Kelkar Museum was established in 1962 by Baba Dinkar Kelkar and was donated to the Maharashtra government in 1975.
The museum has 20,000 different articles, all personally collected by Baba Kelkar from all over the world. When his son died at the age of seven, he decided to do something in his remembrance and that is how the idea of building this museum was conceived.
The museum houses the entire collection of Baba Kelkar, a recreation of the famous Mastani Mahal, research and storage facilities and the Institute of Musicology and fine arts. It is a resting place for Dr. Kelkar’s obsession to create a centre for artistic endevours.
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.
On the ground floor are displayed household vessels (of 18th and 19th century) made of terracotta, copper and brass and brought from Kerala, Gujrat and Maharashtra. One can see vessles like Dabado, a box in which dowry used to be given in Gujrat.
On another floor, murtis of Shri Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati with paintings showing scenes from Ramayana and paintings in manuscript are on display. Another attraction is armours made of fish scales and crocodile skin, pistols, long barrelled muskets, daggers, shields, swords and small cannons.
For those who want to experience the rich and tasteful lifestyle of maharajas in the 18th century, there is a tambool collection including nut-cutters of different shapes and sizes, betel boxes, lime containers and spittoons. The intrinsic designs are proof of the artistic brilliance of people belonging to that century.
For the music lovers, there is a musical gallery with nearly all types of musical instruments on display. The collection also includes personal instruments contributed by the personalities such as Sarinda by P.L. Deshpande, Saarangi of Ustad Kadarbaksh Khan. One can also see a tortoise shaped veena and a gramophone of early 20th century, donated by HMV Co.
There is a room in the museum which almost steals your heart. It is a recreation of the Mastnai Mahal which was originally built in 1734 in Kothrud, Pune. It has a luxurious setting, colourful paintings and chandeliers, all to give the feel of a palace.
Timings: 9 am to 6 pm (open all days)
Entry fee: Rs 15
Getting there: On Bajirao Road, near the famous Abhinav Kala Mandir, this is easily accessible from Deccan which is 2-3 kms away. Best way to make your way is through a rickshaw or a two wheeler as it is in the heart of the city.