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Siddhagiri Museum, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Reproduced with permission

This centre is situated about 10 kms away from Kolhapur known as 'Dakshinkaashi' where the famous 'Mahalaxmi Temple' is located. It is 4 kms away from 'Pune-Banglore' highway.

A unique project, village life replicated in models has been developed at Shri Kshetra Siddhagiri Math, Kaneri, Tal. Karveer, Dist. Kolhapur, Maharashtra. The place is near Kolhapur city on Pune Banglore Highway. Shri Kshetra Siddhagiri Math has a history of more than 1000 years, and is a holy place of worship of Lord Mahadeva. The surrounding around the museum is very calm and quiet, a hilly place with a good collection of flora and fauna.

The project is a dream village of Mahatma Gandhi, visually and symbolically created through the vision and efforts of 27th Mathadhipati H.H.Adrushya Kadsiddheshwar Swamiji. At present his holiness Shri Adhrushya Kadsiddheswar Swamiji as the 49th Mathadhipathi, is running the Matha very efficiently with his versatile personality.

The main objective of the Project is to refresh the history of self sufficient village life before the invasion of Mughals in Maharashtra. There were 12 BALUTEDARS (12 main profession based casts i.e. professions performed by generation of family members) and 18 ALUTEDARS, who provided equipments to all villagers useful in their day-to-day necessities of domestic as well as agricultural life.

These Balutedars, Alutedars and others had special characteristics with which they served society. The description of all 18 Alutedars, 12 balutedars and other people and thir duties are vividly depicted in the museum.

The first phase of the museum spans over 7 acres of area with almost 80 main scenes and around 300 statues. Several subtle village lifestyles are taken into consideration. There is a unique combination of expression, accuracy and liveliness in the whole village. Each sculpture has a multi dimensional effect and lifestyle theme. Swamiji very keenly arranged each and every scene to make a proper visual story. Barter economy, interpersonal healthy happy relationship among villagers is reflected. The Museum projects the entire village as a single family, and as single family members in a joint family.

Great ancient Indians
Aryabhata, the great mathematician-astronomer
Bhagiratha, the Kosala king who caused the descent of the Ganges to earth
Bharata muni, authored the Natya Shastra, a theoretical treatise on the performing arts
Maharshi Kanaad, who founded that all living beings are composed of five elements
Maharshi Kapil, author of the Sankhya system of Indian philosophy
Kashyap, the author of the treatise Kashyap Samhita, a classical reference book on Ayurveda
Varahamihir was an Indian astronomer, mathematician and astrologer born in Ujjain
Vishnu Sarma was the author of the Panchatantra, the oldest collection of India fables

Village models
The priest performs all rites and rituals from cradle to grave
The upholster makes mattresses and cushions
Village medicine man dispenses herbal medicines and recommends Panchakarma
The bride waving goodbye to her kith and kin
A grocer weighing some articles for a woman and child
A woman milking the cow - she sells milk, curd and ghee
Preparing small bowls with banyan, peepal and palas leaves
Looking at the faces of the people he makes predictions
Earthen pots and utensils are made using the potter's wheel
Fisherwoman is returning home with a loaded basket of fish on her head
The cobbler's wife is cutting leather while the cobbler is making footwear
Fixing shoes to the cow's hooves to protect it from wear and tear and injuries
The barber does hair dressing and shaving
A female bangle seller
A woman and girl returning after worship
Devotees playing instruments, chanting in the hall of the temple
The coppersmith prepares household utensils. He also undertakes mending and repairing
Hammering hot iron ingots
A place specially meant for meeting and exchanging ideas by villagers and for discharging official work
Men meet on a platform built around a tree in their free time
Water for drinking and washing is drawn from the well
Grazing cows
A boy keeps watch over the cattle grazing at ease in the meadows
Goats feeding on green grass
After the sowing of baajraMoong, safflower, tur, chawali, etc. are also sown in between the lines
Ploughing the field
A device is used for plucking or uprooting such grass
Buffaloes are deployed for driving the water lift

Railway system is a facility for communication. There is an airport located nearby ‘Ujalaiwadi’ - 9 km away from Kolhapur.
Once you reach at Kolhapur stand or railway station, there are 2 ways by which you can travel to Siddhagiri Museum situated at Kaneri Math.

1. By Kolhpur Municipal Transport(KMT): You will have to catch a KMT bus for Kagal,Kaneri from Kolhpur bus stand( near Kolhapur railway station). If it is 'Kaneri' Bus then it will directly reach you to Siddhagiri Museum which is situated at Kaneri Math. If you catch 'Kagal' bus then get down at Kaneri MIDC and catch an auto from there for Kaneri Math.
2. By State Transport buses: Catch a bus for 'Kaneri MIDC'. There are many buses which will go to Kaneri MIDC. Some of the buses are for 'Chandrapur' , 'Chandgad', 'Kagal' which halt at Kaneri MIDC.
3. By your own vehical: This location is on the Pune Banglore highway at Gokul Shiragaon MIDC or Kaneri MIDC.

Sanket Sagvekar - 09970181161