Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum: A Portal into The Past

As my days of leaving the beautiful city of Pune was drawing nearer I got an opportunity to visit the very famous Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum which comprises of the collection of Dr Dinkar G Kelkar who dedicated this museum in memory of his son Raja who suffered an untimely tragic demise.

This museum is a three storied structure and features numerous sculptures that date back to the 14th century. It also showcases beautiful ornaments carved out of ivory, gold and silver. Moreover, the museum also houses a fine collection of musical instruments, weapons of war and vessels along with several other collectibles.

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

The collection comprises of around 15,000 objects which were collected in the time span of several years from 1920 to 1960. The Department of Archaeology working under the Government of Maharashtra received possession of these collectibles in the year 1962. Currently the museum comprises of more than 20,000 objects out of which only 2500 are kept on display. The objects on display consist of Indian decorative items that are used in everyday life and other objects of art dating back to the 18th and 19th century.

The museum’s collection is a clear depiction of the level of expertise and skill of the Indian craftsmen and artists of that time. Their exquisite art is well portrayed by the vessels, ornaments, door frames, paintings and carvings and the musical instruments housed in the museum of Raja Dinkar Kelkar.One part of the museum that draws special attention is the “Mastani Mahal”. It is an attempt made by Raja Kelkar to depict the palace of the wife of Peshwa ruler Bajirao I, Mastani.

The carving of lord Ganesha on the seed is a beautiful and most delicate work of craftsmanship of that era. The idol of lord Ganesha has been depicted with its trunk towards left which is opposite to the conventional Ganesha Idols and are extremely rare and difficult to draw or build. There were so many items of value housed in this particular museum that even the whole day would not be enough to get hold of them all. This was indeed a wonderful experience for me to have got an opportunity to be the part of such glorious history for a small fragment of time.


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