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Reviewed 27 January 2012

The Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum is said to be the oldest museum in Mumbai, reopened in 2008 after an extensive renovation. It may have been one of the best museums I’ve seen in India. There are multiple galleries that display such things as models of historic boats and ships used in the area, historic models and maps of Mumbai, detailed carved and painted statues of the various peoples of the area and a video of the amazing restoration. My favorite though was the entire first floor that was filled “industrial arts” which is to say very extensive, well displayed and maintained examples of Indian decorative arts. Think Indian miniature paintings; carved ivory, sandalwood and horn; worked metal to include silver, brass, copper and a variety of alloys the names of which I wish I could remember. There are also rotating modern art installations. The building is worth going to see just for itself. On the grounds of the Mumbai Botanical Gardens and Zoo. Forget the zoo but there is a toilet just inside the entrance to the zoo. There is no bathroom in the museum. Cost's 100 Rs per adult non-Indian. Well worth it.

Date of experience: January 2012
Thank unguidedmissal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2009

The building alone makes this place worth seeing. It's been recently renovated and it quite stunning. Note that there's a video that explains the entire renovation process in English on the second floor of the museum.

The collection itself kind of depends on your tastes. A lot of arts and crafts as well as extensive scenes with small figurine things. If you're interested in the state of craft production in the mid-19th century, then you'll be fascinated. Also I noticed that a number of children were pretty intrigued by the miniature scene set-ups.

A few practical points. The museum's posted hours as of late Dec. 2009 are 10-6 p.m., closed on Wednesdays. Admission is 100 rupees for foreigners. The museum is right next to the zoo, i.e. Victoria Gardens which was kind of nice to walk through as well (at the nominal cost of 5 rupees). Also, just outside the museum is the stone elephant from Elephanta Island that the Portuguese removed. It's a 10-15 minute cab ride from Colaba.

4  Thank travellerin30s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2008

This museum is wonderfully restored, and it is worth the trip somewhat outside of the main downtown/touristy area of Mumbai just to see the vibrant inside of the building. The first floor features an extensive and beautiful collection decorative arts, and lets you see the incredibly diverse crafts that are made in India. The second floor is an ethnographic exhibit. The dioramas and figurines seem a bit cheesy at first, but once you give them a chance you realize they are actually quite useful in helping a western visitor get a sense of the fundamental makeup of India. Furthermore, some of the figurines and displays were made by the British decades ago, so it is interesting to see their interpretation of and vision for Indian--which seems both simplistic and unrealistic (see the "Ideal Indian Village" to get what I mean.) Definitely one of the top museums in Mumbai--maybe the best overall.

8  Thank dsg2123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2018
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Date of experience: September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018
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Date of experience: February 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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