Weather :

Timings : Monday - Saturday: Summers: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM Winters (1 Dec - 31 Jan): 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM Closed on Sunday and National Holidays

Time Required : 2 to 3 hours

Entry Fee : Adult (Indians): INR 100 Adult (Foreigners): INR 200 Students (Indians): INR 50 Students (Foreigners): INR 150

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Also Refered As:

Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures

Don Bosco Museum, Shillong Overview

Hailed as Asia's largest Museum of Indigenous Cultures, the Don Bosco Museum is the house of the beautiful culture and tradition of North East India. It is conveniently located in the Mawlai area, near the Police Bazaar. With its seven storeys, it rises into the skyline of Shillong and flaunts 16 laid out galleries that showcase artefacts, paintings, figures significant to the Northeastern culture. Not only do these provide a feast to the eyes of the visitors, but also give an insight into the lifestyle of the North-Eastern people.

The significance of Don Bosco Museum is prominent from the fact that it has been toured by the eminent people from Rajya Sabha as well as the princess of Thailand. The museum is more of an institution with its own research wing, publications, newsletters and cultural calendar. Another striking fact about Don Bosco museum is that it is built in a hexagonal shape, which is why it is referred to as Shillong's architectural pride. Often, there are competitive events held in the premises of the museum and scholars, writers, musicians and lyricists from all over the country participate in them.

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Don Bosco Museum Galleries

The museum comprises of 16 galleries and each are different in their own way. Given below is an overview of the various galleries one can go around at the Don Bosco Museum. 
  • Agriculture Gallery: This gallery deals with the new and different aspects of farming and agriculture practices such as wet rice cultivation, shifting cultivation, plough cultivation etc. 

  • Art Gallery: One of the most popular galleries in the museum, it houses exceptional collections of rare paintings, quirky artefacts and objects indigenous to the North Eastern States. They have been sourced from various corners of North East India and include bamboo, cane craft, stonework, metal art, tribal jewellery collections, unusual collections of utensils, statuettes, paintings etc. 

  • Basketry Gallery: This is an interesting gallery that stores an extensive collection of bamboo baskets made in North East India. You can look closely and identify the different basket weaving styles such as Manipuri style of Bamboo weaving etc. Apart from baskets, there are bamboo headgear, rain shields, utensils etc as well.

  • Ornaments and Jewellery Gallery: This is the section where you can find the tribal ornaments and jewellery that people living in North India wear on a daily basis. Jewellery plays an important role in the lives of almost all tribes and they make them out of distinct objects such as feather, beads, metal, semi-precious stones, bamboo, cloth and embroidered patches.

  • Fishing and Hunting Gallery: This gallery deals with the artefacts and weapons-related to fishing and hunting, which are displayed neatly with written descriptions about each.

  • Food Gallery: Another popular spot in the museum is the food gallery where one can learn about the various kinds of dishes that North Eastern people typically eat. The different indigenous fruits, vegetables and spices native to these people can be found on display here.

  • Housing Gallery: This gallery houses the materials that are used in building traditional houses such as leaves, sticks, bamboo, wooden planks, grass, mud and hay. Here one can learn about the various kinds of homes and their architectural styles.

  • Introductory and Prehistory Gallery: One of the most informative galleries is the prehistory gallery that is home to exhibits, sketches, models, skull exhibits and paintings depicting the history and the social and cultural evolution of man. There is also a huge map representing all kinds of North Eastern tribe races, their anthropological connections and characteristics.

  • Land and People Gallery: As the name suggests, this gallery is dedicated to the people of North - Eastern, depicting their lifestyle and culture through models and photographs. This section is particularly interesting for anthropology and social sciences students.

  • Language Museum: The exhibits here are basically flow charts representing the recordings and inscriptions that appeal to the social sciences, language and history buffs.

  • Mission and Culture Gallery: This is a large gallery, with 4 sections dedicated to the Church activities, North-Eastern facilities such as education, youth ministry, publications etc, and culture of Meghalaya.

  • Musical Instruments Gallery: This gallery displays the various musical instruments that the trials play such as Manipuri Pung. There are drawings, LCD displays and recordings illustrating the indigenous musical instruments.

  • Photo Gallery: This gallery is home to a wide collection of black and white photos that provide a whiff of the tribal life of North East India.

  • Culture and Religion Gallery: This gallery again focuses on the culture and religion of the North-Eastern people. The interesting features here include the miniature Tower, elaborate arrangement of baskets etc.

  • Alchoves Gallery: This gallery stores information about the various aspect of North East such as traditional weaving sacred forest of Mawphalang, Aptami in paddy fields, Lohtak Lake, Manipuri dance etc. 
There is also a gallery on the topmost floor where people can rest and enjoy the rare North Eastern dances.

How To Reach Don Bosco Museum

The Don Bosco Museum is located in Mawlai Phudmuri, about 4 kilometres from Police Bazaar in Shillong and about 3 kilometers from the Shillong Bus Stand. One can walk or take a city bus for reaching the Don Bosco Museum.

There are two kinds of bus operating in Shillong - Shillong city bus and Bazaar Bus. If you are a tourist, you can get on the tourist bus for easily accessing locations like this. Bazaar buses are usually frequented by locals to reach the city from the surrounding villages. There are taxis plying in the city too. Their rates are negotiable and you can get either a private taxi or a shared taxi which is more economical. There are shared autos as well for commuting within the city.

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