Museums and Art Galleries in Mumbai (Self Guided), Mumbai

The city of Mumbai is home to a number of interesting and unique museums and art galleries. The Nehru Science Center is especially popular with both locals and visitors, so much so in fact it has become one of the most visited landmarks in the whole city. The Mani Bhavan is another famous museum - it's dedicated to the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. There's also plenty of great art galleries. Take our Museums and Art Galleries Tour to witness the amazing beauty of Indian culture.
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Museums and Art Galleries in Mumbai Map

Guide Name: Museums and Art Galleries in Mumbai
Guide Location: India » Mumbai (See other walking tours in Mumbai)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Author: naomi
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • FD Alpaiwalla Museum
  • Mani Bhavan
  • Antarang
  • Indian Fine Art Gallery
  • Tao Art Gallery
  • Nehru Science Complex
FD Alpaiwalla Museum

1) FD Alpaiwalla Museum

Housed in a sandstone mansion in Mumbai is India’s only community museum, the FD Alpaiwalla Museum. Opened in 1952, this museum was formerly the house of Parsi bullion merchant Framji Dadabhoy Alpaiwalla and is named after him. The museum is currently run by the Parsi Panchayat of Bombay who restored it in 1984. The museum was an original land grant from the time of Emperor Jehangir and houses odds and ends collected by Alpaiwalla from around the world along with artifacts and relics contributed by other Parsi families. The museum is the the place where one can witness the history of the Mumbai’s Parsi community and their significant contributions.

The museum exhibits rare pieces of art like a toilet seat which is converted into a unique chair, a specially embroidered pair of ladies footwear matching her sari which are used in Parsi rituals hence giving a glimpse into contemporary Parsi life. The museum also houses Sir Dadabhai Naroji’s archaic chest and Sir Jamshedjee Jejeebhoy’s silver clock. Along with these rare artifacts, the museum also exhibits some great archaeological findings from Iran like the ancient astodan (large clay container) used for bone storage which was found by Parsi scholar Jamshed Unwalla at an archaeological digging site in Susa. Persian antiquities, paintings of pre-Zoroastrian myths, coins, stamps, photos of well-known Parsis, Chinese porcelains, and glassware are some other exhibits of this museum.
Mani Bhavan

2) Mani Bhavan (must see)

Located in the Gamdevi precinct, on Laburnum Road in Mumbai, is a two-storied building which was the epicentre for several movements during India’s freedom fight, Mani Bhavan. Initially owned by Shri Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri, this historic old-style building was taken over by Gandhi Smarak Nidhi in 1955 to preserve it as a veritable memoir of Mahatma Gandhi. A museum, picture gallery, the Library and the Terrace together draw an almost complete picture of the freedom struggle as well as the life of Mahatma Gandhi.

For a period of 17 years (1917-1934), the Bhavan served as Gandhi’s Mumbai headquarters and some of the movements crucial to Indian history like the Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Civil Disobedience etc. were initiated here.

The museum captures and portrays Gandhi’s dynamic personality and life through 28 tableaux of dioramas prepared by Sushila Gokhale Patel, along with models of Sabarmati ashram, Phoenix ashram, etc. The gallery also has preserves copies of letters written to Franklin D Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler along with documents and articles written about and by Gandhi, appropriately captioned in both Hindi and English.

A room in the Bhavan on the second floor was formerly the work place for the Mahatma and has been preserved closest to the original setting. Gandhi’s association with the charkha began in this Bhavan and the auditorium plays recordings of Gandhi’s speeches. For historians and biographers, Mani Bhavan is a treasure chest of knowledge.

Hours: 9.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on all days

3) Antarang

The Antarang sex health information art gallery provides an insight into human sexuality. This gallery is one of a kind in the South Asian region and is located in the vicinity of Kamathiputra, better known as the “sex district” in Mumbai. As a result of the combined efforts put in by the Grant Medical College alumnus and artist Dr. Prakash Sarang, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Mumbai District AIDS Control Society, Antarang was created in 2000. The main aim of this museum is to impart knowledge about sexuality along with raising level of awareness amongst sex workers about issues related to HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, etc. This gallery has had about 16,500 visitors.

At the entrance is a representation of Lord Shiva, the Shiva Linga and then there are consummate visual displays of safe sex props and the reproductive process. There are 20 life-size sculptures of nude people in several embraces along with others which impart information to the visitors about sexual intercourse, AIDS and human forms. Informational charts about menstrual cycles, sperm patterns, posters about use of condom, AIDS, graphical images of sexually transmitted diseases are also seen. All the information and instructions are in Hindi so as to make them easy to comprehend for the masses.
Indian Fine Art Gallery

4) Indian Fine Art Gallery

The Indian Fine Art Gallery is located in the Film Center Building. Open all year round, it presents modern artworks from mainly local artists, including paintings, photographs, sculptures and animated presentations.
Tao Art Gallery

5) Tao Art Gallery

The Tao Art Gallery focuses on modern and contemporary art. Featuring four exhibition rooms, the gallery has diverse displays of paintings, photography, sculpture, performance and installation arts. Both well-known contemporary artists and emerging artists are featured in its very modern presentations.
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Nehru Science Complex

6) Nehru Science Complex (must see)

Named after India’s first Prime Minister - Jawaharlal Nehru, located in the Worli area of Mumbai, is the Nehru Science Centre (NSC). In 1977, the semi-permanent exhibition ‘Light and Sight’ marked the beginning of the centre and, as an addition to it, the Science Park was created in 1979. On the 11th of November 1985, the centre was opened to the public by the then Prime Minister, late Rajiv Gandhi.

With 50 hands-on and interactive scientific exhibits themed on transportation, mechanics, energy, etc, and a science park spread over 8 acres, the Centre is one of the largest science museums in the country. Functioning as the western zone headquarters, the NSC is one of the four National Level Science Museums under the patronage of the National Council of Science Museums.

The centre has over 600,000 visitors every year; and over 1,200,000 school children participate in the activities arranged by the centre. The existing galleries include Dynamic Earth, Aerospace, Pre-Historic Animal Life, Sound and Hearing, etc. NSC has a planetarium which serves as a centre for study of astronomy, a culture wing which holds regular cultural programmes and encourages budding artists and performers. It also has an Art Gallery which displays work of eminent artists as well as aspiring ones. The Centre also hosts 3D science shows which aim at imparting knowledge in a fun and interesting manner. The NSC is open to public on all days except on Holi and Diwali.

Opening hours : 10.00 hrs to 18.00 hrs

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