Kaneri Math (कणेरी मठ) – Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum


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Fourteen kilometres south of Kolhapur, just off the highway (to your right as you go towards Belgaum) is Kaneri Math, which houses the Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum.

This is India’s answer to Madame Tussauds – in cement.

And rather than just keep statues of famous personalities (it has a good share of those from days gone by), the “open” museum houses wonderful depiction from the daily village life; even if you allow the slight bias of design and presentation to the region it belongs to.


Unfortunately, photography isn’t allowed inside, which in a way, meant that I had a lot of time to see the sculptures for what they are. I seemed to take time to see things without the viewfinder. Have look at the slide show on their site. Images in this post are taken at the राशी पार्क (Zodiac Garden) just opposite the Museum.

I have always been critical of art installations in India — whether private, government-sponsored or charitable. Primarily, because there is an apathy to the presentation. Each step towards the art, object or artefact, makes you want to leave — that is the state of presentation. And, no, I do not mean thoughtful lighting or gadgety stuff which adorn most museums in the world today. Even basic information is absent.

Kaneri Math was slightly better, I would think, in that respect. Where it has statues of most saints, it gives a brief bio of the saint. And surprisingly, in English. Most local museums in India assume that only locals come to visit. Or perhaps that is the way the local guides make money.

This museum is about a three-hour walk and worth every step. The effort is commendable and can be improved upon. And I plan to go back in a year or so to see what the empty spaces have been filled with. It seems that they may be able to maintain the quality and the cleanliness of the place, given that this belongs to a private charitable trust and they are able to call the shots.

That should be the case with all museums in India.

Approximate Google Map Location

Getting There:
On NH4, pass Kolhapur and drive towards Belgaum for approximately 10 km, at the Gokul Shirgaon Exit, take right and follow the signs for Siddhagiri Museum (another 5 – 6 kms)



18 thoughts on “Kaneri Math (कणेरी मठ) – Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum

  1. I was visiting Kolhapur for 2 days and wanted to see some nice tourists spots for visit. I came to know about the math and the musuem with wax statues of village life. I dropped the idea to visit the place when I came to know that I cannot take picutre. How pathetic??? Wwhats the fund in visiting the musuem, whichi is worth visiting and u cannot take pictures of the same. How will I convince my friends who visit kolhapur to visi the musuem when I cannot show or explain them what it is????

  2. We had really enjoyed this place. Fabulous, exciting and very informative museum. Never seen earlier nor may be after, museum like this. Thanks to organiser and special thanks to the unknown auto rickshaw owner of Kolhapur, because of whom we could reach to this beauty, natural location and see the marvelous museum.

  3. I like so much of siddhgiri math also called kanehari math. Described the gramin jeevan is very nice . Hopes all the people come to in this math.

  4. I visitted KaneriMath 2 days back.I was thrilled to see the museum.It is unique of it’s kind in the world.It is highly respectable job done Parama Poojya Kadasiddeshwar Swamiji 500 years ago. The details of village scenes/idols are made available in Kannada and Marathi.This is a specimen for harmony and love for peoples of 2 states. It is a worth seeing place

  5. I was visited 1st time Kaneri Math on Mahashivratri Utsav & will visit this temple every year. Because the climate of Kaneri is wonderfull & healthful. There are photos of Gramin jeevan is very nice . Hopes all the people come to in this math every year.

  6. It is a fabulous holy place for all prayer .
    it just not only the place of god, we can also help needy people.
    we get great massage to save our country cow.

  7. I have been this place a year ago. This is really a wonderful place to visit and see the qualitative work. The culture of Indian society is described very keenly starting from ancient time. I’m sure this would be learning and knowing for all and majorly for people and Students staying at Metro City.
    I would Recommend you to Visti there and I wish to visit this place again.

  8. Beautiful lifelike statues and all emotions well depicted in the figurines of village life.loved the place absolutely

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