I have had to rely on my memory to write about my wonderful visit to the Monetary Museum due to their no photography policy. This unique little place is founded and run by the Reserve Bank of India on the ground level of their premises in the commercial Fort area of South Mumbai. The museum depicts the journey of money and its evolution from a period as early as 2nd century BC until this day. It was made open to public in the year 2005.
Divided into 6 sections, the museum collectively explains the history of money through definitions, displays, info-graphics and touches base on subjects like early barter exchange, use of metals as mode of payment, coins issued by Indian kings, rulers, princely states and later British empires, evolution of paper currency, cheques, promissory notes, bills of exchange, establishment of banks and their roles and the introduction and use of electronic money. Another interesting section displays commemorative coins like the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel coins, the Indira Gandhi coins and the Jawaharlal Nehru coins which were circulated on special occasions. The last section closes with a neat explanation of the role and responsibilities of the Reserve Bank of India and a wall of fame of the Governors of RBI till date.
There are interactive kiosks that take you through a virtual tour and run you through quizzes regarding the objects inside the museum – A good way to involve children.
For a unique concept of a museum centered on money, the place is low profile with zero buzz. In spite of choosing to visit the museum on a Sunday, I had the place all to myself with barely any visitors. It is recommended to give yourself a good two hours to absorb the lengthy but rich on history evolution of Indian currency.
Of all the interesting information, what remained with me even after my visit concluded, included:
- The use of Cowry shells and other metallic objects as currency.
- India distinguished with a record of producing the smallest coin in the world and the largest gold coin until 1987.
- A gold balance machine on display, used to weigh gold bars.
- A suitcase whose outer surface is made from shredded discontinued currency notes and Ornaments made from discontinued coins.
RBI’s Monetary Museum adds flavor to Mumbai’s museum scene. The concept is interesting and having being run by the nation’s central banking institution lends exclusivity of information. Perhaps, my only disappointment was the fact that I couldn’t take home personally clicked images from inside the museum due to their no photography policy.
Reserve Bank of India Monetary Museum
Amar Building (Ground Floor)
Opposite Apna Bazar
Sir Pherozesha Mehta Marg,
Fort, Mumbai – 400 001
Timings: 10:45 am to 5:15 pm
Entrance: Free of charge
Photography not allowed
Cell phones must be switched off
Your Bags may need to be left in their lockers
You can make a quick stop to the Asiatic Society Town Hall located barely 5 minutes away from the Monetary Museum. Make sure to click your postcard shot of this commanding structure while in the vicinity.