The best of Pune museums

ST Correspondent
Monday, 18 May 2020

With many public and private museums dotting the city, all you need is time on your hand to go site-hopping.

Each year since 1977, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has organised International Museum Day. The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness about the fact — “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, co-operation and peace among people.”

Organised on May 18 each year or around this date, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or an entire week. All around the world, more and more museums participate in International Museum Day. The theme for International Museum Day 2020 is ‘Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion’. With this, it aims at becoming a rallying point to both celebrate the diversity of perspectives that make up the communities and personnel of museums, and champion tools for identifying and overcoming bias in what they display and the stories they tell. (Source: )

What Pune has to offer

With many public and private and museums dotting the city, all you need is time on your hand to go site-hopping. Here, we present information about some of the museums and their varied, and needless to say, interesting displays.

Kesariwada: Our Connection with Freedom Struggle

This museum, located in Narayan Peth, harks back to our freedom struggle and Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, to whom it is dedicated. It is called Lokmanya Tilak Museum, but since it is located in Kesariwada, it is locally known as Kesariwada museum. The Kesari here refers to the first newspaper started by Tilak. It is in this wada that he started the newspaper office, to make his countrymen aware of the unjust rules and practices of the British government. The museum was conceived, and is managed, jointly by the Kesari Mahratta Trust and the Tilak family.

Inaugurated in 1999, it shares space with the Kesari-Mahratta Library and a couple of offices managed by the Trust. On display in the museum are various important episodes from the life of Tilak, his correspondence with Gopal Ganesh Agarkar (his contemporary and friend;  Agarkar advocated social reforms and Tilak was of the opinion that social reforms will follow once we achieve independence from the British rule), his genealogical table, personal belongings, an early design for the flag of India. There is also a replica of the jail cell in Mandalay with Tilak seated inside penning the Gita Rahasya (treatise on Bhagwad Gita).

Tribal Museum: Going to the roots

The Tribal Research & Training Institute’s Tribal Museum, near Old Circuit House, will introduce you to the indigenous communities of the state. The collection, including music instruments, jewellery and tools, artefacts, festivals, depict the life of the communities from the Sahyadri and Gondwana regions of Maharashtra. The museum, with the intention to preserve the tribal art, has documented the lives of 47 tribes. All the exhibits have a plaque, describing its utility and importance in the lives of the aboriginals.

Mahatma Phule Museum: A dekko into ancient technologies

The Mahatma Phule Museum, located off JM Road, was founded in 1890. It was then called the Poona Industrial Museum, and subsequently it was named Lord Reay Museum. In 1968, it was renamed as Mahatma Phule Museum. The museum has exhibits from categories like industry and engineering, geology and minerals, handicrafts and cottage industries, agriculture, forestry, natural history and armoury. The armoury has weapons from the Mughal and Maratha period.

The Mahatma Phule Museum’s natural history section has a taxidermy collection of various species of animals, birds, insects, snakes and fishes. The industrial section has models of Indian hydro-electric and irrigation projects and oil refining methods that explain scientific agriculture. The museum’s library collection covers a variety of subjects, especially those on ancient technologies and museology. (Source: Wikipedia)

Pimpri Chinchwad Science Park: Science Made Easy

The Pimpri Chinchwad Science Park is a big draw for kids and science lovers. The Science Centre houses galleries on different themes of Science & Technology, besides inflatable planetarium and an auditorium. Most of the exhibits in the science centre and science park are interactive in nature and visitors can explore science in an entertaining way. The centre also conducts science shows such as 3D Shows, Taramandal Shows and Live Demonstrations for visiting people and student groups. It also organises activity-based programmes and workshops for students and teachers. (Source:

Other museums

  • Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum 
  • Blades of Glory Cricket Museum 
  • Aga Khan Palace 
  • Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum and Memorial

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