JayaHe GVK New Museum – A must visit place in Mumbai, Maharashtra – India

JayaHe GVK New Museum inside the Mumbai CSIA(Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) narrates the story of India to its visitors through art and colours. The museum beautifully essays how Indians live and experience multiple eras at once through this country’s diversity and legacy.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are solely my own. I have not be compensated either in kind or cash to write this article. All the photographs have been clicked by me and cannot be used in any form on other platforms by the readers.

jayahemuseum

Readers of my blog would know that I have a penchant for art, architecture, culture and heritage. So, when I read about the ‘JayaHe GVK New Museum’ for the first time on social media, it immediately struck a chord with me.

Subsequently, when a social media group called ‘Mumbai Instagrammers’ gave us a glimpse of the very same JayaHe Museum of Mumbai airport through their media posts, I was intrigued and it became the topmost priority on my wish-list when visiting Mumbai. I wondered, how the Mumbai Airport Museum would look like in reality!

JayaHe GVK New Museum

First tryst with JayaHe GVK New Museum

My recent visit to Mumbai for an event helped me to work on this dream come true – of visiting the ‘JayaHe GVK New Museum’.And, I guess, I also need to thank the very punctual ‘JetAirways’ whose fleet of aircraft religiously get delayed! Sometimes, these delays prove a boon especially when you are on a Solo trip.

JayaHe GVK Museum

So, my flight was to fly out from Gate 45 of the Mumbai CSI airport at around 10 pm and it got delayed by over an hour leading to a change in boarding gate.

Passing the security check at CSIA is indeed a breeze, the staff is usually very cordial, the airport is less crowded unlike the Delhi airport and the amenities are top-notch. I realised that effectively I had 3 hours on hand until the boarding time to explore the Mumbai Airport Museum.

I enquired at the information centre about the Jayahe museum guided tours and was informed that tours happen only during the day. Unfair, isn’t it? Feeling dejected, I slowly slogged through the shopping arena of the CSIA that is filled with the mundane lacklustre super expensive gadgets and whatever junk one can possibly buy with those bucks!

JayaHe Museum
However, as I entered the alley that leads to Gate 87, I found vibrant wall art that seemed to stretch endlessly and instantly uplifted the sombreness associated with airports. That is when it stuck that I can actually do an un-guided solo tour of whatever JayaHe GVK New museum could offer to its visitors at the Departure level. I already had a glimpse of a few exhibits upon my Arrival at the Mumbai airport, the previous day.

What ‘JayaHe GVK New Museum’ is all about

‘JayaHe GVK New Museum’ inside the Mumbai CSIA(Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) is a treasure trove of more than 5000 exhibits that showcase the rich culture, art and heritage of both ancient and contemporary India. The museum effortlessly forms a component of the Mumbai CSIA showcasing the rich heritage, vibrancy, diversity and traditions of India through its exhibits. The visitors and passengers are sure to be enthralled by this public canvas of colours on their way to the departure gates, baggage claim area and exit gates.

Mumbai museum

The three exhibitions at JayaHe GVK New Museum

The JayaHe GVK Museum is spread across three levels:

  1. Departures Lounge/Level – showcases the sculptural artwork that presents the rich Indian cultural legacy encompassing traditional crafts, art forms, festivals, living traditions as well as contemporary artistic expressions. All this under the theme of ‘Thresholds of India’ across levels 1,3 and 4 of the departure lounge.
  2. Arrivals Lounge/Level – has exhibits that represent contemporary art in a story format.
  3. Baggage Lounge/Level – displays the richness of Indian textiles through miniatures and exhibits.

Every section has a kiosk with information loaded on Jaya He museum and the prominent piece of art has details of the artist and philosophy behind making these pieces of art.

JayaHe Museum

Photo tour of JayaHe GVK New Museum

I could cover just the tip of the iceberg of the 3.2 long stretches of the Mumbai Airport museum collection that has three sections of exhibits. So, here is a virtual tour of JayaHe GVK New Museum through my words and captures.

JayaHe Museum Exhibits in the Departures Lounge

The exhibits of the Departure lounge are themed under ‘Threshold of India’ with sub-themes of India Greets, India Moves, India Silent Sentinels, et al.

India Greets Series

A series of doors, facades and gateways sourced from various parts of India symbolise the concept of atithi devo bhava’ at the JayaHe GVK Museum under the India Greets Series. This is my most favourite series in the museum.

JayaHe Museum

In fact, when Divyakshi of Quirkywanderer posted photographs of doors from JayaHe museum, I secretly nurtured a desire to transit through Mumbai for no reason just to have a glimpse of the JayaHe museum that seemed to be replete with artefacts and varied doors. Oh, ya…I can actually resort to unharmed violence in my quest for doors, art, heritage and architecture!

JayaHe GVK Museum

An intricately carved wooden ‘dwaar’/gateway greets visitors of the Mumbai Airport inside while the artistically carved ‘dwarapalak/prathira’ (gatekeepers) on elephants accord a royal welcome to art enthusiasts!

JayaHe GVK Museum

A series of doors from Gujarat with minute wood and metal work represent a street from Western India. Following the traditional Indian custom of community service, earthen pots filled with water are placed on stands in front of these doors symbolising homes so that the weary passersby can quench their thirst.

JayaHe GVK Museum

GVK MUseum

Each of the intricately carved doors seem to be narrating stories of a bygone era. One cannot but be ecstatic seeing the display of Indian craftsmanship of the highest level at this Mumbai airport museum.

GVK Museum

Mumbai Airport Museum

India Seamless at JayaHe museum, CSIA

A blend of everyday life with contemporary elements representing the four regions of India is what India Seamless all about.

JayaHe Museum
A slice of Eastern India with a glimpse of Durga Pooja
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A slice of Kashmir with pinjrakari wood carving

India Global series at Jaya He museum, CSIA

In this section, you will find a perfect blend of contemporary art and best of old world charm imparting an underlying message to the visitors. Some of the displays have been made with recycled wastes!

JayaHe Museum
An art-work with waste bottle caps

JayaHE Museum

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Mumbai

India Silent Sentinels at JayaHe GVK Museum

The series of India Silent Sentinels weaves together the architectural and sculptural importance of varied components in the lives of India from time immemorial. It compasses the Yalis to the Aiyannars to the gables or kodis of Kerala homes to the wooden deities revered by the tribals of various states.

JayaHe museum
Kerala Mural Painting
JayaHe Museum
Wooden Gable
Jaya He Museum
Mythological Yali

India Moves  at JayaHe Museum

This has to be one of the eye-catching series next to the ‘India Greets’ series at the Mumbai Airport’s JayaHE Museum. India moves is a scenographic tribute to the various voyages undertaken by Indians both physically and philosophically that transcends time.

JayaHe Museum
Various modes of transportation
JayaHe Museum
Marble Paadhuka
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Aerial vehicles

JayaHe Museum

The collection ranges from the carved facades of mansions to toy cars, temple chariots that carried processions of idols to bullock carts, the collection at JayaHe Museum spans the affluent, opulent and earthy everyday objects.

I loved the series of Tanjore paintings in which celestial beings and Gods and Goddesses adorn their ‘vaahanas’/vehicles and are gilt embossing. The whole tableau is a visual treat and a must-visit exhibit of the museum.

JayaHe Museum

JayaHe Museum

Tanjore Paintings

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India Elemental series

This series brings together the five elements of nature – Space, Air, Water, Fire and Earth through various interpretations and installations. Let me tell you that some of the artworks are wonderfully quirky, like the Hawa Mahal in the form of a Rajasthani turban symbolising the element ‘Air’.

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Another interesting exhibit was one on Panchabhootha which was under maintenance at that time.

Arrival Level exhibits of GVK Museum

On the day of my arrival at Mumbai CSIA, much of the passways were cordoned off. So, I could just click a few snaps from the travellator as I slugged my trolley along, towards the exit. This series of art is themed under Layered Narratives.

JayaHe Museum

CSIA Mumbai
A colourful bas-relief

Baggage Claim Area at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport

Gape in awe at the exhibits in the baggage claim lounge as you wait for your luggage to be belted out, as I did… From an intricately chiselled and carved wooden temple chariot to the textiles of India, the Baggage Acclaim Series of JayaHe museum is sure to enthrall its visitors. I was mesmerized by the beautiful carvings of the chariot!

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Textiles of India
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Wooden Temple Chariot

Read about the Maargazhi festival here, when the temple chariots come out all decked on the streets of TamilNadu.

jayahe museum mumbai

How to tour the JayaHe GVK New Museum

A free tour of the museum can be pre-booked online at jayahe.in or one can contact the ‘JayaHe Helpdesk’ just after the Security check. The tours are usually conducted during the day.

If you are flying out at night then the best would be to explore the museum on your own as I did.

Parting Words

What I loved about the JayaHe Museum is that it instantly uplifts the sombreness that is invariably associated with airports. As travellers, we often spend many hours at the airport waiting for our flights or transiting from one place to another. It would be wonderful if every airport has a mini-museum like this- showcasing local traditions, folklore, art and architecture on a public canvas reachable to all. At least, an art lover and someone who hates shopping like me would be happy.

This said I wish to explore the exhibits of JayaHE GVK New Museum spread across the other levels of Mumbai CSIA, soon.

Hope you are inspired to take a tour of the JayaHe museum when inside the Mumbai International Airport after taking this virtual tour with me, through this post. Do not miss indulging in this artistic endeavour that is a must visit place when in Mumbai!

Also, do share with me your thoughts on the post and also of the JayaHe Museum if you have already toured it.

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70 Comments

  1. The Indian Gates and the Indian Seamless are the most important and intriguing part for me because I always love the everyday life of a certain country – I love observing and engaging to its culture. I super love this post – taking me to Indian History.

  2. Such an interesting find, can’t believe they have 5,000 exhibits! What a cool place. I’d love to visit for myself one day

  3. Wow! This is an incredible post, love everything about it – the pictures are all so colorful which shows just how vibrant the museum is 😀 My favorite is the artwork with waste bottle caps, so cool!!

  4. Generally I dislike flying and because of this I don’t like airports, however I love interesting museums and learning about local culture and history so this makes me want to fly to Mumbai right now to take a look! Your photos really bring the place to life as well, this is now firmly on my list of things to do when I visit Mumbai.

  5. What a wonderful way to spend hours and minutes in an airport waiting for your next flight. I wish more airports will copy this great mini-museum of JahaHe in the Mumbai Airport!

  6. I’ve never even heard of any airport having a museum before! (yes, I sort of do live in a cave) But, wow! What you were able to capture at just one level and in the middle of the night is quite impressive. Must look truly stunning in real life, I bet people’s jaws just drop when they see it.

  7. I’ve never heard of a museum inside of an airport before. That’s incredible. And over 5000 artefacts – what a collection.

  8. A museum at Mumbai airport sounds like a fantastic idea. I’m sure it gets lots of visitors, as it would be interesting to kill time checking out the displays. I’ll definitely put this on my to-see list next time I’m passing through Mumbai airport.

  9. I passed through Mumbai Airport last year but didn’t know about this museum. Would have been nice to find more about the Indian way of living even though I was just passing by on my way to Nepal …

  10. Wow! This is a brilliant post! I never knew there was a museum inside CSIA. Is it open to general public or only travellers? Would love to visit with my children. The photographs are so interesting. Thank you for writing this! #MyFriendAlexa #MayuraReads

  11. Thank you for adding up a new place to visit in Mumbai

    1. My pleasure! Thanks for reading…

  12. Meenakshi, the way you showcase things is completely awesome. I will surely try to visit the museum if I fly to Mumbai.

    Cheers
    MeenalSonal

    1. You always encourage me, Sonal. Glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for reading 😀

  13. Yes. sometimes it becomes a blessing in disguise. Esp the events inside an airport. Mostly they are not planned by regular travelers. I remember passing through this while rushing to get my connecting flight. If I am right, this was under construction I think. Finally, have seen it with your help. Thanks.

    1. Yes, Maheshwaran.It was thrown open to the public just last year. Hope you get time to visit it on your next trip to Mumbai. Thank you for reading 🙂

  14. Rachel says:

    Love the photos! Great post about a very cool Museum.

    1. Thank you 🙂

  15. Dr Bushra says:

    Amaze by the Beautiful art work and architecture. Especially the gate 87. Indeed must visit place in Mumbai

    1. Thanks!

  16. Beautiful pictures! Wondering how on earth did I not visit this museum. Been to Mumbai so many times!

    1. Hehe…No issues.Now that you know you can plan your visit 😀 Thanks for reading, Shree 🙂

  17. It looks really interesting and I loved your photos. I think more airports need something like this.

    1. Defintely, we do not require life-less airports for sure 😀 Thanks for reading!

  18. Beautiful post! Love me some museum fix in this place. Def visiting this when I finally land my feet in India!

    1. Thank you,Stella!

  19. I have been to Mumbai many times but never been to such a place. Would be covering it immediately the next time I am there. Awesome clicks Meenakshi.

    1. Same here, Manas.I guess it is all about the availability of time. Hope you get to visit the museum soon.Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  20. This is a great informative post! I’ve always wanted to visit India and it’s great to know there’s a museum like this that exists. If I’m in that airport, I’ll make sure to check it out!

    1. Yes, surely you should opt for the museum tour,Oke. Thanks!

  21. Hey Meenakshi , Spectacular post with eye candy photographs. I am sure after reading your detail post , all readers will schedule the JayaHe GVK tour soon. Thanks and waiting for next post about other floors of GVK . #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

    1. Haha..I hope so! Much thanks for the encouraging words and for dropping by my blog,Sujata 🙂

  22. Great Post i like this so much

    1. Thanks!

  23. All those museums look amazing! I love the colourful and vibrant design of the pieces. Also, the architecture is stunning! It’s crazy to think you can find that in an airport. It’s a pleasure to look at your photographs.

    1. Thanks a bunch,Lyne.Yes, the museum is indeed a treasure trove 🙂

  24. Nerissa says:

    I’ve never visited this airport, but I have friend who will be there soon so I’ll definitely tell them about this museum. Thanks for the info!

    1. Oh,sure. Happy to help. Thanks for dropping by my blog,Nerissa 🙂

  25. The post was a visual delight. Your photography skills have done justice to all the art and now I really want to go through the Mumbai the next time I fly somewhere.

    Namratha from #firstgreenstep

    1. It is so endearing to read such encouraging words, Namratha.Thanks a bunch for dropping by my blog )

  26. I’m always looking for things to do in airports on long layovers, and this would be perfect! I wish more airports had things like this for travelers to enjoy. It’s a great way to learn a little about a new place even if you don’t have a chance to leave.

    1. Absolutely,Kris. If only every busy airport had such a museum, I am sure people like us would not worry about long layovers 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

  27. this is amazing and the pictures are great.

    1. Thanks,Richa.Glad you liked them 🙂

  28. Looks like a beautiful museum to visit! Haven’t had the chance to visit Mumbai yet but Ive had a few coworkers that have gone there and said it was a great place to visit.

    1. Oh, yes! The museum is beautiful and exhaustive. You too should visit Mumbai sometime soon 🙂

  29. I’ve taken off from this airport 7 times so far but never knew how to actually explore the exhibits and the museum. Thanks to you I now know better !

    1. Even I was clueless on how to take a tour of the museum but then with ample time in hand, I manoeuvred my way through all the alleys. Happy to help. Also, do check at the JayaHE help desk and glance at the map on display. Hope you get to explore the museum soon. Thank you so much for dropping by my blog 🙂

  30. what a quirky little find! Seems like you could spend hours here- so many things to look at! Great hidden treasure 🙂

    1. Indeed, it is a treasure trove,Sam. Thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂

  31. This is amazing. I never have got chance to explore this. Will surely try to get a glpmse of it now

    1. Oh! Surely, do take a tour. Thanks for reading,Gunjan 🙂

  32. Amber Tatton says:

    This place looks so beautiful and looks like you learnt a lot here. I am heading to Pune soon to visit family, and we debated staying in Mumbai for a day or two… if I do I will definitely head there. Great post!

    1. Oh..that’s nice.Welcome to India. You can actually book a tour online to slot your visit. Thanks for reading and dropping by my blog, Amber 🙂

  33. What a beautiful museum! The collections are truly incredible. I love the different door collection, each design are simply amazing. I agree with you, this is a must-see place in Mumbai. I will definitely visit this museum given the chance. 🙂

    1. You should indeed visit and indulge in this wonderful display of Indian art, Joy. Thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂

  34. This looks like an amazing museum! Your images are great too!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you,Snita 🙂

  35. Your photos are amazing! Looks like a really fascinating museum.

    1. Yes, indeed. Thank you so much 🙂

  36. Yes it’s beautiful, I have seen it before but never felt it like you have shown.
    You have opened a new world for me 😀

    1. Thank you so much,Lata 🙂

  37. I have been to Mumbai airport many times Meenu, and have seen this artwork from the ally. Just a glance! But these images are mesmerizing, how very beautiful. Thank you for directing us towards this amazing treasure, I am clicking some images on my next visit for sure.

    1. Haha..Sure, DP. Not just few clicks but do take a complete tour.Thanks for reading 🙂

  38. Your brilliant photographs take us all on a visual treat through the exhibition. I know for sure, that I will plan my trip to Mumbai in such a manner that I spend some time here. We have abundance of talent in our country that is so rich in heritage and culture. Exhibitions such as these will open throw open a window to the tourists to savour our arts and heritage. Loved your post!

    1. True, Dipali. For westerners who still associate India with population and slums, this museum would be an eye-opener bang upon their arrival. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  39. Simply beautiful. I had a chance only once when I arrived on a Jet airways flight in Mumbai. But, like you said it was terribly delayed and it was midnight. I rushed to get back home, but the sights were amazing. Hope your wish comes true soon.

    1. Thank you so much, Lata. Hope you too get to tour the museum soon 🙂

  40. I had no idea that Mumbai airport held this treasure trove of a museum! And I am a Mumbaikar!
    What a fascinating display! Your stunning captures took me on a virtual and vibrant tour.
    If not for your post, I would have had no idea that I could explore this when at the airport next. Next time I am at the airport I’ll either arrive early, or pray that my flight is late, so I can visit the museum.

    1. Happy to be of help, Mayuri …thanks for reading and for being ever encouraging 🙂

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