Delhi is an amazing city with numerous attractions. This city is a beautiful blend of tradition, cultures, nature, history, romance and adventure. There are splendid forts, marvelous architectural sites, ancient temples and many others that stand as an exemplar of India’s cherished culture. Not only this, Delhi is also renowned for its stunning museums, that tell an enchanting tale of the evolution of Indian as well as various famous civilizations of the world. One such museum is the International Dolls Museum, founded by the popular a political cartoonist, K. Shankar Pillai.
K. Shankar Pillai’s fascination with Dolls
The inception of the International Doll Museum has an interesting story behind it. It was when Shankar Pillai received a traditional Hungarian doll by the ambassador of Hungary, his fascination for dolls boosted to the point where he started gathering dolls from all countries he visited. As the collection expanded, he started hosting doll-exhibitions wherever he went. It was in 1965 when at one such exhibition, Indira Gandhi suggested to start a permanent doll museum on the first floor of the Children’s Book Trust building.
A Museum Full of Dolls
Home to over 6,000 dolls from 85 countries across the world, the International Doll Museum is amongst the most visited museums of India. The gallery is divided into 2 sections, one showcases dolls from The USA, UK, Australia, European countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
There is also a workshop right next to the museum where genuine Indian dolls are made primarily for the purpose of exchange with other countries for their dolls and for selling directly to the museums and curators worldwide. Each and every doll is designed keeping in mind the minutest aspect such as the origin, cultural background, physicality, accessories and so on. Not only this, there is also a Doll’s Clinic within the premises, where decaying dolls are repaired.
Walk past the Enthralling Range of Dolls
From Indian to Bulgarian, from Japanese to Cuban, the International Doll Museum homes dolls from distinguished origins. There are dancers, fairies, witches, barbies, queens, kings, farmers, lovers, fairies and much more. When you look around, it seems like the dolls are pounded with life, be it because of the intricate details, their tilted heads or alluring embroidery on the dresses.
(Expert Advice: while at International Doll Museum don’t miss the Kabuki and Samurai dolls from Japan.)
Founder: K. Shankar Pillai
Address: 4, Nehru House, Bahadur Shah Zafar Road, New Delhi, Delhi 110002
Timings: 10am-6pm from Tuesday to Sunday
Ticket: Rs 17 (Rs 6 for children below 5)