Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum at Pune

The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is the one-man collection of Padmashree Late Dr. D.G. Kelkar (1896 -1990). This Museum was dedicated by Dr. Kelkar in memory of his only son 'Raja' who died in an untimely tragic death.

Pune city is one of the most visited cities in Maharashtra State. Pune city is the second largest city in Maharashtra state. Pune city is also called as Deccan Queen and also called as 'The Oxford of the East'. The Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum is one of the most attractions of Pune city located at Shukrawar Peth in Pune city.

Also See: Visit the National War Museum of Pune

About Dr.D.G. Kelkar - Founder of the museum

Dr. Kelkar was born in the yer 1896 and expired in 1990. Dr. Kelkar was affectionately called as 'kaka'. Dr. Kelkar was a poet. Dr. Kelkar was a man driven by an inner calling. Dr. Kelkar was a man of mission. Dr. Kelkar was a family man with commitments and responsibilities. He was fortunate enough to receive the support of his family and friends to pursue his passion. Dr. Kelkar started this museum in remembrance of his only son 'Raja' who expired in a tragic death. Dr. Kelkar spent nearly 40 years in his life for building the collection in the museum. Dr. Kelkar started collecting from the year 1920 and by the yer 1960, the museum contained around 15,000 articles. In the year 1962, Dr. Kelkar handed over his collection to the Department of Archaeology of Government of Maharashtra.

About Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum

Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum was founded by Dr. Kelkar in the memory of his only Son 'Raja'. Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum has 20,000 different articles, all these personally collected by Dr. Kelkar from all over the world over a period of 40 years. When his died at the age of seven years, Dr. Kelkar wanted to do something in the remembrance of his son. That is how the idea of building a museum was conceived by Dr. Kelkar.

There is an impressive collection of 21,000 articles which recall the historic Indian Culture and traditions which gently lead to more and more treasures. We can see the creations in stone, wood, metal, ivory, fabric and clay in this museum.

The Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum houses the entire collection of Dr. Kelkar. The Museum's highlight 'Mastani Mahal' reveals the mansion of 'Mastani', the famous concubine of 'Peshwa Bajirao Ist' - Kaka's tribute to the grandeur of a bygone era. This museum on Bajirao Road is a marvel and a must see for tourists. It comprises of rare exhibits and artifacts from all over the country and dates back to the Mughal and the Maratha periods. Paintings, nut crackers, Ganpati's guns, carved palace doors, pottery and a number of musical instruments.

We can see the display of household vessels ( of 18th and 19th centuries)on the ground floor of the museum. These house hold vessels are made of terracotta, copper and brass and brought from Kerala and Gujarat and Maharashtra. You can also see vessles like Dabado, a box in which dowry used to be given in Gujrat.

We can see murthis of Shri Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati with paintings showing scenes from Ramayana and paintings in manuscript are on display on another floor. Another attraction of Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum is armours made of fish scales and crocodile skin, pistols, long barrelled muskets, daggers, shields, swords and small cannons.

The following collections can be seen at Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum at Pune.
Writing Implements: Writing has been known in India since the earlier times. We can see a good number of Ink-Wells and pen cases. WE can see nearly 100 to 150 ink-wells and Pen boxes which belong to 18th and 19th centuries in this museum. These articles belonged to Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The silver ink wells and pens were used in noble families. The ink wells in this museum are made of wood, Glass, Ivory, Terracotta, Copper and brass.

Kitchen Utensils: We can see small but interesting collection of Kitchen related equipments like copper oven, spice boxes, coconut slicers, metal plates, spoon hangers etc. in different shapes in Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum.

Wooden Objects: We can see lot of wooden objects like doors, windows, and arches with their own set of Gods, Goddesses, animals and apsaras in Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum. We can also see painted archways, carved wooden panels, doors in wood and ivory in this museum. Wood has always been a stimulating medium for the carver's art. The doors, windows and ceilings at the Museum show how imaginatively the artists have created a world of memorable beauty. All the wooden artifacts like pillars, brackets are brought from (Patan). The state of Gujarat makes the facade of a typical Gujarati house. The wooden objects specially used in Gujarati houses are the grinding wheel, spinning wheel, standing lamp and vessel for churning butter and the dowry boxes are part of beautiful wooden collection of the Museum.

Musical Instruments: We can see a lot of musical instruments as well at Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum. We can see mainly string, blowing and beating musical instruments in different forms and shapes in this museum. And lending a special glamour to this collection are the musical instruments of famous Indian musicians such as Pannalal Ghosh's flute, Hirabai Badodekar's tanpura, Ustad Kaderbaksh Khan's sarangi, Bal Gandharva,s tamboori, Madhukar Golwarkar's Shehenai, Pandit Paluskar's tanpura and many more.

Animal and bird motifs dominate the design of musical instruments here. The collection includes a sitar carved in the form of a peacock, a veena shaped like a tortoise, a tanpura in the likeness of a fascinating cobra. In one exhibit an ostrich egg is the sound-box of a Sitar.

There are many more such articles in this museum like paintings, textiles, lamps, ivory articles and lamps etc.

This museum was handed over to the Department of Archaeology of Govt. of Maharashtra in the year 1962. Now there are more than 20,000 articles in the collection in the museum. Most of the items are belonging to 18th and 19th century.

The Board of Management of Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

The museum is aided by Govt. of Maharashtra since the year 1975 and is, managed by the Board of Management which is deeply committed to not only preserving Dr. Kelkar's collection but also to the growth and development of the Museum. Let us see the list of Board of Management committee of this museum.

Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra -- President
Divisional Commissioner, Pune Division -- Vice-President
Secretary-Cultural Affairs,Govt.of Maharashtra -- Member
Commissioner - Pune Municipal Corporation -- Member
Vice – Chancellor, University of Pune -- Member
Dr. G.B. Deglurkar -- Expert Member
Dr. H.G. Ranade -- Member-Secretary
Mrs. Rekha Hari Ranade -- Member-Nominee
Sudhanva Hari Ranade -- Member
Sudarshan Hari Ranade -- Member
Surendra Hari Ranade -- Member

The ground floor the museum has arranged more valuable Ivory objects, namely Ink-Pots, House-Shrines, Toilet Utility objects, Games and Playing Cards.

We can see exhibits of bronzes, the lamps of different varieties and writing materials along with decorative ink-pots in the 2nd floor. There is a Sun_Lamp from Nepal and the Kadamba.

The first floor is having a beautiful collection of Musical instruments of different types. In a small section of the Musical Instruments Gallery, the Museum has displayed the Objects of Tribal art, Hubble-Bubbles and pipes.

In the second floor, we can see the gallery of Textiles. The textiles from different parts of India are exhibited here.

We can also see a library with books on different topics like Art, history, Architecture and so on.

The Museum now has a collection of 20,000 articles divided into 40 sections, among which prominently figure the attractive Lamps, Paintings, Tambool objects, Musical Instruments, Wood - work and so on, housed in a three storey building located at 1377 and 1378,Shukrawar Peth in Pune. The important exhibits in the various sections have been displayed in the properly illuminated show-cases in the different galleries.

That is about the Kelkar Museum in pune. I hope this article was useful to all



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