If you are interested in learning more about the history and art of Maharashtra, you should definitely visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum in Aurangabad. This museum, also known as the Soneri Mahal Museum, is located inside the premises of the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. It was built by a Bundelkhand chief who accompanied Aurangzeb into the Deccan. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum houses a rich collection of paintings, sculptures, coins, weapons, manuscripts, and other artifacts related to the Maratha culture and history. Here is everything you need to know about the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, Aurangabad. visit during Aurangabad Local sightseeing.
Location of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum
The museum is situated in the Soneri Mahal, a two-storeyed building made of stone and lime. The name Soneri Mahal means Golden Palace, as it was once adorned with paintings in gold. The museum is about 5 kilometers away from the Aurangabad city center and 9 kilometers from the Aurangabad airport.
Timing/Entry Fees Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum
The museum is open to visitors every day except Mondays from 10:30 am to 6 pm. The entry fee is Rs. 10 per person for Indians and Rs. 100 per person for foreigners. There is no camera fee or parking fee.
How to Reach Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum
You can reach the museum by road, rail, or air. The nearest railway station is Aurangabad, which is well connected to major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Delhi, etc. From there, you can take a bus, auto-rickshaw, or taxi to the museum, which will take about 15 minutes. The nearest airport is Aurangabad, which has domestic flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, etc. From there, you can take a cab or a bus to the museum, which will take about 20 minutes.
Things to Do/See Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum
The museum has 12 galleries that display various items related to the Maratha history and culture. Some of the things to do and see at the museum are:
- Admire the paintings: The museum has a fine collection of paintings that depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata Purana, etc. The paintings are done in various styles like Mughal, Rajput, Deccan, Pahari, etc. Some of the notable paintings are Rama breaking the bow of Shiva, Krishna lifting Govardhan hill, Shivaji Maharaj coronation ceremony, etc.
- Explore the sculptures: The museum has a variety of sculptures that showcase the artistic skills of the Maratha craftsmen. The sculptures are made of stone, metal, wood, ivory, etc. Some of the notable sculptures are Ganesha dancing on a rat, Nataraja in bronze, Vishnu reclining on Shesha Nag, etc.
- Learn about the coins: The museum has a rare collection of coins that date back to different periods and dynasties like Satavahana, Kushan, Gupta, Rashtrakuta, Yadava, Bahmani, Mughal, Maratha, etc. The coins are made of gold, silver, copper, lead, etc. Some of the notable coins are Karshapana of Ashoka Maurya, Dinar of Harsha Vardhana, Rupee of Akbar, Honorific coin of Shivaji Maharaj, etc.
- See the weapons: The museum has a fascinating collection of weapons that were used by the Maratha warriors and rulers. The weapons include swords, daggers, spears, shields, bows, arrows, guns, cannons, etc. Some of the notable weapons are Bhavani sword of Shivaji Maharaj, Khanjar of Afzal Khan, Tulwar of Tanaji Malusare, etc.
- Read the manuscripts: The museum has a valuable collection of manuscripts that contain information about various aspects of the Maratha culture and history. The manuscripts are written in different languages like Sanskrit, Marathi, Persian, Arabic, etc. Some of the notable manuscripts are Rajmala (a chronicle of Shivaji Maharaj), Bakhar (a historical account of Maratha wars), Shivabharata (a biography of Shivaji Maharaj), etc.
Significance of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum is not only a tourist attraction but also a source of knowledge and inspiration for the people of Maharashtra and India. It preserves and showcases the glorious heritage and legacy of Shivaji Maharaj and his successors who fought for freedom and justice against foreign invaders. It also reflects the diversity and richness of the Maratha culture and art that influenced many other regions and communities in India. The museum is a tribute to the courage and wisdom of Shivaji Maharaj and his followers who shaped the history and identity of Maharashtra.
- Q: How long does it take to explore the museum?
- A: It depends on your interest and pace but generally it takes about one to two hours to explore the museum.
- Q: Is there any cafeteria or restaurant near the museum?
- A: Yes there are some cafeterias and restaurants near the museum that offer snacks and meals at reasonable prices. Some of them are Cafe Coffee Day (1 km), Hotel Atithi (2 km), Hotel Yash Executive (3 km), etc.
- Q: What are some other places to visit near the museum?
- A: Some other places to visit near the museum are Bibi Ka Maqbara (3 km), Panchakki (4 km), Aurangabad Caves (5 km), Daulatabad Fort (15 km), Ellora Caves (30 km), Ajanta Caves (100 km), etc.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum is a must-visit place for anyone who loves history and art. It offers a unique opportunity to witness the splendid achievements and contributions of Shivaji Maharaj and his descendants who ruled over Maharashtra for more than two centuries. It also offers a chance to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the Maratha culture and art that enriched the Indian civilization. So if you are planning a trip to Aurangabad or nearby areas don’t miss out on visiting the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum.