NEW TO MANY UNIQUE TO NONE - THE FIRST DOLL MUSEUM OF INDIA

Sakshi Nagar 16-09-2021 04:51 PM Culture

The city of Delhi is famous either as the Capital of India or because of mouth-watering food, crazy shopping, and ancient monuments. But places like Museums and Zoos in Delhi are also very well-known for children. Among these places, India’s first The International Dolls Museum is a treasure for kids. Many schools and parents take their children here to boost their knowledge and it is the perfect place for their amusement also.

What is it?

Established by well-known political cartoonist K. Shankar Pillai, The International Dolls Museum or Shankar's International Dolls Museum is located on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi. Shankar's International Dolls Museum is the only Doll Museum in India and at the same time, it has one of the leading assortments of costume dolls in the world. This museum is present since the time of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru in the building of the Children’s Book Trust.

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How it started

The first step towards the welfare of children’s education was to start a Children’s book trust which K. Shankar Pillai did in 1957. After this, the father of the political cartoonist was gifted a doll by a Hungarian diplomat and from here onwards he started collecting dolls. After collecting about 500 dolls, he started organizing exhibitions; and in one such exhibition, he met Indira Gandhi with her father Jawaharlal Nehru. Indira Gandhi found the collection of dolls very interesting which gave her the idea of teaming up with Shankar to set up a doll museum which formally started on 30 November 1965.

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What all to see

Currently, this museum has a compilation of about six thousand dolls from approximately eighty-five countries around the globe. Shankar's International Dolls Museum has two sections with 160 glass cases; 1000 ft. elongated, and scaled up on the walls. One side showcases dolls from the Middle East, Asian countries, India , and Africa whereas, on the other side, dolls from European countries, the USA, New Zealand and Australia are exhibited. 

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Much more to explore…

Further to this, there is a unique display consisting of one fifty types of authentic Indian costume dolls shaped by the craftsperson in the museum’s own workshop, representing the diverse ethnicity, art forms, and legacy of the country. Furthermore, these dolls are swapped with the ones that are gifted to the museum and are also displayed to sell it to museums and collectors from all over the world. The dolls put on view in this museum have also received first prize award namely Golden Peacock Feather at Dolls Biennale which was hosted in the year 1980 in Cracow, Poland.

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Visiting hours

Even though the museum at present is closed due to coronavirus but on normal days, the museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm without any interval. The museum closes at 6:00 pm, but the ticket counter closes at 5:30 pm.  The entrance fees are Rs. 25/- for adults and Rs. 10/- for children plus service tax as valid. The Museum is closed on Mondays as a weekly holiday, as well as three National and festive holidays are also included. It will take minimum of 1 to 2 hours to explore this museum.

Address: 4, Nehru House, Bahadur Shah Zafar Road, Delhi - 110002

Nearest Metro Station: ITO

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