It is the one-man collection of Late Dr. D.G. Kelkar (1896 -1990). 'Kaka', as Dr. Kelkar was affectionately known dedicated his collection to the memory of his only son `Raja’ who died an untimely death. It is a collection about 22,000 priceless artifacts which mirror the everyday life of India. A testimony to man’s creative spirit - the spirit that breaths beauty into the banal, and puts romance into the mundane. Kaka was a man obsessed with art. A man who, for over sixty years, traveled extensively across the country - to obscure villages and tribal settlements, to grand temples and humble huts, to forgotten attics and folk fares - collecting .. always collecting.
During his school days mathematics was not his cup of tea but poetry certainly was. Late Dr. Dinkar Kelkar was an optician by profession and so also very much fond of history thus he pursued the Historical poetry rather than the Romantic one that most poets of his age pursued. He wrote poems under the anonymous “Adnyatwasi” and this was the starting point for getting interested in the collection of antiquities and art objects somewhere around 1920. The Museum was initially named as “Raja Sangraha” later as “Raja Kelkar Historical Collections” finally got named as “Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum”. During this time the words “Museum” and “Antique” were hardly known to common Indians excepting perhaps some elite class. Dr. Kelkar is thus one of the pioneers of Indian Museums.
A connoisseur who had an uncanny vision to spot the exotic in the everyday..... to uncover diamonds under the dust. The impressive Museum collection of 22,000 priceless artifacts recalls the historic Indian culture and traditions, which gently lead to more and more treasures. Creations in stone, wood, metal, ivory, fabric and clay that endure as the full realization of the human craftsmanship. A collection as varied as life itself is as awesome as man’s ingenuity. It is where each artifact reveals the powerful creative craft of its unknown creator, and where each object testifies to the passion and perseverance of Kaka Kelkar, A man who with a single - minded zeal, dedicated himself to the task of giving the arts and crafts of India the recognition, the respect and the immortality they deserve.