Calico Museum Of Textiles

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Calico Museum Of Textiles

History

Considered as the leading textile museum of the country and one of the most illustrious institutions of its kind in the world – Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad was established in 1949 and is one of the must-visit places in the city. The museum boasts of some marvellous collection of Indian fabrics epitomising handicraft textiles that span more than five centuries thus attracting large amount of visitors from all across the society.

Large number of Indian and international research scholars have visited, and are visiting the Calico Museum of Textiles for their research and referral work. Most importantly the Calico Museum serves as a reference point to the surviving handicraftsmen of India who draw their inspiration from these ancient textiles of India. The museum also serves as a reference point for the Indian machine-textile industry, which is constantly trying to revive the rich textiles of India through machines.

Historically speaking, the Calico Museum was inspired by a suggestion of one Dr Ananda Coomaraswamy when he was in conversation with Gautam Sarabhai. Acting on his suggestion, in 1949 Gautam Sarabhai and his sister Gira Sarabhai along with the industrial house of Calico founded the Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad. The museum that was established in the compounds of Calico Mills was to serve as the specialist museum in India that was concerned with both the historical and the technical study of Indian handicraft and industrial textiles.

However, it is believed that by the early fifties the museum discovered its original aim and concentrated all its energies on the huge and imperative field of handicraft textiles thus devoting much less time to industrial fabrics and inviting the surviving handicraftsmen to display their work in the museum.

By the year 1971, the House of Calico came to the conclusion that the excellent fabric collection and the invaluable research conducted by the publications were such that museum should be an independent society. And the museum was able to achieve this transition smoothly only under the progressive administration of Gautam and Gira Sarabhai who from the day one have been using their knowledge and their reputation as art connoisseurs for the betterment of the museum.

In addition to that the continuous funding by the Calico Group in spite the fact that the museum was now an independent society has allowed the museum to grow both in volume and stature and today it is one of the most renowned institutions in the world for its eminent and wide-ranging collection of textiles and artefacts.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Calico Museum of Textiles is between October and March when the weather is quiet pleasant and the sun is not too harsh for the tours of the galleries in Chauk and Haveli.

Trivia

The Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad is one of the leading textile museums in the world with the collection displayed at the museum being recognised as a national heritage of India.

Timing

The galleries at the museum are open throughout the week except on Wednesdays and public holidays. The admission to these galleries is free but there are designated timings for visiting the shop and galleries.

Entry timings for the morning visit are between 10:15 and 10:30am only. The morning guided tour, which starts at 10:30 am and lasts till 12:30pm is of the galleries located at the Chauk. If you are planning for a group tour then do remember that only a group of 20 people are allowed in the morning tour and the administration makes a prior confirmation and arrangements for the tour.

The second tour is of the galleries situated in the Haveli and is in the evening between 3:00pm and 5:00pm. Entry timings for the evening tours are between 2:45 and 3:00 pm only. A group of ten people are permitted for this tour so please make advance booking for the evening tour.

Note: No handbags or baggage including cameras and cell-phones are allowed inside the galleries. Although there is a provision for depositing your belongings at the gate, the management will not be responsible for any loss.

Another thing to remember is that children below ten years of age are not allowed in the galleries.


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