverished conditions that indicated the end of a powerful civilization.
Roam the ruins with your heart open to the ancient, and with the help of the local museum here, allow yourself to be transported to an era 4,500 years ago, and see in your mind’s eye the palace on high, and the artisans and crafts below, and the bustling dockyard that once reached out to the rest of the world.
Background

Lothal began as a small village on the Sabarmati river, inhabited by people using “red ware” micaceous pottery (similar to today’s terracotta), during the Chalcolithic era. Sea-faring merchants, and later the potters, masons, smiths, and seal-cutters of the Indus Valley Civilization, established a colony at Lothal circa 2450 BC, bringing with them their tools, technology, crafts, and expanded sea-borne trade. Lothal soon became an industrial center, one of the southernmost outposts of the Indus Valley Civilization, and the most important port of the empire.
Around 2350 BC, after all the houses were destroyed by severe floods, the people of Lothal rallied together, or perhaps were led by someone, to not only rebuild the town, but also to improve on it. They strengthened the walls of the fort, raised the level of the town, built an artificial dock, possibly the first in the world, and an extensive warehouse. A hundred & fifty years later, after the next floods, they again came together to reconstruct the town into a larger city. After the third severe flood circa 2000 BC, many inhabitants left the city to move to higher and safer regions. When the city was again completely submerged around 1900 BC, what is known as the Mature Harappan period gave way to the Late Harappan Period. Poor farmers, artisans, and fishermen gradually returned in hope of rebuilding their lives, but the urban center never regenerated. The populace lived in poorly constructed reed huts, with no drainage, and perhaps even a return to illiteracy. Yet, somehow, the civilization continued here till the 16th century BC, long after it had disappeared from the northern provinces.
Gradually the town was abandoned and silted up over the next few centuries. Dr. Sr. R. Rao’s excavation of the site from 1955-62 provided the most exhaustive study of Harappan culture in India from artifacts and structural remains such as:

  • earthenware: strong large ceramic jars, human and animal figurines, as well as toys and games-figures.
  • copper and stone tools: in beautiful designs of human and animal figurines, often of bulls.
  • seals: Lothal holds the third largest collection of seals and sealings, engraved on steatite, with animal and human figurines and letters from Indus script, but these remain undeciphered, so they do not provide as much insight into the material culture as the other findings. They do however show aspects of the spiritual culture; there are signs of worship of fire, and of the sea goddess, but not of the mother goddess.
  • beads: Lothal had a highly developed bead-making industry that has not been surpassed even by the modern Cambay craftspeople working 4000 years later. Lothal was famous for its micro-beads that were made by rolling ground steatite paste on string, baking it solid, and then cutting it with a tiny saw into the desired lengths. The expertise is evident in the micro-beads of gold under 0.25 mm in diameter which cannot be found anywhere else. The gold, like today, was most likely only for the upper classes, while the poorest citizens had to make do with shell and terracotta ornaments.
  • weights and measures: despite the vast area over which the Harappan culture spread, it developed an extraordinarily precise system of weights and measures, standardized across the empire, represented in the local materials at Lothal.
  • a network of underground drainage: there were also 12 private paved baths on the upper town, probably for the ruling classes. These all show a remarkably forward thinking concern for hygiene and sanitation.
  • dock and warehouse: The dockyard allowed ships to sluice from the sea, and expertly constructed lock gates allowed them to float while loading or unloading their cargo. Apparently the dockyard could, at that time, hold 30 ships of 60 tonnes, or 60 ships of 30 tonnes, a capacity comparable to that of the modern docks of Vishakapatnam. The dock allowed sea trade with West Asia, in particular, to expand greatly.

Lothal was believed to be Dravidian, but recent findings of association with Vedas and other Sanskrit scriptures lead some to believe this was the cradle of Aryan civilization in the sub-continent. There does seem to be enough evidence to suggest non-Aryan origin, and strong Aryan influence, as well as a meeting of the cultures, both violent and peaceful.

Timing : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Closed on – Friday

Entrance Fee : Rs. 2/- per head (Children up to 15 years free)ASI.

 

Museum of Shardapith Math – Jamnagar

At a time when Hinduism was facing the threat of disintegration, Adi Shankaracharya (788 – 820 AD), travelled across the length and breadth of India to propogate the Advaita Vedanta, a sub-school of Vedanta, through his impactful discourses and debates with other thinkers. His teachings were based on the unity of the soul and the universe, in which Brahman (universe) is viewed as without attributes [Nirguna Brahman]. Respected as one of India’s foremost philosophers, he consolidated the doctrine of  Advaita Vedanta in his short lifespan of 32 years and also founded four mathas (monasteries), which helped in the historical development, revival and spread of post-Buddhist Hinduism.

Located within the premises of the Dwarka Temple, Sharda Matha or Peetha (religious seat) is the first amongst the four cardinal mathas. It is also known as the Kalika Matha, and as per the tradition initiated by Adi Shankara, is in charge of the Sama Veda. The wall paintings illustrate incidents from the life of Shankaracharya, while carvings on the inner surface of the dome depict Shiva in various stances. It has the temples of Shardamba and Chandramaulishwer Mahadev nearby. The Matha also runs an educational society, an arts college and a Sanskrit Academy which prepares scholars for doctorates in Sanskrit and Indology.

 

Prag Mahal – Kutch

Next door to the Aina Mahal, in the same walled compound, is the giant Prag Mahal, which may at first seem slightly out of place at the far western edge of India, looking more appropriate in France. But then again, globalization is not a new phenomenon. This is a palace commissioned by King Pragmalji in the 1860s, designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins in the Italian Gothic style and built in the middle of Bhuj next to the Aina Mahal. While little about it may seem Indian, there are elements; see if you can find them. In the courtyard behind the palace, there is a small Hindu temple with very nicely carved stonework; the caretaker is sometimes available for more information.

Inside the palace, you can visit the main palace halls as well as climb stairs of the 45m bell tower for an exhilarating view of the city. After coming down (not before, for your own peace of mind!), check out the cracks between the stones in the wall, visible from the courtyard, caused by various earthquakes over the years. Then stop for a glass of fresh sugarcane juice on your way out of the compound.

Timing :  9:00 am to 12:00 am & 3:00 pm to 6:00

Closed : Public Holiday

Charges : Rs. 20/-

 

Saputara Tribal Museum – Saputara

The population of the Dangs, where Saputara is located, is 90% adivasi. This museum will give you an introduction to the lifestyle, costumes, heritage and ecology of the tribal Dangs. Although the presentation lacks character, it is worth visiting to learn about many major forms of tribal expression such as a stone funerary column, grass ornaments, stuffed birds, woodcarving, clay ritual objects, body tattoos, and masks used in dance-dramas, and musical instruments. Use it as an opportunity to educate yourself about the local culture before venturing into it in a less mediated way. After the first round of information, you should feel ready to learn more in person.

Entry fees: For Students Re. 1/- ; Adults Rs. 2/- ; Foreigners Rs. 50/-

 

Sardar Patel National Museum, Ahmedabad

This National Museum is housed in the Moti Shahi Mahal in the Shahibaug area. It was constructed between 1618 and 1622 for the Shah Jahan. The building was later used as a British cantonment to house the senior officials. In 1878, the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore stayed here when he was only seventeen years old and this building served as an inspiration behind his story The Hungry Stones. After the Indian independence, from 1960 to 1978, this palace became the Raj Bhavan, official residence of the Governor of Gujarat In the year 1978, the building was transformed into a national memorial dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Now the museum has been further enhanced with the latest technological interventions, for a more interactive experience

The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel museum was set up in the year 1978 by Shri Babubhai Jasbhai Patel, the then Hon. Chief Minister. The museum was later enhanced in 2013 with the inclusion of interactive exhibits, under the guidance of Shri. Dinsha Patel and other members of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial Society. Shri RS Patel with his vision and leadership significantly contributed to transforming it into a museum of international standards.Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon. Prime Minister of India,H.E. Dr. Kamala Beniwal, Governor of Gujarat and Shri Narendra Modi, Hon. Chief Minister of Gujarat inaugurated the museum on 29th October, 2013.The museum showcases artefacts and the belongings of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and also includes two multimedia halls that shed light on various aspects of Sardar’s life and work with interactive and experiential exhibits. The museum carries information in 3 languages – Hindi, Gujarati and English for the aid of the visitors. Best attraction of the museum is the 3D sound, light and lasers show, permanent set up, is a unique experience, first of its kind in India that takes you back in time and narrates the story of our motherland, India. The story outlines the Vedic period, the Mughal era, the British domination, the freedom struggle and the birth of free India. The show is a salutation to all our freedom fighters and martyrs. The show is a blend of the latest in technology with 3D building mapping projection techniques, lazer projection, sound and light effects and a voice narrative.

 

Museum Timing :  9:30AM To 5:00PM (Monday Holiday)

Fees :  Adult Rs. 20/- Child Rs. 10/- (Less than 5 years free) /

3D Show Timing : 7:00PM To 7:45PM | (Sat & Sun only)

Interesting facts : 3D Show

  • The 3D sound, light and lasers show, permanent set up, is a unique experience, first of its kind in India that takes you back in time and narrates the story of our motherland, India. The story outlines the Vedic period, the Mughal era, the British domination, the freedom struggle and the birth of free India.
  • The show is a salutation to all our freedom fighters and martyrs. The show is a blend of the latest in technology with 3D building mapping projection techniques, laser projection, sound and light effects and a voice narrative.

 

Mughal Garden

Beautiful landscaping and garden in huge area with verities of colourful fountain in the Moti Shahi Mahal premises dotted by peacock and monkeys around the trees. The beautiful children park under the dense trees is also created within the garden area.

  Museum

  • This building is known as the Motishahi Mahal, it was built by Shah Jahan in 1622. The building was later used as a British cantonment to house the senior officials. In free India it was designated as the residence of the Governor. In the year 1978, the building was transformed into a national memorial dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • Now the museum has been further enhanced with the latest technological interventions, for a more interactive experience.

Multimedia 1 (MM1) :

This multimedia hall is a state-of-the-art experience Center that details the life and work of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The interactive exhibits in this hall include:

  • Gesture wall
  • Wall projections
  • A short film on the Iron man of India

(The film is played in 3 languages simultaneously; eachvisitor may select their language of choice with theirheadset as per instructions)

Multimedia 2 (MM2) :

This multimedia hall is state-of-the-art experience center that share information about SardarVallabhbhai Patel interactively.

The interactive exhibits in this hall include:

  • Mural with LCD displays
  • Archived newspaper
  • Tribute messages
  • Timeline sliding LCD
  • Jail zone
  • Interactive Charkha
  • Speeches of Sardar
  • Multi-touch table
  • Interactive Quiz
  • Feedback zone

Shreyas Folk Museum – Ahmedabad

 

In many ways this museum is a tribute to the indefatigable spirit of the Gujarati women who have added remarkable value to the Gujarati heritage with their soulful crafts and unbound imagination. Displayed here the art forms range from varied communities such as the Kathi, Rabari, Ahir, Mer, Charan, Bharvad, Kanbi, Koli, Bhansali, Rajput, Brahmin, Vania, Meghaval, Khoja Bohra, Meman, Miana and several others. Also on exhibit are colorful works of embroidery, wood carving, metal work, bead work and utensils, leather work, costumes, paintings and animal decorations, objects of household usage. One can appreciate the care and discernment with which these objects have been collected. Photographic panels accompanied by textual description add value to the viewers experience and understanding of this wide collection. Kalpana Mangaldas Children’s Museum (Performing Arts Museum) within the same premises houses a collection of puppets, dance and drama costumes, coins and a repository of recorded music from traditional shows from all over the world. One of the highlights at this museum is a complete elephant skeleton (3.19m high).

Timings: Open round the year     10:30am – 1:30pm & 2:00pm – 5:30pm

Closed On Mondays & Public holidays

Fees:    

For Adults     Rs.10/-

For Children     Rs.7/-

For Foreigners     Rs.90/-

 

Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial – Kutch

The British ruled over India for over two hundred years. They ruthlessly exploited India’s economic resources and mercilessly oppressed the people. Many individuals took on the might of the British to free India. Shyamji Krishna Varma chose to take this fight to British soil and made London his base.
Shyamji Krishna Varma was born on 4th October, 1857 in Mandvi town of Kutch district of Gujarat. He was one of the foremost freedom fighters in the history of the freedom movement of India with high sense of patriotism and selfless service for the nation. He had organized a revolutionary center in “India House” at London and propagated the cause of India’s independence through his writings in his publication journal called The “Indian Sociologist”.
Shyamji Krishna Varma was not alone in his work. He was joined by many other great radical Indian Nationalists who were committed to free their motherland from the yoke of British rule. Many great revolutionaries made the supreme sacrifice and laid down their lives to see their country free, both in India as well as abroad.

The Memorial’s objective is to pay tribute to the contribution of Shyamji Krishna Varma and also to educate the young generation about those great Indians who sacrificed everything for the country’s freedom.

 

Interesting facts

Timings : The memorial is open to all visitors 6 days a week from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and on Sat/Sun 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. The memorial will be closed on all Thursdays.

In order to protect the works of art and create a safe environment for all patrons, please observe the following policies:

  • Please dnot touch the works of art.
  • Food and drink are not allowed within the galleries.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the building.
  • Backpacks and bags larger than 8 x 10 x 12 inches must be checked. – Smaller bags must be carried on one shoulder or handheld.
  • The use of pens is not permitted in the galleries; only pencils may be used for taking notes or sketching.
  • Photographs may be taken without flash, using natural light, in most areas of the memorial.
  • Please be considerate when using cell phones. Please lower or silence the ringer and step intthe nearest hallway or public area tmake or answer a call.
  • Please dnot sit or step on platforms or ledges.
  • Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The memorial connects visitors with disabilities tthe world of art through a wide variety of unique accessible programs.

 

Tribal Museum – Chhota Udepur

Towards the border with Rajasthan, Chhota Udepur shares a history with Devgadh Baria and Rajpipla as one of the three princely states of eastern Gujarat. The small town sits on the edge of a big lake, with a series of temples along the skyline. The Jain temple is an interesting example of the influence of Victorian art on local building styles. Structures from the 1920s such as the Kusum Vilas Palace(also a heritage hotel) and Prem Bhavan are also worth visiting, though they need permission from the local royal family.

The essence of the town, however, is that it lies in the heart of a tribal area with rich indigenous history and culture.  Every Saturday there is a haat or tribal market. The town is a good base from which to explore the surrounding tribal villages, particularly in the Rathwa communities.  The Tribal Museum is also worth a visit, though of course not nearly as important as day-to-day interaction with people alive today.

ST buses from Vadodara are frequent, though also frequently crowded. Another interesting possibility for travel is the narrow-gauge rail which goes every day except Mondays and Fridays, but ask around to make sure it’s still functioning when you go.

 

Vechaar Utensils Museum – Ahmedabad

Built in 1981 within the vicinity of Vishalla Village Restaurant is the VECHAAR (Vishalla Environmental Centre for Heritage of Art, Architecture and Research) Utensils Museum, a brainchild of architect Mr. Surender C. Patel. It is an effort to cherish and preserve our rich cultural heritage and rare artistic skills and wisdom of our craftsmen. It is an extensive study of utensils from thousand years old to present times, that have evolved over different periods of history as a result of our changing needs and environment. The range varies from leaves or a gourd jug, to modern stainless steel and glass utensils. The metal utensils cover everything from brass, copper, bronze, zinc to German silver.

 Timings: Open round the year     From 1:00 – 3:00pm & 5:00 – 10:30pm

Fees: For Adults     Rs.10/- ; For Children(3-11 yrs)     Rs.5/-

 

Watson Museum

A pleasant day spent in the Jubilee Gardens is the ideal way to enhance ones body and mind. Nestled within nature’s bounty are the Watson Museum and the Lang Library. The Museum is named in honor of the Brisith Political Agent in Kathiwad who initiated the documentation of historical artifacts with due patronage of the royal families in the region.

The collection houses paintings and artifacts donated by the various royal families, an extensive memorabilia of Colonial rule and influence with textiles and jewelry depicting Bharwads, Ahirs, Darbars and other indigenous people of the province. There is also an interesting collection of Indus Valley Civilization artifacts garnered from various sites around the Saurashtra region.

Entry Fee :

Rs. 5 Per Head.

Rs. 2 Per Student on educational tour of school & colleges.

Rs. 50 per head for Foreign Visitors

Museum Visiting Times:

9:00 AM to 12:45 PM

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Holiday:

Wednesday & 2nd and 4th Saturday.

Govt.Public Holiday.

Museum Services:

  • Facility of photography against payment of Rs.100/-
  • Guide Service
  • Reference Library
  • Sales Counter of Museum publications

Sharad Baug Palace – Kutch

The king’s residence right up to 1991 when the last king of Kutch, Madansingh died, the palace is now a museum. With beautiful gardens of many flowering and medicinal plants, the palace grounds houses many migrating birds as they stop for a rest on their way.

Timings:    

Open round the year except Friday     9:00am – 12:00pm & 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Fees:    

Entry     Rs.25/-

Note: Photography allowed only with permission and a fee.

 

Around the Old City – Junagadh

A walk around the old city of Junagadh will take you to many places worth visiting. The tombs of the Babi Nawabs, including the first Nawab of Junagadh, who made the princely state independent from the Mughals in 1748, have interesting designs, and though somewhat poorly maintained, are still worth seeing. Far more spectacular, however, are the Maqbaras from later in the Babi period, built over the grave of Nawab Mahabat Khan II. The awe-inspiring architecture mixes Moorish, Hindu and European influences with an exquisite eye for detail. The Maqbaras are not to be missed.Open for 08.00 am to 06.00 pm Everyday.

The Junagadh Museum, open from 9am-12pm and 3pm-6pm every day except Wednesday, houses prehistoric stone and bone implements, 9th-century stone carvings and many bronzes, manuscripts, silverwork, glass crafts, woodcarvings, textiles and other items from the history of the area.

Next door is the Sakkarbaug Zoo, open from 9am-6:30pm (closed on Wednesday, like the museum), which is known for its conservation and captive breeding program for the Asiatic Lion, found in the wild in nearby Gir National Park. Entry to the zoo is Rs.10/- for Indians, Rs.50/- for Foreigners.

Timing:, open from 9am-12 noon and 3pm-6pm (closed Wednesday and the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month), exhibits the era of the Babis of Junagadh, with lavish furniture, thrones, textiles, arms, portraits and photographs from the period.

Entry: Rs. 2/- for Indians and Rs. 50/- for foreigners. The Museum charges Rs. 2/- per photograph (if you wish to take photographs). Mobiles are to be switched off during your visit.

 

Bharatiya Sanskriti Darshan – Kutch

A Kutchi cultural center, located further south along College Road (which leads away from the lake past Alfred High School, the Ramkund stepwell and the Swaminarayan temple), the B.S.D. contains an excellent collection of Kutchi folk art and crafts, especially from the more remote regions of the district, collected by a forest service official as he traveled around doing government work. There are also exhibits of rural architecture, paintings, textile arts and archaeological specimens.

Timings: Open round the year except Monday     10:00am – 1:15pm & 2:00pm – 6:00pm

Fees: For Indians     Rs.10/- ; For Foreigners     Rs.50/-

Note: Photography is not permitted.

 

LD Museum of Indology – Ahmedabad

The Lalbhai Dalpathbhai Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad was started in 1956, to preserve a repository of rare art, manuscripts and archaelogical objects of India. In 1984, a museum was opened to cover topics ranging from Buddhism, Jainism and its darshans (expressions), grammar, tantra and poetry, Vedas and other different branches of Indian philosophy.

The museum houses about 76,000 hand written Jain manuscripts with 500 illustrated versions and 45,000 printed books, making it the largest collection of Jain scripts. It has precious old books written in languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Old Gujarati, Apabhramsa, Hindi and Rajasthani. It also showcases Indian sculptures, terracottas, miniature paintings, cloth paintings, painted scrolls, bronzes, woodwork, Indian coins, textiles and decorative art, paintings of Rabindranath Tagore and art of Nepal and Tibet.

Fees: Entry is free. Photography is not permitted

 

N C Mehta Gallery – Ahmedabad Metro

The N C Mehta Collection of Miniature Paintings is located In the complex of the L D Institute Of Indology. Collected from all over India, this exquisite and ornate collection of miniature paintings can be quite appealing to one with a magnifying lense or just an eye for fine artistry. The collection also includes the famous Pahadi miniatures and the Chaurpanchashika (fifty Love Lyrics of a Thief) series, written by Vilhana, an 11th century Kashmiri Poet.

Photography is not permitted

Timings:    

Tuesdays – Sundays (From July – April)     10:30am – 5:30pm

Tuesdays – Sundays (From May – June)       8:30am – 5:30pm

Closed On Mondays

 

Sanskar Kendra – Ahmedabad Metro

If you are an architecture student than you are in for a visual treat in this city. The Sanskar Kendra was built by none other than the renowned architect Le Corbusier himself in 1954 as a cultural center of Ahmedabad. Located near the Sardar bridge in the vicinity of the famous Tagore Hall, across the National Institude of Design it is a discerning example of modernist architecture.

In order to preserve its architecture, and nurture a space of culture and community, the Vastu Shilpa Foundation has made efforts to revitalize and restore this space by starting a City Museum. This museum is aimed to celebrate the living heritage of the city and the pioneering spirit of its people. As Vastu Shilpa states, “To capture these nuances of the city of Ahmedabad, the museum is consciously conceived as a linear journey through overlapping and interconnected facets of city life ranging from art to industry, craft to culture, history to architecture, individual to institution.” Also on display here are old relics, sculptures and the history of this city, informed by photographic, illustrated and textual panels. Sanskar Kendra also houses the famous Kite Museum designed by Bhanu Shah who has created a fascinating and striking collection of kites with a rare devotion since he was 21 years of age. This collection that gradually grew in range and repertoire is today showcased in the museum accompanied with interesting illustrations and photographs. The musuem needs some revision to connect with changing times, but it can still be worth a visit to a kite enthusiast.

Timings:   10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 04:00 to 06:00 pm

Closed On Mondays

 

Sardar Patel National Museum – Bardoli

It is situated 34 kms. from Surat. This town saw the birth of the No-Tax movement, led by Sardar Patel, in protest of the British rule under which farmers barely had enough to feed their families, let alone to pay the exorbitant taxes. It was a precursor to the Namak Satyagraha, the Salt March. The Swaraj Ashram, garden, museum, and khadi workshops, are well worth a visit, as well as the Aitihasik Ambo, a mango tree under which Gandhiji famously declared that he would settle for nothing less than independent home-rule for India. Bardoli is accessible by ST (State Transport) buses.

Visiting Hours           10-00 to 13-30 & 14-30 to 18-00

Closed On      2nd & 4th Saturday & all Wednesdays and Government holidays

Admission Fee:         Rs. 1 per visitor / Rs. 50 per foreign visitor / Rs. 1 for per student of Schools/Colleges / Rs. 100 For photography / Rs. 500 For video camera.

 

Sardar V Patel Museum and Planetarium – Surat

Also known as the Sardar Sangralaya, this museum was established in 1889, and the collection represents the rich history and eclectic ethnic mix of Surat. It also provides maps for travelers. Open from 9am-11:30am and 2:30pm-5pm every day except Sundays and public holidays.

The Planetarium runs a show on the universe, in Gujarati, from 11:15am -1:45pm, Wednesday-Saturday and from 2:45pm-5:45pm, Sunday and Tuesday. It is closed on Monday.

 

Shri Vishal Jain Museum – Rajkot

At the foot of Shatrunjaya, this museum houses an excellent collection of artifacts, excavated idols from earlier temples, ancient manuscripts written on palm leaves, and an exhibit on the history of Jainism and the life of Lord Mahavira. Most of the accompanying information is in Gujarati, though some is in Hindi and occasionally English. Entry is Rs. 6/-. Open from 11am-3pm and 4pm-6pm daily.

 

Tankara Museum – Rajkot

In 1824, Tankara – a village 44 km from Rajkot was blessed with the birth of a child who later grew up to be a great social reformer and began a Hindu movement based on Vedic principles. This venerable personage was none other than Swami Dayanand and the movement that he initiated is the Arya Samaj of today.

 

Wankaner Museum – Rajkot

Two palace guest houses, The Royal Residency and the Royal Oasis are now Heritage Hotels. The Royal Oasis is situated on the banks of the Machchhu Lake amidst a serene orchard of leafy trees, the warbling of birds and an atmosphere of cool, meditative calm. It also houses a grand indoor pool in the Art Deco style with an early twentieth century step-well located near the palace grounds. Wankaner reflects the hospitality and grandeur of old Kathiawar.

The Royal Oasis is now a Heritage Hotel. The Royal Oasis is situated on the banks of the Machchhu Lake amidst a serene orchard of leafy trees, the warbling of birds and an atmosphere of cool, meditative calm. It also houses a grand indoor pool in the Art Deco style with an early twentieth century step-well located near the palace grounds. Wankaner reflects the hospitality and grandeur of old Kathiawar.

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