April 14 marks the birth anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who gave us our Constitution and led the movement for equality in Indian history. On the eve of this special day, we thought of bringing to your notice a museum dedicated to this legendary social reformer named – Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum Pune.
Pune houses so many museums, but this is one of a kind which has all Babasaheb Ambedkar’s personal belongings. Let’s give you a sneak peek at this legendary place without any further ado.
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum & Memorial, Pune – a treasure of memories
The museum is situated at Symbiosis University on Senapati Bapat Road. As per the official website of Symbiosis, the foundation stone for this memorial was laid on April 14, 1990.
The same year, the Government of Maharashtra granted the institute about two acres of land to construct this museum and memorial. Once you reach the place, you will be mesmerised by the scenic beauty of nature and the architecture.
The museum’s architecture resembles classical Buddhist tradition and is designed in the shape of a stupa. But it’s interesting to know how the institute got hold of this treasure.
Actually, Dr Ambedkar’s wife, Dr Maisaheb Ambedkar, generously donated many of his belongings to the museums. Even the urn containing his sacred ashes and Bharat-Ratna award with the citation can be seen at the museum.
The museum was inaugurated on November 26, 1996, on the eve of the Constitution Day of India.
What are the other notable personal belongings of Dr Ambedkar one can find here?
You can spot his silver frame spectacles, formal clothes, violin, and a bag among his personal belongings. Interestingly, the museum has also preserved the chair and table of Dr Ambedkar, on which he drafted the Constitution of India. There is also a lively statue of Babasaheb writing the Constitution, which for a moment feels real.
Moreover, a special hall is dedicated to the degrees and the gifts different countries bestowed upon him. The bed on which he breathed his last is also on display. There is also a clock that shows his death time. The museum is a treasure of his personal belongings like daily utensils arranged on the dining table, umbrella, kettle, eyeglass frames, cigarette cases etc.
The place gives you a reality check of the greatness of this personality. Apart from this, there are over 490 books and manuscripts from the personal collection of our father of the Constitution. His books prove his intellect and thirst for knowledge, which he, from time to time, expressed to society.
Also, if you want to know his journey from childhood to his demise, you can explore it through an expansive photo gallery. Every photo speaks a thousand words depicting the life he lived. Most importantly, the authorities are taking good care of all the artefacts by conserving them to the core.
The conservation of the belongings
Amit Jhagade, administration officer of the museum, informed Hindustan Times, “We have now started the conservation work of all the objects and books at the museum. For this, we have a separate conservation lab at the museum premises”.
He also informed that the museum authorities had started the digitalisation and deacidification of books, wherein they have digitised 62 books and 30,000 pages. To preserve the belongings better, the museum has installed air conditioners, dehumidifiers and wet and dry thermometers in the display cabinets.
Timings of the museum
The museum is open from morning 10 to evening 6 pm. The adult ticket price is Rs. 10 and Rs. 5 for children. Most importantly, every year, to mark Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, i.e., April 14 and death anniversary, i.e., December 6, the museum keeps the Bharat Ratna medal on display for visitors.
Another hidden gem of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar
Apart from this museum, if you wish to explore more about Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s life, you must visit Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Niwas Sthaan in Talegaon Dabhade. This place is 120 km from Mumbai and about 36 km from Pune.
According to a few old news articles, this land was bought by Babasaheb to set up universities after gaining inspiration from Nalanda and Takshashila. However, it remained a dream that never came true. It is said that Babasaheb conducted meetings with Acharya P K Atre and Sant Gadge Baba in Talegaon Dabhade.
He used to visit this home from 1949 to 1954 and wanted to purchase more land for expansion but couldn’t because he got occupied with other tasks. But the residents of Talegaon Dabhade are happy to have this memorial filled with tranquillity that marks the rich history and vision of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
On a parting note
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar always emphasised education. One of his quotes is, “Be educated, be agitated, be organised, be confident, never give up; these are the five principles of our life”.
So, to mark his birth anniversary and to pay respect to his vision, let’s promise to follow the path of knowledge and treat everyone equally and with justice. Besides, don’t forget to visit these memorials and unfold the life of the greatest visionary born in India!