Prince of Wales Museum – A Complete Guide. India is known to the world for its ancient buildings and their historical status. Prince of Wales Museum, presently renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, is also one of the most prominent places in Mumbai to explore history and heritage of this country.
Your Mumbai trip is incomplete if you keep this stunning place out of your travel itinerary.
An Overview of The Prince of Wales Museum
Prince of Wales Museum is undeniably one of the best places to visit in the city of Mumbai. This building is simply an architectural masterpiece featuring Indo-Saracenic influence.
This museum has been declared as a Grade -I Heritage Building by the Government of India and maintenance of this place has now been assigned to the Indian Heritage Society.
This spectacular building sits amidst a perfectly manicured garden which enhances its beauty manifold. If you are someone who finds solace in exploring history and heritage, then Prince of Wales Museum is surely the place to head for.
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History of Prince of Wales Museum
Prince of Wales Museum is one of the premium cultural institutions in India and the most prominent one from the western part of the country. The museum was originally built to honour and commemorate the arrival of King George V to India.
The primary thought of erecting the building was initiated in the year 1904, although the foundation stone was laid down in 1905 by the Prince of Wales. In 1907, the Bombay Presidency Government formed a museum committee and granted them a site (called ‘Crescent Site’) to erect the building.
Famous architect, George Wittet designed this spectacular building. Initially, it served as a military hospital and a children’s welfare centre, and finally, it started functioning as a museum in 1922.
The Architecture of the Prince of Wales Museum
Prince of Wales Museum is a Grade – I Heritage Building in the city and you will know the reason as soon as you have a sight of this majestic building. The best part is the building still flaunts its original structure without any structural modification.
This museum showcases the best version of Indo-Saracenic architectural style in India. This museum stands tall on Indian pillared hall and the arched passageways featuring dome rising above the arches to create gorgeous geometrical patterns.
The whole building is fitted with small jalis for wind and light to pass that add more to its grandeur. The museum features three distinctive parts – Natural History Section, Art Section and Archaeology Section.
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Prince of Wales Museum Collection
Prince of Wales Museum houses more than 50,000 artefacts which are really impressive. The collection of the museum comprises of an innumerable number of sculptures, bronzes, terracotta’s, miniature paintings and even excavated artefacts from Harappan sites.
Apart from this, Prince of Wales Museum features European paintings, porcelain and ivory artefacts from Japan and China and artworks from India, Nepal, Tibet and other far-east countries.
Inside the building, you can spot the remnants from the Maurya as well as Gupta dynasties. Natural History Section of the museum displays a massive collection of reptiles, mammals, birds, fishes and amphibians. There is also a separate section dedicated to Indian arms and armours.
Prince of Wales Museum Timings
Located at 159-161 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort in Mumbai, the Prince of Wales Museum keeps its doors open to visitors every day from 10.15 AM to 6.00 PM. Ticket counter of the museum closes at 5.40 PM.
Prince of Wales Museum Entry Fees
Museum authority has revised the Entry Fee structure with effect from 1st October 2019. Presently, Entry Fee for Indian adult (above 12 years) is Rs 100, and for foreigner nationals, it will cost Rs 650.
Entry tickets for children aged between 5 – 12 years is just Rs 30. The museum offers a discounted rate on tickets for students (up to 10th standard), college students, senior citizens, defence personnel and group visitors.
How to Reach Prince of Wales Museum
The Prince of Wales Museum is located at a 20-minute walking distance from both Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Central Railway) and Churchgate station (Western Railway).
After reaching any of this railway station, you can board a public bus to reach the destination. Bus numbers from CSMT are 14, 69, 101 and 130 while from Churchgate, you can avail bus numbers of 70, 106, 122, 123, 132 and 137. You can also reach the museum from any part of the city by taking an auto or cab.
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Places near Prince of Wales Museum
Once you have reached the southern-most tip of Mumbai to visit the Prince of Wales Museum, you shouldn’t miss the Elephanta Caves. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a mesmerizing land of sculptures, cut out of rock during the Medieval era.
Elephanta Island is about 11 km away from the land of Mumbai City. Sculptures of these caves (majorly dedicated to Lord Shiva) can be accessed via a short ferry ride from Gateway of India.
Gateway of India
Gateway of India is surely the most iconic and popular tourist destination in Mumbai. Sitting against the stunning backdrop of Taj Hotel, this beautiful British structure overlooks the Arabian Sea from the shore.
This monument was built in the year 1942 to honour and commemorate the visit of Queen Mary and King George V to India.
Mount Mary Church
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, vastly known as the Mount Mary Church is a Roman Catholic Church sitting atop a hillock at Bandra in Mumbai.
This church is known for its architectural brilliance and beautiful interiors. From this church, you can enjoy a jaw-dropping panoramic view of the suburbs and the Arabian Sea.
When you are in Mumbai, how can you forget about visiting Marine Drive! This iconic landmark of the city features Mumbai’s glitz and glitter in the best manner.
Marine Drive is actually a 3.5 Kms long, crescent-shaped boulevard stretching along the South Mumbai Coastline. Because of its twinkling appearance after sunset, it is also called as the ‘Queen’s Necklace’.