Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Prince of Wales Museum (Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), amazing British building!

Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya),Mumbai.

Above image:  Formerly Prince of Wales Museum (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), Mumbai, near the gate Way of India and the Taj Mahal Hotel. Bernard Gagnon - Own work

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya ('king Shivaji object collection'; CSMVS)  was formerly called the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, and  is a popular place being visited by a lots of people a day.
The museum building is classified as a Grade I Heritage Building of the city and was awarded first prize (Urban Heritage Award) by the Bombay Chapter of the Indian Heritage Society for heritage building maintenance in 1990. To commemorate the visit of Edward VIII, who was Prince of Wales at the time, the museum was planed in 1905 with help from prominent citizens backed by the Bombay Presidency. It is located in  South Mumbai near the Gateway of India, yet another British heritage site.The name of the museum was changed in In 1998  to Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Empire  and dynamic warrior, a sworn enemy of the Moguls and other Muslim rulers. The other museum that had come up before this one is  Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, formerly the Victoria and Albert Museum (1855), just opposite Byculla railway station, Mumbai. This museum is located inside the Victoria Garden, now called Jijamata Udyaan. This Gothic architecture building was revived a few years ago by the Mumbai municipal corporation authorities. The museum embodies the pomp and glory of the British Raj and its heyday.

Statue of The Prince of

Above image: Statue of The Prince of Wales, who became the Emperor, George Vth, later. in the Museum, Mumbai. Rangakuvara - Own work. The foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales on the 11 November 1905 and the museum was formally named "Prince of Wales Museum of Western India"........................

Covering 3 acres (12,000 m2) area, with a built up area of 12,142.23m sq. the museum is surrounded by a nice garden of palm trees and formal flower beds. It is  a good example of  Indo-Saracenic style of architecture besides carrying  attributes of other styles  such as the Mughal, Maratha and Jain.  It is a three-storied rectangular  edifice, topped by an impressive  dome set upon a base, which adds an additional storey in the centre of the building. The dome above the porch is , tilled  with white and blue flecks, supported on a lotus - petal base". Added attraction is a  cluster of pinnacles, topped with miniature domes that  surround the central dome. The architect handles the designs intelligently by incorporating the Indian elements. Based on the model of Golconda Fort, inner vaulting arches of Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur, the interior of the museum shows the fusion of columns, railings and balcony of an 18th-century Wada (a Maratha mansion)  and Jain style interior columns, which form the main body of the central pavilion below the Maratha balcony.

Main Lobby of The Prince of Wales Museum.

 Above image: Interior of formerly Prince of Wales Museum (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), Mumbai. The vaulted arches - very much similar to those in the interior of Gol Gumbaz, built by the Bijapur Sultan.  ....................

Under the headings of Art, Archaeology and Natural History, there are more than 50,000 exhibits of ancient Indian history as well as objects from foreign lands. Additional exhibits include  Indus Valley Civilization artifacts, and other relics from  from the time of the Guptas, Mauryas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakuta. There is a library in the museum.
The recent modernization program(2008) in the Museum saw the addition of 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2) to house five new galleries, a conservation studio, a visiting exhibition gallery and a seminar room, in the East Wing of the Museum.

 The place where the museum stands was called the "Crescent Site" and it was granted to the museum committee by the the Bombay Presidency on 1 March 1907. The architect was one George Wittet who had already designed the General Post Office and later the Gateway of India in 1911. The foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales on the 11 November 1905 and the museum was formally named "Prince of Wales Museum of Western India".The work was commissioned in 1909. A sum of Rs.550,000.00 
was granted  by the municipality and the 
government towards the building. Private contributors included Sir Currimbhoy Ibrahim (first Baronet) - Rs. 300,000.00 and Sir Cowasji Jehangir Rs. 50,000. The Museum, established under Bombay Act No. III of 1909. was completed in 1915, but was used as a Children's Welfare Centre and a Military Hospital during the First World War. In 1920 before it came under the control of the  committee. The Prince of Wales Museum was inaugurated on January 10, 1922, by Lady Lloyd, the wife of George Lloyd, Governor of Bombay. The museum building is made of locally quarried grey Kurla basalt and buff coloured Trachyte Malad stone; both are volcanic rocks available in the Deccan plateau. This museum housed in a fine colonial structure is worthy of a visit that will never disappoint you!!

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