Where modern meets tradition—that’s Pune for you! From being an erstwhile seat of the powerful Peshwa dynasty to being home to thousands of IT companies, the city has many feathers in its cap.
The cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra is not only home to ancient monuments with magnificent architecture, but also has a lot of museums where traditional artefacts, handloom and other important items of historic importance are preserved.
Several art museums and other museums host personal things belonging to prominent personalities of this region. By visiting these museums, you would feel that you have travelled back in time and get a glimpse of how life was back then.
Let us explore the various museums in Pune that offer a deco into the art, history, tradition and heritage of the city and the adjoining region.
Exploring the Best Museums in Pune—Where Art, History, and Heritage Converge
1. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Known to be one of the best museums in Pune, the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum was established in the year 1920 by Dr Dinkar G. Kelkar. It is dedicated to the memory of his only son, Raja.
The three-storied building located in Natu Baug has various sculptures that date back as far as the 14th century. The museum also hosts ornaments made of gold, silver and ivory, musical instruments, war weapons and vessels.
The utensils on display date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and have intricate designs and detailing on them and are made of brass, copper, and terracotta. Raja Dinkar Kelkar had a penchant for collecting old and antique knick-knacks and many rare finds displayed in this museum are sourced from various parts of the country.
Timing: 10.00 am to 5.30 pm
Entry fee: Rs 20 for Indians and Rs 200 for foreign nationals
Location: Natu Baug, off Bajirao Road
2. Mahatma Phule Museum
Established in the year 1890 and formerly known as the Lord Ray Museum, this place was later renamed to Mahatma Phule Museum. Mahatma Jyotiba Phule was a great Indian social reformist, who dedicated his life to women’s empowerment and anti-caste movement.
The museum houses brassware items, marble statues, stone carvings, and oil paintings among other things. The museum also has a library with a collection of rare books related to museology, and technology among other topics.
There are also sections dedicated to armoury and weapons and taxidermy.
Timing: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 10 for adults and Rs 5 for children
Location: Ghole Road
3. Lokmanya Tilak Museum
Located in the Kesari Wada, the Lokmanya Tilak Museum is dedicated to Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, an Indian nationalist and independence activist.
This museum displays his works, photographs, and writings. There is a copy of his work Gita Rahasya on display. The rare photographs include those of the Fergusson College, New English School and Deccan College. A replica of Tilak’s study room also can be seen here.
Timing: 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm (closed on public holidays)
Entry fee: Free
Location: Kesariwada, Narayan Peth
4. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum
Established in the year 1996 with an aim to promote the life and teachings of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, this museum is located on Senapati Bapat Road.
This is one of the best museums where you can learn more about Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, a prominent social reformer, writer of the Constitution of India, first law minister of Independent India and a Bharat Ratna awardee.
The museum houses important collections such as his handwritten letters, violin, and his Bharat Ratna Award.
Timing: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
Entry fee: Rs 10
Location: Senapati Bapat Road
5. Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railways
Attention all railway enthusiasts! Featured in the Limca Book of Records in the year 2004, Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railways displays a rare collection hand-crafted by BK Joshi.
The miniature train museum was opened in 1998 and the intricacies of the railways and other items on display will mesmerise you.
The figurines are part of a well-planned and detailed miniature city, which is controlled by a fully-functioning light and sound system.
A special chemical etching technique is in place to ensure that the entire train system runs efficiently without any glitches.
Timing: 9.30 am to 5.00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 90
Location: GA Kulkarni Path
6. Pune Tribal Museum
The Pune Tribal Museum has tribal artefacts and many other things of cultural importance on display. This museum is a part of the Tribal Research and Training Institute and is located on Queen’s Road.
This museum was established in 1962 and there are various tribal clothes, utensils, bamboo work, masks, household articles and weapons on display here.
Timing: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 10 for adults, Rs 200 for foreign nationals
Location: Near Old Circuit House, Bund Garden Road
7. “Blades of Glory” Cricket Museum
Everyone knows how obsessed is India with cricket! If you are a cricket aficionado too, then this is a must-visit place for you.
This museum features Sachin Tendulkar’s famous heavy bat and other cricket equipment signed by famous cricketers from across the world. It shows the evolution of cricket with its various stages and memorabilia. The gallery displays bats signed by 11 World Cup-winning teams and it is one of the most famous museums in Pune.
Timing: 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
Entry fee: Rs 50
Location: Tulsibaugwale Colony, Parvati Paytha
8. Maratha History Museum
Donated by the Maharaja of Jamkhindi, this place was converted into the Maratha History Museum in 1939.
The museum has two main sections- the archival section and the museum section of the Jamkhindi collection. There ate many important possessions such as cloth bundles of old Marathi documents in Modi script, old maps and plans. Paintings, copper items, manuscripts on palm leaves and many items made of brass, ivory, and silver.
Timing: 10.30 am to 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm (Sunday closed)
Entry fee: Rs 10 to Rs 50
Location: Deccan College, Yerawada
Related Readings – Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum & Memorial Pune