They say no matter how many books you read and websites you surf, sometimes the best experiences are the ones you feel and absorb in firsthand. One such place to see and indulge in is the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum.
The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum is a fine museum of art and archaeology located near the Gujarat University. Two visionaries – a revered Jain saint Agamprabhakar Muni Shri Punyavijayji Maharaj, and a philanthropic industrialist Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai are the pioneers of this museum who in 1956 AD initiated this admirable collection. As time flew, the collection grew in size and number and a need for constructing a museum was felt and in 1984 a museum was set up and made open for public. Fine stone, marble and woodcarvings from around India, as well as local bronzes, cloth paintings and coins are few of the artifacts present at the museum.
The museum also houses a library, which has 45,000 printed books and 75,000 manuscripts, and there are galleries inside the museum named after some of the renowned art collectors. The ‘P.T. Munshaw Gallery’ showcases a rare collection of coins like one the finest punch-marked coins ‘bentbar’. The ‘Shri Arvindbhai Collection’ includes historic statues of the Chola and Tibetian dynasty.
The ‘Madhuri D. Desai Gallery’ holds in its collection the largest head of Buddha in stucco from Gandhara, the earliest cult image of Lord Rama (early 6th century) Gupta period from Devagadh to name a few. The ‘Muni Punyavijayaji Gallery’ includes the choicest compilation of paintings, which are a perfect blend of Gujarati Jain style.
One great aspect of this museum is that apart from showcasing these rare artifacts, they also work towards their proper conservation at their laboratory where cleansing and preservation work is carried out.
The museum is open all week except on Mondays and public holidays from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
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