[Travel] Mumbai, Historical Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sanghralaya Museum

Goodbye land of the Gods, Kerala is the best experience in my India trip. Hope to see you again. On to Mumbai. Last city on my last leg in India. My flight from Kochi landed in Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at noon.

Taking another bus, I check in to the YWCA of Bombay Fort Center hostel.  Lucky I have the last room. For 1 bed room is 2670₹. Quite expensive, but it’s Mumbai.


I like the color of this bus. The contrast.

After lunch, I decided to spend the afternoon at the The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya or the King Shivaji object collection, previously The Prince of Wales Museum of Western India . It’s a walking distance from the hostel. But viewh, so hot today.

The Museum was named in honor of Prince Edward, later king George V, but later named for the first Maharaja of Maratha Kingdom,  Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1998. Entry is kinda pricy, around 500₹ since I’m carrying a camera.

The building was built with grey Kurla basalt and buff colored trachyte Malad stone in 1905 and completed in 1915. The lead architect, George Wittet, also built the Gate of India. The architecture of the building followed the Indo-Saracenic style (Mughal, Maratha and Jain) elements. The style is popular among the British architect in late 19th century with elements from native Indo-Islamic and India architecture, gothic and Neo-classical from Victorian Britain.


The central Islamic dome with lotus design and smaller ones surrounding it. The balconies are decorated from Mughal palace architecture. Some of the interior has carving from Jain style columns.

Indian Jade. 18th – 19th AD. Part of Sir Ratan Tata and Sir D.J. Tata Collection


Muhammad Adil Shah. Deccani, Bijapur. Mid 17th CE.

The Terracotta Art of Mirpur Khas. Sindh, Pakistan, 5th CE. Mirpur Khas provides evidence of synthesis between Gandharan and Gupta traditions in early 5th century CE.

Enamel on Silver. 18th century AD.


Decorative horn. Silver. Bhavnagar, Gujarat, 19th century AD.


Rosewater Sprinkler. Silver. Deccan, 19th century AD.


Ewer. Silver. Rajasthan, 19th century AD. Sir Ratan Tata Collection.


Betel Leaf Box. Silver filigree. Mughal work, 18th century AD.

Japanese Art. 19th – 20th century AD. Sir Ratan Tata and Sir D.J Tata Collection.


Head of Buddha. Gandhara, 4th century AD.


Buddha statue made of terracotta, Mirpur Khas, 5th century CE.


Saraswati. Karnataka, 12th century AD.


The idol of Goddess Durga in the form of Mahishasuramardini by Shri. Ananta Malakr.


Enameled tiles. The tiles are made of burnt clay and glazed by enameling the surface with fusing the mineral substance colors.


The Assyrian Palace Reliefs. 9th – 8th century BC. The stone reliefs decorated the palaces of the Assyrian kings in Nimrud, Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).

Harappan Potery. Neolithic period. The Harappans civilization and religious beliefs in these pottery depicting tress, anthropomorphic figures and clay female figurines and fire altars. The female figurines are probably Mother Goddess.

There are some collections from Nepal as well since India and Nepal have cultural and trade relations since the Mauryan King Ashoka in the 3rd century BC.


Bhairava. Nepal 18th century AD. The ferocious form of Shiva to destroy the evil. The head is made of wood and decorated the entrances of shrines and used for ceremonial.


The Legend of Lokeshvara. Cloth painting, Nepal, early 17th century AD.

Metal art of Nepal, influenced by Gupta and west Bengal with Hinduism and Buddhism.

Mandala cloth painting. Nepal


Dipankara Buddha. Nepal.


Tibetan altar with objects used in rituals. 


Mandala of Akshobhya. Bronze, Sino-Tibetan style. 19th century AD.

The word Mandala is derived from the word ‘manda‘ (essence) and ‘la‘ (container) so in a sense, the mandala is the container of Darmadhatu essence, symbolized both the mind and the body of Buddha. Akshobhya is one of the dhyani Buddhas, seated on a lotus and Naga Nada and Upananda with Naga Varuna between them.


Tibetan musical instrument.


Ceremonial Tea Urn. Tibet, 18th century AD.

The daily used teapot has interesting symbol like a Makara (crocodile) or dragon shaped spout, a lizard and a serpent, associating with water cosmology and symbol of abundance and fertility.


Mani Stone Inscription. Tibet, 19th century AD.


Traditional art, Madhubani Hand Painting.

I love Tibetan art. Reminds me when I was in China, visiting Tibetan village and seeing the Tibetan art in Shanghai Museum.

From Tibetan art, I move to another section for Indian miniature paintings. The manuscript/illustrations originally were drawn on palm leaf, hence it’s small. With the introducing of paper, the illustrations still follow the palm leaf size. The flat colors are  red, blue, yellow, white and black. The era of Jain favored the added color of gold.


Kalilah wa Dimnah. Arabic translation of PanchatantraPanchatantra is a 2000 years old Sanskrit traveled book.


Fight between Gods and demons. Folio of Razm Nama (Mahabharata). Mughal, early 17th century CE. Sir Akbar Hydari Collection.


A prince enjoying picnic under the tent. Mughal. 1675 CE.


Ragini Todi. Rajasthani, Mewar, Chavand. 1605 CE. Artist: Nisaruddin.



Performance of Ashwamedha Sacrifice. Folio from a set of Ramayana. Rajasthani, Mewar. 1706 – 1649 CE.


Rama and Lakshmana in forest. Rajasthani. 1760 CE.


Maharawat Naharsingh and Champavatji in zenana. Rajasthani, Thikana Deogarh. 1888 – 1831 CE.


The life model of the scene in the painting.


Lila Hava – exchange of clothes. 18th centuryAD. Pahari, Garhwal.


I think what it get me excited is this part here. The painting the Indian miniature painting on a thick paper called wasli. The outline is made with charba or khaka (stencil) made of a thin film from deer skin.

The stencil is overlay on the paper and they can copy paste the drawings again and again. A white primer is applied and burnished to flat. After each colors applied, the surface is burnished again. The outlines are repainted with black paint.

The pigments are extracted from various minerals, leaves, flowers and sometimes corals grounded into powder and mix with gum Arabica extracted from bark of babbul tree.


A beautiful carved chariot.


Jewelry box. Ivory, 16th century AD. Gujarat.



Musical instrument depicting incarnation of Vishnu. Polychrome wood. 19th century AD. Maharashtra.


Venugopala on a Kadamba tree. Vegetable colors. Mithila (Madhuban), Bihar.


Tray and spoon depicting Venugopala. Silver 19th century AD. Kashmir.


Vraja Yatra Pichhwai. Mineral and water color pigment on cloth. 20th century AD.


Jewellery Box. Ivory. Delhi 1903 CE. The details are simply beautiful I think I spend a lot of time just seeing the patterns and design.


Ivory collections from Sir Tata Collection.

Various weapons collection from Sir Ratan Tata Collection.

Various Chinese art from Sir Ratan Tata Collection.


Various artifacts in the hall ways.

From the museum, I have a fast food take away and return to the hostel. More adventure tomorrow.

Mumbai Trip:

Source: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya museum website








5 Comments Add yours

  1. Teesh Osita says:

    The museum architecture look so great!

    1. It is interesting. I think every lever has its charms hahaha. Thanks for the comment :D

  2. Luciana says:

    thank you for your in-depth report, I recently went here to from UK what. an amazing place and I was searching for more information about the HUGE head of Buddha outside on the lawn

    1. Hi! Sorry for the late reply. I’ve been working. Thank you so much for your comment. Glad you find it informative :)

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