The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is a tribute to everyday life in India, featuring an expansive collection of relics that capture the culture of the local people. Jewellery, hookah pipes and toys are among the many items that illustrate how Indians have lived throughout history.
The collector, Dinkar Kelkar, devoted his life to accumulating this vast assortment of objects. He founded the site in 1962 as a tribute to his son, Raja, who died aged 7.
Walk through the museum at your own pace to discover a long timeline of Indian cultural heritage. See writing tools and kitchen utensils from the Pune region, as well as coins that were used in the 17th century. Inspect the swords and metal armour that survived many battles.
Learn about the Mastani Mahal tale of love in the recreation of a romantic palace. The magnificent building was originally constructed in Kothrud, outside of Pune. Dinkar Kelkar took it apart and brought it to his museum. Paintings, chandeliers and other elegant fixtures decorate the walls of the setting, bringing the Peshwa dynasty back to life.
Find out about the social convention of tambool, which involves chewing on a leaf. Marvel at the fascinating apparatuses, ranging from gold lockets to silk pouches, used to hold the leaves.
The intriguing collection of clay artifacts ranges from smoking pipes to small whistles. Admire terracotta lamps and other artworks on display. See what life was like for children in 18th-century India at the toy exhibit. There are small chariots and models for children, made from wood, metal and papier-mâché.
You can also find artistic sculptures, bronze deities and a section devoted to traditional Indian beauty. Don’t miss the unusual objects that include foot-scrubbing instruments, mirrors and combs.
The museum is open to the public daily from morning until late afternoon. There is a fee for entry.
The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum can be found to the south of the Mula River in the centre of Pune. Nearby landmarks include the Shaniwar Wada Fort and Saras Baug. Take a bus or taxi to the city centre and walk to the museum.