[Day 25] Today we travelled first from Ajanta to Aurangabad, and then after visiting some more temples in the afternoon we continued on to Mumbai by airplane. The trip in all started at 7.00am and finished at 9.00pm. I was very tired after a long day.
[Day 26] On our last day together on this Indian trip we were looking for what would be best to do. There were some options: visit Elephanta, and important rock-cut Hindu temple on an island not far from Mumbai; go and at least have a look at the more than 100 Kanheri caves in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park; visit Sri Goenkaji’s Global Vipassana Pagoda north of the city.
All of these were attractive, but would have involved either too much travelling, or too much of being out in the heat of the day. Instead we went to what was formerly the Prince of Wales Museum in the Fort district in Mumbai, renamed now as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. Being not too far and indoors, and therefore cooler, it turned out to be a good choice.
The Museum has several good collections of material, but I only had time to photograph the Buddhist materials: mainly sculptures from various sites, including in what is now Pakistan, and works from the Himalayan regions mainly of Nepal and Tibet. I got some good photos of both collections.
I have seen better museums, and the collections of interest were fairly small, but it was also interesting to see the materials from the Gandhāra region and to learn more of the Mirpur Khas or Kahu-Jo-Darro stupa, which I didn’t know of before, but extensive remains of which are in the museum. It appears to have been a Hīnayāna type stupa, but from a very late period, around the 6th CE. Below the photograph shows the Dharmacakrapravartana, the first teaching that set the Dharma Wheel in motion.