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International Dolls Museum, New Delhi

International Dolls Museum Overview

The International Dolls Museum is a perfect and the most apt stop for learning about the world and its civilizations and people. A trip to this museum will turn out to be the best for children as they will learn about the various civilizations both national and international which have existed in the past and also the various costumes and cultures of those times. The most striking feature of it which lures the children is the dolls that are covered in extremely colorful ensembles.

This unique Museum of its kind was built by a political cartoonist known as K. Shankar Pillai on November 30 of 1965. It is easy to be approached as it is located on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in the Children's Book Trust building. The museum constitutes of an area of 5,184.5 sq ft which makes a good portion of the first floor. The idea of creating this museum came to Mr. Pillai initially when he was gifted a doll from a Hungarian diplomat. It was then he started his journey of collecting dolls from different countries. It was with the support of Indira Gandhi daughter of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that this idea was transformed into a reality.
The international dolls museum houses gifts from Prime Minister and many later Prime ministers which included Indira Gandhi as well as Rajiv Gandhi which then formed the principal collection of the museum. The collection also contained gifts given by esteemed visitors like Madame Tito, Queen Frederika of Greece, the Queen of Thailand, the sister of Shah of Iran, the wives of Presidents of Mexico and Indonesia who gave dolls which represented their respective nations.
 
On the day of inauguration which was done by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan there were only 500 dolls which then between 1967 and 1987 rose to a whooping figure of 5000. A very large part of the collection forms gifts from the esteemed visitors. Seeing the museum to be such a big hit Shankar Pillai was presented with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 1976, which is also the second highest civilian award.

Today the collection has reached to 6500 dolls which are representing about 85 different countries. The inside of the museum is bifurcated into two halves out of which one half displays dolls from Europe, U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Commonwealth of Independent States and the other exhibits are from Asian countries, the Middle East, Africa and India. There are more than 160 glass cases together from both the sections which are nearly 1,000 ft in length.

Out of the well maintained and carefully restored collection of dolls, some of the famous ones are the Kathakali with its lavish costumes, maypole dance from Hungary, Kabuki and Samurai dolls from Japan, Flamenco dancers from Spain, Women's Orchestra from Thailand, and Kandy Pehara from Sri Lanka.

A trip to this world of dolls will be an extremely enriching as well as interesting one.

Timing : 10:00 am to 5.30 pm.
Closed On : Monday
Ticket : Adult: Rs.15/-, Child: Rs. 5/-
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