6 Lesser-Known Facts about the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

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Pune houses so many wonders! From monuments to national heritage sites, our city has been gifted with little gems which attract thousands of tourists every year. One such gem happens to be Kelkar Museum; a museum curated by a single man. This museum has received massive fame for what it houses. So if you have never explored Kelkar Museum, or if you have visited it as a child, here are six facts which will awaken your curiosity. Check them out!

The Curator
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As the name suggests, the museum was started and then meticulously curated by Dinkar G. Kelkar in the memory of Raja Kelkar, his one and only son. The museum was established in 1920, and was later donated to the Government of Maharashtra in 1975.


The Building

The museum is located south of the Mula river. Notable landmarks include Shaniwarwada and Sarasbaug. The building itself is a three-storey structure and its sculptures date back to 14th century!

The Collection
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Kelkar museum houses over 20,000 objects, while only 2,500 are on display. The collection is a tribute to the everyday life in India, and features an expansive collection of relics that capture the culture of the local people. Clay artifacts, bronze deities, toys, sculptures and other relics are included in the collection.

Mastani Mahal
Image by @theweirdbatman

The Mastani Mahal has been recreated in this museum and it accurately portrays the tale of love. The original Mahal was constructed in Kothrud, but Dinkar Kelkar took it apart and brought it to his museum. Paintings, chandeliers, and other relics which were used to decorate the walls of the Mahal have all been restored, bringing the glorious age back to life.

Image by @wayward.snaps

The social convention of tambul has been expressed and depicted accurately here. It involves chewing on a betel leaf. These days, we refer to it as a mouth freshener or Paan mukhwaas. You can learn more about this age-old tradition and its importance right here at Kelkar Museum.

Chandrashekhar Agashe
Image by @pune__photographers

The museum also houses a special wing which includes a collection of ancient Indian musical instruments belonging to the late industrialist Chandrashekhar Agashe. The collection was donated by his son, the late Dnyaneshwar Agashe. Taking his namesake, and honoring the kinship of Chandrashekhar Agashe’s widow who was Dinkar G. Kelkar’s fourth cousin.

Know anything that we can add to this list of amazing facts? Tell us, Punekars!

Feature image by @shah9975 via Instagram

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