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Shankar's International Dolls Museum

Dolls are a little girl’s plaything? Not at Shankar's International Dolls Museum. Set up by K. Shankar Pillai, one of the best political cartoonists in India, the museum's collection of costume dolls was inspired by a gift that he received from the Hungarian Ambassador in the early 1950s. It was a finely made Hungarian doll to be given as a prize in the Shankar's International Children's Competition. But that didn’t happen. Shankar was so enamoured by it, he kept it with the permission of the Ambassador. It was the start of a lifelong hobby that he shared through the museum he set up.

Shankar collected costume dolls whenever he went abroad as part of the group of journalists accompanying then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Housed in the building of the Children's Book Trust on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi, the Museum has exhibits from all over the world; Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asian, the Middle East and Africa. There is also collection of Indian costume dolls made at the workshop attached to the Museum.

Workshop-made Indian dolls, which have won international awards, are exchanged for gifts received from abroad, as well as sold to collectors and museums in India and abroad. Each doll is meticulously handcrafted with accurately designed costumes and jewellery.

Visiting hours: 1000 to 1800 hours. Closed on Mondays.
Contact details, Ph: +91 11 23316970-4

Getting there:
The museum is siutated on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi.
Nearest railway station: New Delhi Railway Station, via Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, about 5 km.
Nearest airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, via NH 8, about 17 km