Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Dr. Dinkar Kelkar started collecting exhibits around 1920 and one by one, section by section he raised the collections to around 15,000 objects of great attraction till the year 1960. He was very much fond of showing these exhibits to his friends and visitors in the same way as he wanted them to grasp his poems. Gradually the collection became a point of great attraction even to the visitors abroad. Dr. Kelkar could then easily win the minds of the authorities of the local bodies and of the State Govt. as well as of private institutions all over India, who came forward to help him to further collect the exhibits and convert the collection into a Regional Museum for Western India.
It was to the credit of Shri. Y.B. Chavan , the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Shri. P.J. Chinmulgund, the then Education Secretary of the State Govt. that the one man collection could take the shape of a real Museum. In fact the names of such institutions, state – authorities and luminaries who contributed towards the building of this Museum are too many to be enumerated here.
As a result of this public appreciation Dr. Kelkar decided in the year 1962 to hand -over his collection to the Dept. of Archaeology, Govt. of Maharashtra for developing it as a Regional Museum with better display and maintenance of its exhibits.
The Mastani Mahal situated on the same floor reminds one of the romantic and heroic life of the Bajirao Peshawa the first in the company of his beloved Mastani.
On the other part of the ground floor the museum has arranged more valuable Ivory objects, namely Ink-Pots, House-Shrines, Toilet Utility objects, Games and Playing Cards (‘Ganjeefa’).
Wood - Work & Sculptures
On the ‘L’ passage of the ground floor at the entrance have been arranged the artistically decorated doors and windows along with their panels and brackets with proper settings on the wall, so that one gets the impression of being just in front of the then existing house from where the particular doors have been collected. The stone sculptures displayed here along the wall un mistakeably appeal to the aesthetic sense of the visitor.
Lamps & Tambool
n the other part of the 2nd floor are exhibited the Bronzes, the Lamps of profuse variety, the Tambool artifacts and the writing materials along with the decorative Ink-pots. Mention worthy are the Sun-Lamp from Nepal and the Kadamba. tree Lamp with the Raasa-Lila depicted on it
Gujrat Gallery & Vanita Kaksha
In the Vanita Kaksha of the New Building, also situated on the ground floor, one can very well visualise how a day is begun by an Indian woman involving the use of Vajris i.e. foot cleaners, the mirrors, the combs, the collyrium-boxes and the Kumkum caskets.
In the smaller room before we enter the Gujrat Gallery, the Museum has displayed the Indian Paintings of different kinds belonging to 17th to 19th Century, i.e. Glass Paintings , cloth paintings, paintings on parchment, paintings on leather and paper.
The other part of the 1st floor is occupied by the beautiful collection of the Musical Instruments of various kinds namely the beating (drums etc.) Most remarkable among the beating instruments is the “Khol” of Keshavrao Bhole;among the blowing instruments the “Flute of Pannalal Ghosh” and among the string instruments the “tanpura os Sawai Gandharva” and “Mini Tanpura of Bal Gandharva” and also the Taar Shehnai of Madukar Golwalkar.The Museum proposes to pour music into these instruments by making them enjoyable through Casset-Recording .In a small section of the Musical Instruments Gallery, the Museum has displayed the Objects of Tribal art, Hubble-Bubbles and pipes.
In the gallery of the Kitchen utensils on the first floor amazing are big vessels for cooking food in large quantity normally served in festivals and marriage-parties. There are also big containers of liquid and those used for storing food grains. This gallery also exhibits the day-to-day used kitchen wares, with artistic touch as Vegetable-Cutters, Spice-Boxes and Utensils in different material : wood, metal, stone, hide, papiermache, terracotta. ceramin etc. The measures in wood, the Kiln belonging to 16 th Cent. and the Noodle Stands also attract the mind of the visitors.
Toys & Masks
On the third floor space has been provided for special Exhibition in which attempt is made to exhibit sections which cannot be displayed in the permanent show. Presently there is a special exhibition on armours and Tulsi Vrindavans. For children there are toys and masks to educate and entertain.
At the Exit of the Museum there have been arranged the artistically decorated doors and windows of temples and the then existing houses from various parts of India.
In the gallery of Textile on the 2nd floor figure mainly the textiles from different parts of the country. While the paithanies from Paithan of Maharashtra with Jari-work and Embroidery impress upon the visitors the richness of style of garments of the olden times, the Rabari garments take him to the prominent folk style in Gujarat, Kutch and Kathiawad.
A library with Books on Art, History and Conservation is also a must for the Museum which has one of its important tasks to understand and make known the culture tradition of the country in the light of the exhibits. The Museum has taken proper care to built up a collection on important books on Art, History, Architecture and so on.
A Museum in modern times is expected, if not much to collect, keeping in view the financial constrains, at least to preserve and present the variety of exhibits in its collection, in order to generate interest and curiosity about our past. The Museum has rightly equipped itself with a conservation Laboratory with modern most instruments and it is adopting up to date techniques to display the exhibits.
Programmes in Future
1) Special Exhibition on Paithan Paintings.
2) To make Video Cassetts on Museum and arrange lectures with slide show.
3) Five year programme for the Birth-day Centenary of Late Dr. D. G. Kelkar(10th Jan 1996 ) i.e. New Building Construction, Publication, raising Museum Funds, to arrange lectures and seminars etc.
The Museum has at present a collection of 20,000 objects divided into 40 sections , among which prominently figure the attractive Lamps, Paintings, Tambool objects, Musical Instruments, Wood – work and so on , housed in a three storey building located at 1377 and 1378,Shukrawar Peth in Pune. The important exhibits in the various sections have been displayed in the properly illuminated show-cases in the different galleries.
Board Of Management
In the year 1975 the Museum was taken over by the education Dept. of the State Govt. for further development and expansion. A board of Management was appointed as per the Agreement executed between Lt. Dr.Kelkar and the State Govt. to take proper care of administration and growth of the Museum.