Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is one of the finest museums in the Pune city. It is situated in Shukawar Peth, on the Bajirao Road. The museum is now under the ownership and control of the Department of Archaeology, Government of Maharashtra. However, it was originally under the possession of Dr Dinkar G. Kelkar, who laid down its foundation in memory of Raja, his only son. Infact, the majority of the collection seen inside Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is the result of the efforts of Dr Dinkar only.
He built the assimilation slowly and gradually, devoting more than 40
years of his life towards it. His endeavor to start a museum started in
the year 1920, when he started gathering artifacts to be displayed
inside it. By the year 1960, Dr Dinkar had more than 15,000 items in his
possession. After two years i.e. in 1962, he decided to hand over all of
his collected works to the Department of Archaeology. With time, they
added more items to his collection and today, the number of artifacts
owned by them number more than 20,000.
Most of the items, that make up the collection of the Raja Dinkar
Kelkar Museum, date back to somewhere between 18th and 19th century. At
present, only 2500 items have been displayed for public viewing. Amongst
them is a very impressive collection of musical instruments. One can
also find an amazing compilation of Mughal antiques like instruments,
lamps, paintings, etc. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum also boasts of an
exquisite collection of nutcrackers, Ganpati's guns, carved palace
doors, pottery, etc.
As you roam around the ground floor of the museum, you will come across
household vessels made of terracotta, copper and brass. They were bought
from Kerala, Gujarat and Maharashtra items, around the 18th and 19th
century. The statues of Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati can
be found gracing another floor of Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum. The display
collection of the museum also includes paintings depicting scenes from
the Great Indian Epic Ramayana.
Last but not the least is the collection comprising of Armors made of
fish scales and crocodile skin, pistols, long barreled muskets, daggers,
shields, swords and small cannons, along with the betel boxes, lime
containers and spittoons used by the Maharajas. One of the most
magnificent structures inside the museum comprises of the recreation of
the famous Mastani Mahal. Research and Storage facilities have been
provided inside the premises of the museum. Institute of Musicology and
Fine Arts can also be found inside the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum