Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

About Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum (
  • Pune

As one of the largest one-man collections in the world, the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum in Pune is fascinating for its curios and artifacts, ranging from beautifully embroidered textiles to sculptures and antique copper vessels to the swords of the Peshwas. And as you walk through its various sections, history literally comes alive.

The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum came into being because of the passion of Dr. Dinkar Kelkar (1896 – 1990) who toured some of the remotest parts of the country to add to his collection of interesting items of historical value. In fact, this visually enticing foray into the past begins right from the entrance with the imposing presence of a galloping horse in wood, believed to be from the 19th century. Further ahead is the Gujarat Gallery which has a wooden facade typical to houses of Gujarat as well as other utility items from the region. A striking Meenakshi statue from the 18th century holds court in one corner of the gallery with a large antique mirror reflecting the details on the back of the statue.

Some of the other spell-binding things on display include a collection of musical instruments that comprises sitars shaped like peacocks and a Veena (a string instrument) in the form of a crocodile. A Veena made out of an ostrich egg is yet another delightful surprise. There also is a unique gallery of lamps where some of the artistically designed lamps reflect mythological themes. The Kadamba Tree Lamp is a particularly fine example of this, depicting a mischievous Lord Krishna sitting high on the branches of a tree, having hidden the clothes of the ‘Gopis’ bathing in the river. Some of the other things to look out for, apart from vessels, textiles, spice boxes and puppets, include an ivory dice set which serves as an eloquent example of superb craftsmanship.

However, one of the biggest attractions here is a ‘Peshwai’ room fit for a queen that has its link with the romance of Peshwa Bajirao I for a woman called Mastani, who was believed to be the daughter of King Chhatrasal of Bundela. Bajirao I fell in love with her while on a campaign and brought her to Pune where he built a palace for her, called ‘Mastani Mahal’. About 200 years later, the palace was in ruins, and the memory of the royal romance was contained in legends alone. A businessman had bought the land on which the ruined palace stood and realizing the historical significance of the structure, he invited Dr. Kelkar to salvage what was left. Dr. Kelkar carefully took apart one room that was still intact and painstakingly recreated it in the museum.

Visiting the museum:

Timings: From 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.

The museum is open to visitors throughout the year.

For more information kindly log on to: www. rajakelkarmuseum.com

The museum is located at 1377-78, Natu Baug, Off Bajirao Road, Shukrawar Peth, Pune - 411 002 and is open from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.  Website – www.rajakelkarmuseum.com

Things to Do
  • Visit Saras Baug
  • Sarasbaug - One of the most popular places for families to spend their evenings is Sarasbaug. This garden today houses a temple of Ganesh. There is a small chaupati close by where people can savour Pani Puri and Bhel.

  • Trek up the Parvati Hill
  • Parvati - A hill with temples built in the Peshwa period, is a favourite spot for the morning joggers and fitness freaks. The hill gives a wonderful view of the city from the top, especially in the morning and in the night. The Peshwa museum which showcases a variety of items belonging to the Peshwa era and the Samadhi of Nanasaheb Peshwa are also located on this hill.

  • Shop to Your Heart’s Content
  • Tulashibaug - Initially developed as a market for women, Tulashibaug is the most visited area for women who come to Pune. Famous for the household items, jewelry for different age groups and traditional souvenirs Tulashibaug is a must visit place in Pune. It also houses a temple of Rama that was built during the Peshwa Period. Lakshmi Road and MG Road are other shoppers’ delights while the newly constructed malls across the city offer the latest in international trenda and brands.