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Shankar's International Dolls Museum, Delhi

Shankar’s International Dolls Museum is a famous world accredited doll museum situated in New Delhi at Nehru House at Bahadurshah Zafar Marg. This is an international doll museum which houses a large collection of dolls not only from India but from various other countries around the world. This infamous museum was started by Mr. K. Shankar Pillai who was a popular political cartoonist along with support from Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1965. The museum is housed in the building of Children's Book Trust. The museum occupies some portion of 1st floor of the building.

The initial collection of this museum consisted of gifts provided by the then Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru followed by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Along with them, several other diplomatic missions and embassies also gifted dolls to this museum.

This Museum also got an award ‘Golden Peacock Feather’ for its unique and explicit collection at the Dolls Biennale. This was held in 1980 at Cracow, Poland. At present, the volume of dolls in the Shankar’s International Dolls Museum has augmented to almost 6,500 exhibits which incorporate dolls from approximately 85 countries that certainly adds up to the museum’s international character.

Attractions inside Shankar’s International Dolls Museum

The attractions at Shankar’s International Dolls Museum are basically classified in 2 parts: one part of collection embrace dolls collected from Asian countries like Africa, India and Middle East while the 2nd part embrace collection of dolls from European countries like USA, UK, Australia as well as Commonwealth of Independent States.

The major attraction here is collection of 150 kinds of Indian costume dolls which have been crafted at museum’s own workshop. This workshop is also situated inside the museum. These dolls were crafted by craftsmen with greatest perfection in order to generate a remarkable symphony of the costumes, physical features, and ornaments artistically. In the display, there are some unique characters from Kathakali, India's infamous traditional classical dance along with its sumptuous costumes.

Besides the collection of dolls which represent several countries, the Shankar’s International Dolls Museum also incorporates an exhibit of a commendable and awe-inspiring representative compilation of more than 150 dolls which are dolls in Indian costumes. This collection incorporates some dolls namely ‘Boys and Girls Festival dolls’ which belong to Japan, UK (replica dolls of collection of Queen herself), Kabuki, Hungary (Maypole Dance), and Samurai dolls, Thailand (Women's Orchestra), Spain (Flamenco dancers) and Sri Lanka’s Kandy Pehara.

Indian dolls which are crafted at the museum’s workshop are exchanged as gifts for the dolls received from aboard. These dolls are also sold to other museums and collector around the world. Another attraction is the ‘Clinic for Sick Dolls’ inside the museum which is actually a clinic initiated for dolls which are in deteriorating condition. These dolls are restored here at this clinic.

How to Reach

By Air

The Museum is situated at Nehru House in Bahadurshah Zafar Marg which is almost 18 km from IGI airport (Delhi) which is connected to all major cities in India and world by Airways.

By Rail/Road

Almost 16 to 20 km from New Delhi railway Station or Inter State Bus Terminus connected to all major cities in India.


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