Bhau Daji Lad- A cultural milestone

Mumbai - Situated in the heart of South Mumbai at Byculla zoo, Bhau Daji Lad is India's 3rd and Mumbai's first museum with a legacy of 154 years. It was an effort of few spirited people from then ‘Bombay’ who created this place to house craft of local artisans Bhau Daji Lad and sir George Birdwood, being the secretaries of the museum committee raised funds for this venture which amounted to Rs. 1,16,141 and after 15 years these efforts materialised as Victoria Gilbert museum in 1862. In 1975 to pay tribute to the efforts of Bhau Daji Lad's efforts this museum was renamed after him. Despite being located in heart of Mumbai this museum remained unknown to most of the Mumbaikars. It deteriorated due to lack of care and funds and was on the verge of falling apart. In 2000 the art lovers came together to save this legacy which was funded by Bajaj foundation who took charge of its restoration to get the glory back. The museum has tiles and railing imported from England, carpets are woven by inmates of Yerawada jail almost 100 years back and elephant statue of Gharapuri caves. Also, the first floor tells you the story of Mumbai's glorious cultural history. Today it is looked after by a private trust and BMC. With backing from Jamanalal Bajaj foundation it is a beautiful example of a public-private alliance to restore Mumbai s illustrious past. It has won UNESCO’s 2005 Award of Excellence in the field of Cultural Conservation.

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