This delightful museum is situated in the Siddhagiri Math in Kaneri, Dist. Kolhapur, 4 kms off the Pune-Bangalore National Highway (AH 17). The Math has a history that dates back to 1200 years and is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva. The Math is in sylvan surroundings that have an abundance of flora and some fauna.
The Museum is a unique project that showcases the self-sufficiency of village life as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi. Various aspects of a village life are recreated here. The project has come to life through the vision and efforts of the present Mathadhipati H.H. Kadsiddheshwar Swamiji.
Great care and deep research has been gone into making this unusual museum. The museum currently spans over 7 acres of land where 80 scenes of village life and around 300 life-size statues of humans and domestic animals are on display in open natural surroundings. They depict various inter-dependent 12 caste-based professions and 18 related occupations that were then in existence in a largely agrarian society.
The artistic and aesthetic rendition make the scenes come alive whereas the realistic dimensions and minute attention to detailing of how homes and places of work must have looked then are a visual delight for both children and adults. A visit to this unusual museum makes one long for the back-to-nature, simple, healthy, uncomplicated village life that was prevalent in India for several centuries.
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