Tribal Museum of Pune

When researching our trip to Pune, I read about a quirky little museum that is listed as a “must-see” in Lonely Planet India.

A small out-of-the-way building, the Tribal Museum of Pune is dedicated to the history and artifacts of the native tribes of Maharashtra.  Front exhibit rooms have several pieces of everyday artifacts (bowls, tools, etc).  The next is a great display of musical instruments, including drums of all sizes.  The room across the courtyard has a large collection of tribal jewelry.
Every day items

Every day items

Tribal jewelry

Tribal jewelry

The crown jewel of the museum is the paper mache masks.  All different shapes and sizes, representing the plethora of Hindu Gods, these masks are worth the visit alone.


Elaborate masks worn for  for festivals Elaborate masks worn for for festivals

Outside in the courtyard, there are a few life-size exhibits depicting typical lives and housing of the tribal people.  My son and I spent the majority of our time out here.  Not only did it give him room to run and play, but the large exhibits actually interested him.  He loved the exhibit showing a little boy next to his mom and another that had a fish on the end of a fishing pole.  His favorite was the fountain which would turn on and gush water simulating a water fall.  He was so excited every time it came on.

Loved the water

Loved the water

Now how can I play with that...

Now how can I play with that…

Warning to parents of toddlers:  While the majority of the exhibits were behind glass, a shockingly large number were out on shelves and on pedestals well within the reach of toddlers with nothing but a small “Do Not Touch” sign as protection.  I spent a large part of my visit making sure my son was not picking up ancient artifacts.  I just barely made it when he tried to play a large drum.  Unless your little one is still young enough to be immobile or sleeping or strapped to a stroller, you may want to skip this one, especially if your toddler does not yet consistently follow the “look but don’t touch” rule.

Those drums were just too inviting...

Those drums were just too inviting…

  • Timing: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Mon – Sat
  • Fees: Lonely Planet says its 10 rupees, while the Maharashtra Tourism site says its free.  I don’t remember what we paid, but I know we paid to enter.

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