Last Saturday I visited a museum with children from Mumbai Mobile Creches which took me back to the history for a while. The Victoria and Albert Museum at Byculla built in 1872 (now renamed as ‘Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum’) is Mumbai’s oldest and prized structure (http://www.bdlmuseum.org/).
The structure of the museum is inspired by Palladian style of architecture (Greco-Roman). The archaeological findings, artistic carpets, carved stone work, replicas, maps, photographs, relics, lamps, bronze structures et all relate to ancient times. The routine life of villagers, blacksmiths and different professions of locals are portrayed through a scale model.
From an inch small ancient perfume bottle to the huge statue of Prince Albert, the museum had everything to fascinate about. It was interesting to know about the origin of ‘Ganjifa’ cards – circular and hand-made by local artisans. I learnt that Ganjifa card games originated in Persia and became popular in India during the Mughal Empire. ‘Ganj’ in Persian means treasure.
The stupendous chandelier drew my attention while I took the staircase to the first floor of the museum. Do take a note of the scale model of The Tower of Silence (structure used by Zoroastrians for exposure of the dead) and Meenakshi Temple of Madurai on the first floor.
The exterior of the museum has open space for outdoor games. We played various games with the children there – Dog and the bone, Kho Kho, Snakes and Ladder (a board game drawn on the floor) which reminded me of my childhood days 🙂
Do not miss the monolithic elephant sculpture outside the museum which originated from Elephanta Island.
The Museum also hosts various events, programs and workshops which are free and open to public. Take a plunge into the history to find your origin!
Cheers – Lubna