I happen to know about Gargoti Mineral Museum when doing an online research for my upcoming trip to Nasik. Intrigued by positive feedback and the photos of striking mineral formations, I decided to include this museum into my itinerary. As things turned out, it was one of the best travel related decisions I made in 2017. The place is exquisite, and there are at least five reasons why I would recommend visiting Gargoti Mineral Museum, no matter whether you’re interested in geology or not really.
It’s the only Gem and Mineral Museum in India
If you’ve been following this blog, it’s no secret that I’ extremely fond of museums. A rare trip of mine goes without visiting at least one museum in a city I choose to explore. Some of the most impressive museums I’ve been too over the years of my expat life in India include Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai, Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery in Vadodara, Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad and National Museum in Delhi. All of them comprise lovely collections of paintings, sculptures, textiles, weaponry and other exhibits to interest an inquisitive mind and provide an aesthetic pleasure. But while the man made creations can be found in all the museums throughout the country, Gargoti Mineral Museum offers you something different – a precious collection of natural wonders. Here you’ll find the hidden treasures, created by the nature itself in wide diversity of shapes, colors, textures and sizes. Besides being the only Gem and Mineral Museum in India, it’s also the largest private museum of its kind in the world – the rich collection of displays is a result of efforts of tireless enthusiasts, led by connoisseur Mr. K.C.Pandey.
Crystalline Minerals of the museum will take your breath away
The collection is divided into two galleries – Deccan Plateau Gallery and Prestige Gallery. The former contains zeolite minerals and crystals found in the Deccan region, primarily in the state of Maharashtra, while the latter displays rare finds from all over the world. Apart from minerals and crystals, in Gergoti Mineral Museum you’ll find precious and semi-precious stones and metals, fossils, handicrafts and even rocks from the Moon and Mars. With sparkling crystals and colourful minerals all around you, it’s another world altogether, and the multiple wonders of nature create a calming, enchanting effect. Some of my favourites include:
Okeanites with their furry, seemingly soft texture (I was so tempted to touch them!);
Pentagonite – a rare blue mineral which, according to our guide, is found in Pune district and almost nowhere else in the world;
Himachal Quartz with its bold, vivid shapes and crystal clear transparency;
Green Apophillite with Stilbite (what lovely shades of green!);
Amethysts with their saturated purple shades.
Besides this, there were diamonds, aquamarines, canvasites, corals, lapis lazuli, rubies, mesolites, topazes and so on. Florescent Minerals were glowing in the darkness under UV light.
Knowledgeable and friendly staff
We were not going to take a guided tour, but the staff of the museum kindly offered us to join a group of British tourists, and so we did. The guides provided a lot of interesting information and were glad to answer our questions. It was pretty obvious that people were taking pleasure in what they were doing, and their enthusiasm was really contagious – I couldn’t see a single disinterested face among the visitors.
Beautifully maintained premises
It was rather refreshing to see a museum where maintenance was no drawback. From carpeted floors to fully air-conditioned halls, spotless shelves and dust-free glass cases, this place was an example of what a well maintained museum is supposed to be. Upon entering the building, the visitors are welcomed by a huge statue of Mother India. After the tour, one can relax and sort the impressions out in a comfortable lobby area.
A wide range of souvenirs to suit all tastes
In the souvenir shop of the museum you’ll find reasonably priced handicrafts to bring as a memento from your journey – jewellery, statues, money trees and what not.
Gargoti Mineral Museum on the map
Gargoti Minral Museum Travel tips
The Museum is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day
The address is:
D-59, MIDC Malegaon,
To get to the museum from the Nasik railway station, we took a local bus to Sinnar – a small bustling town located 30 km from Nasik. Then we took an auto to get to the place from Sinnar bus stand. The museum is located in a rather remote area, so in case you’re not comfortable with searching for buses and autos, it’s recommended to hire a car.
The entrance ticket is Rs. 100 for Indian visitors and Rs. 200 for foreigners. Photography is free of charge.
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