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Museums in Mumbai, India

The museums of Mumbai reflect the city’s key position at the intersection of the old and new worlds. It starts with the ancient civilizations of India going back thousands of years that eventually gave way to the colonial culture of the British empire and then free and modern India.

You’ll find this progression in the museums too, from the Indus Valley artifacts in the Prince of Wales Museum (now CSMVS) to Mani Bhavan showcasing Mahatma Gandhi’s life, and the INS Vikrant – India’s first aircraft carrier that was preserved as a museum docked at Cuffe Parade in Mumbai until 2012. Sadly, the ship was declared unsafe and has been scrapped.

If you’re a history buff, you can start with the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (formerly known as the Victoria and Albert Museum). This is Mumbai’s oldest museum, and charts the rise of Mumbai from the swamps. You’ll learn things about the history and culture of Mumbai which very few still know these days. For example, the group of seven islands that is Mumbai today was known as a swamp called Heptanesia during the Roman era. This is the kind of thing you’ll see in the Origins of Mumbai gallery at this museum.

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Top 10 Museums Mumbai, India

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya – The Prince of Wales Museum is probably the most popular museum in Mumbai, with all kinds of artifacts from the ancient civilizations of India. Located on M.G. Road in the Fort area.
  • Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum – Best place to learn about Mumbai, its culture and origins. Located in Byculla East.
  • Mani Bhavan – Museum that chronicles the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi. Located on Laburnum Road in Gamdevi.
  • Nehru Science Center – Named after Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. It includes a planetarium, culture wing, art gallery and a Discovery of India exposition.
  • National Gallery of Modern Art – Located in Colaba, this is one of India’s most prized collections of exhibits and art by famed artists and sculptors dating back through different ancient civilizations
  • Jehangir Art Gallery – Located at Kala Ghoda near the Gateway of India in Colaba, this institution is credited with reviving the Indian art after independence. Also has a highly respected antique shop that’s just as good as any museum.
  • RBI Monetary Museum – RBI here refers to the Reserve Bank of India. This museum, located on Sir Phirozshah Mehta Rd in Kala Ghoda, tracks the use of money in India from ancient civilizations when India was one of the world’s first issuers of coins.
  • FD Alpaiwalla Museum – Non-Parsis aren’t allowed into the fire temples, but if you’re curious, you can see a replica of a fire temple at this museum located in Khareghat Colony on N S Patkar Marg in Grant Road.
  • CST Heritage Gallery – Mumbai’s main railway terminus is a UNESCO listed heritage site, and it has its own heritage gallery inside that’s a good way to kill some time while you wait for your train to arrive.
  • Aai Museum – Aai means mother in Marathi. Located near the airport’s domestic terminal at Ville Parle, this museum has old artifacts dedicated to motherhood.

Mumbai, India


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Main Museums in Mumbai, India

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya – Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it. CSMVS, formerly the Prince of Wales Museum, is probably the most popular museum in Mumbai. You’ll find all kinds of old stuff dating as far back as the Indus Valley civilization. Located on M.G. Road in the Fort area.
  • Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum – Best place to learn about Mumbai, its culture and origins. Has galleries showcasing Mumbai’s ethnic culture, founders and the origins of the city, among other things. Located in Byculla East.
  • Mani Bhavan – This was Mahatma Gandhi‘s base for the most critical part of his non-violent struggle to secure freedom for India, in between the two world wars. It’s now a museum that chronicles his life and times. Located on Laburnum Road in Gamdevi.