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Shankar's International Dolls Museum

Location:In the building of the Children's Book Trust, 4 Nehru House on the main Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, near ITO

Time to Visit:Tuesday-Sunday, Monday closed

Preferred Timings: 10.00 am to 5.30 pm

Admission Fee:Adult/child: INR 10/5

Photography charges: nil

How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this museum or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.

Nearest Railway Station: New Delhi Railway Station

Nearest Metro Station: New Delhi

Functional Metro Station: New Delhi

Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Time required for sightseeing: Approx 50 minutes

Set up in 1965 in the building of Children's Book Trust, Shankar's International Dolls Museum or Delhi Dolls Museum has today over 6500 dolls on display representing the social life and culture of over 85 countries of the world. Inaugurated by the President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishan and named after its creator, the renowned political cartoonist, K Shankar Pillai, the museum has one of the largest collections of costume dolls in the world. Started with just thousand dolls, the museum is quite popular with Indian citizens and foreign dignitaries because of its large number of variety of exhibits. The Dolls museum is at present is divided into two sections. One section house exhibits from European countries, the USA, Australia and New Zealand and some other countries while the other section has exhibits from Asian countries like India, the Middle East and Africa.

Dressed in their respective regional costumes, the dolls represent the social life, culture, climate and folklore of the region or place they come from. Thus, the museum can aptly be described as the confluence or meeting place of various acculturations and social life of the world. Of all the exhibits, nearly one-third of the total number of dolls belongs to different parts of our country showcasing India's vast and varied social life and tradition.

Though all the dolls displayed in the museum are attractive and worth viewing but still there are some dolls that deserves a special mention. Among the Indian ones, the costume dolls of Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and that of some ethnic tribes should not be missed. A 250 year-old doll from Switzerland, the Kabuki Dancer of Japan, costume doll from Bulgaria, Indonesia's bridal pairs, Australian Maoris, Mexican Aborigines and dolls from African countries are worth giving a second look. The overall outlook of these dolls speaks a lot about their region's cultural history, their mythologies and folklore. Apart from these there are also special displays in the museum based on specific themes like Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi March, a forest scene, a Kathakali dance, man on moon and many other ones that attracts the visitants.

The museum also has a Dolls Workshop and a Dolls Designing Center of its own, which makes Indian dolls with accurate details. A lot of research is put in and the minutest details are taken care off like features, dress, jewellery and posture when a doll is made. There is an interesting collection just near the museum of over 150 kinds of authentic Indian costume dolls made at Dolls Workshop. The museum provides the facility of exchanging unique dolls and also sells in India and abroad.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Every year during the summer holidays, the museum is thronged by school children from all over the country and a lot of activities are carried out during those months.

Nearby Places to Eat

Udipi restaurant on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Hotel Inter-Continental in Connaught Place, mouth-watering eating joints in Bengali Market, Karim Hotel, Ghantewala sweet shop, food stalls near Jama Masjid, Paranthewali gali, Natraj hotel, Chor Bizarre of Broadway Hotel, Daryaganj's Flora, Peshwari, Moti Mahal Restaurant, Worker's canteen of Inter-State Bus terminal and many roadside food stalls are there in Meena Bazaar for refreshment.

Nearby Shopping Venues

Connaught Place (jewellery, books, art galleries, leather goods and the list goes on), Janpath (clothes and low priced gifts, souvenirs and curios), Chatta Chowk (traditional and contemporary jewellery and handicrafts), Chandni Chowk (curios, souvenirs, silver and glass bead jewellery) Nai Sarak (books), Chor bazaar (electronic goods) and Daryaganj book market (on Sunday)

Last Updated On: 2011/07/01

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