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IN PICS | History on wheels: When museum reached malls, chowpatty in Mumbai

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum takes its van to Lower Parel on International Museum Day, with an exhibition on India through the centuries.

mumbai Updated: May 19, 2017 10:28 IST
Madhusree Ghosh
Madhusree Ghosh
Hindustan Times
International museum day,Indian museums,Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Arnav Desai, 4, checks out a Megalithic Age burial setup, amid some calming reassurance from his dad. His mother took the day off from work so the family could make it to the ‘bus museum’, which was parked at the Phoenix Mill mall on Thursday. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Photo)

Families, office-goers and dozens of kids trooped into a parked bus at a Lower Parel mall on Thursday, to take a trip through time.

The Museum on Wheels of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya was celebrating International Museum Day with an exhibition titled As It Happened, a literal translation of the Sanskrit word ‘itihas’ (which we generally translate as ‘history’).

Inside were ancient weapons, old coins, replicas of a 5th century AD stone Shiva statue, pieces of jewellery and even iconic newspaper editions — HT’s from August 16, 1947, and an Indian Express issue reporting on the Bhopal gas tragedy.

“Over 1,200 people visited the mobile museum through the day, which is phenomenal,” said Bilwa Kulkarni, education officer at the CSMVS.

The Museum on Wheel initiative is three years old, but has so far catered to schools, NGOs and cultural institutes. This was the first time it parked in a public place. After three hours at the mall, it moved on to Girgaum Chowpatty and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Photo)
Ajay Salunkhe, education facilitator for the Museum of Wheels, explains the exhibits to visitors, in this case a bunch of college girls intrigued by the sculptures and iconography. This statue, for instance, is a replica of a 5th century AD Shiva statue, found not far from where the bus was parked. “I just came to visit the mall and curiosity led me to this museum on wheels. I’m glad that I came, as the exhibition was very interesting. I didn’t know my own city had such an ancient history,” says Shaikh Kainat, 19, who was there with friends. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Photo)
Among the exhibits in the bus were iconic newspaper editions — included this edition of the Hindustan Times from August 16, 1947, and an Indian Express issue reporting on the Bhopal gas tragedy. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Photo)
The kids had a fun time swiping through digitalised versions of old newspaper clippings. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT Photo)

First Published: May 19, 2017 10:21 IST