The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
is in Pune
. It contains the collection of Dr Dinkar G. Kelkar (1896–1990), dedicated to the memory of his only son, Raja, who died early. The three storey building houses various sculptures dating back to the 14th century. There are also ornaments made of ivory, silver and gold, musical instruments, war weapons and vessels, etc.
The collection was started around 1920 and by 1960 it contained around 15,000 objects. In 1962, Dr Kelkar handed his collection to the Department of Archaeology within the Government of Maharashtra.
The museum now holds over 20,000 objects of which 2,500 are on display. These consist of mainly Indian decorative items from everyday life and other art objects, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. There is a particularly fine collection of musical instruments.
The museum's collection depicts the superb skills of the Indian artists of the time. The door frames, vessels, ornaments, musical instruments, paintings and carvings represent outstanding examples of their art.
One interesting part of the museum is the "Mastani Mahal". Raja Kelkar made a marvellous attempt at depicting the palace of Queen Mastani
(wife of King Bajirao Peshwa
) with its remnants. The most beautiful piece among in the collection is the carving of lord Ganesha
on the seed. The idol of lord Ganesha is shown with his trunk towards the left, which is quite rare and difficult to build or draw.