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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