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Museums, some say, are for those who have a penchant for history. That is true to a certain extent but there also are museums which are delightful for the curiosity they generate and the way in which they offer a window to how people before our times lived. One such place is the Central Museum at Nagpur which is 150 years’ old. And what makes it a perfect tourist draw is the huge and priceless collection of memorabilia it holds.
Then there is the astounding collection of artefacts at the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum of Pune which is also remarkable for the fact that all the items were collected by just one person during his lifetime. The museum is delightful for its curios, ranging from beautifully embroidered textiles to sculptures and antique copper vessels to the swords of the Peshwas. At Kolhapur is the Town Hall Musuem which has relics of the Brahmapuri settlement and paintings and portraits of some of the best known artists of the country.
Have you ever visited a museum of money? If not, go to the RBI Monetary Museum in Mumbai which offers an informative peep into the evolvement of currency right from the days when emperors used gold coins to our era of plastic money. And when in Mumbai, include a visit to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum. It has a representative collection of various forms of art from India, China, Japan and some European countries along with a collection of natural history specimens.
At Aurangabad, the Department of History and Ancient Indian Culture of the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University has set up a unique museum that has a collection of miniature paintings, sculptures, texts, coins, weaponry, pottery, textiles, etc. which, put together, take you on a journey of India’s rich and diverse past. And of course there are many smaller museums too across the state, as for example the one on Parvati Hill in Pune which has swords, pistols and utility items from the time of the Peshwas. Fascinating indeed!

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