Shankar's International Dolls Museum

Weather :

Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM, Closed on Mondays

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : Adults - INR 25, Kids - INR 15

Nearest Metro Station : ITO Metro Station on Violet Line

Planning a Trip? Ask Your Question

Shankar's International Dolls Museum, Delhi Overview

Situated in the Children’s Book Trust Building at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Shankar’s International Dolls Museum is a veritable dreamland for kids. Shankar's Museum is one among the most popular tourist attractions of the city; the idea behind the museum was conceptualized by the famous cartoonist K. Shankar Pillai. Segregated into two sections, the repository has over 160 shelves full of dolls from all across the world. At the time when it was created, in 1965, the museum was inaugurated with just around 500 dolls; however, as of now, the number has shot up to a collection 6500 dolls from over 85 countries, 500 of which are from the different states of India itself.

Spread over an area of 5000 square feet, the museum has two sections-one to display the dolls from western nations and second to display dolls from India and the Asian countries. It also has a workshop area where tourists can learn the art of doll making. The dollhouse itself has been designed in various themes including- man on the moon, Mexican aborigines, Japanese kabuki dancer etc. Shankar's Museum is the largest of its kind in all of India. Considered as the best option for children’s day out, the museum is frequented by visitors all through the year.

Read More on Shankar's International Dolls Museum

History of Shankar's International Doll Museum

In 1957, a very celebrated cartoonist- K. Shankar Pillai came up with the idea of the Children’s Book Trust for children’s literature publishing. To honour the unique concept, a Hungarian diplomat gifted Shankar a doll from his native country, and that gave the cartoonist the wonderful idea to collect dolls from nations far and wide and display them for kids. He started exhibiting his collection in various exhibitions held at Delhi. In one such show, Indira Gandhi happened to visit with her father Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru; and she was so mesmerised by the idea that she together with Shankar worked to create a permanent museum of dolls which eventually started functioning in 1965.

The primal collection began with just 500 dolls most of which were gifts from Indian ministers like Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Pandit Nehru along with Shankar’s own collection. In the later years, foreign dignitaries who visited India including Madame Tito, Queen Frederika of Greece, the Queen of Thailand and others made generous contributions to the museum. As of now, the museum has a collection of over 6500 dolls from over 85 countries. Shankar Pillar was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan in 1976 for his commendable venture.

Collection at Shankar's International Doll Museum

The vast collection of dolls is spread through two sections on over 160 glass shelves. The first section display the dolls from western countries including US, UK, New Zealand and Commonwealth of Independent states; the second section has dolls from India and the Asian countries. Among the foreign collection, the most famous are the Boy and Girl Festival dolls from Japan, replica of the dolls from Queen’s collection, cute Kabuki and raging Samurai dolls from Japan, Maypole dancing dolls from Hungary, famous Flamenco dancers from Spain, Kandy Pehara from Sri Lanka etc.

In the Indian section, over 150 dolls are created in traditional Indian costumes in the museum workshop itself. There are dolls in Kathakali dancing costumes, conventional Lavani costume dancers, dolls depicting different wedding traditions, brides and grooms from different states, dolls in regional dressed etc. The dolls are made in-house and are exchanged with or/and sold to museums abroad. More interestingly, the museum also has a tiny ‘hospital’ to treat the ‘sick’ dolls meaning the withered and the broken dolls are mended at the hospital section of the museum.

How To Reach Shankar's International Dolls Museum

Shankar’s International Doll Museum is situated in Nehru House near ITO Crossing. The nearest metro station to the museum is Pragati Maidan on the blue line. Sharing rickshaws and autos are available right outside the metro which can take you to the museum.

Delhi Packages

Compare quotes from upto 3 travel agents for free

Top Hotels In Delhi

Shankar's International Dolls Museum Reviews

Your rating

Have a Question on Shankar's International Dolls Museum?