Don Bosco Museum is one of the famous tourist spots. It is a must-see destination on every visitor's itinerary. It gives you a birds-eye view of the diverse culture and traditions of the natives of the Meghalaya. Hence, it is called the Don Bosco Center for Indigenous Cultures (DBCIC). It has preserved the vibrant multi-culture of the north-eastern state in the form of many galleries and magnificent paintings displaying the liberated and ethnic culture and traditions of Meghalaya's natives. It is just 3 kilometres from Meghalaya's capital, Shillong, where people can connect with the life, culture, and history of northeast India.
DBCIC also organizes research and study sessions for those who want to learn about the native way of life and history. The Otto Hopfenmueller Library is an extensive library with over 10,000 volumes adjacent to the DBCIC where one can read and understand the better native culture.
The DBCIC has made significant efforts to share awareness and experience of the revolutionary life in Meghalaya with tourists. They have made every attempt to make tourists' and visitors' trips as comfortable as possible. Elevators have been built for the elderly and the sick so that there is no barrier between them and their desire to learn about Meghalaya's past.
In the museum, there are computer areas with touch screen screens, media, and conference space. They have also created a mini-museum for children to enjoy the beautiful indigenous history. They also have an eatery area where tourists can enjoy their discovery period without having to hurry to a restaurant to relieve their appetite.
The museum's arrangement is distinctive in its own right. It has seven floors and is built like a honeycomb, allowing for good access to natural light and fresh air. An effective ventilation system enhances the experience in the museum significantly. The credit must be given to the brains behind the structure. The architect of the building is Vivek Varma, who is known in Shillong for his "Architectural Firsts".
The Don Bosco Center has several galleries that are organized conceptually across the seven floors of museums. They sought to cover the entire culture and diversity of the northeastern state through this gallery. Some of the galleries located in the museum include, but are not limited to:
Agricultural Gallery: The Agriculture Gallery displays different methods of farming and cultivation used by the locals, such as plow cultivation and rice cultivation.
Art Gallery: This gallery has a comprehensive collection of rare, one-of-a-kind, and colorful paintings and artifacts representing different tribal customs and cultures. The art museum has also preserved many artifacts from various parts of the North-Eastern States. You will be able to see bamboo art, cane craft, stonework, metalwork, and other handicraft pieces.
Basketry Gallery: Meghalaya is well-known for its handcrafted baskets, especially those made of bamboo, and there is a sizable demand for these in the state. This gallery shows the different styles of baskets produced in this state.
Food Gallery: Meghalaya is well-known for its handcrafted baskets, especially those made of bamboo, and there is a sizable demand for these in the state. This gallery shows the different styles of baskets produced in this state.
Costumes and Ornaments Gallery: In the Northeast state, ornaments and jewelry are adorned during special occasions and festivals. They are not only special but also distinguishable. This special collection was on display in the Don Bosco Museum's gallery. Feather, beads, metals, semi-precious stones, bamboo, linen, and embroidered patches are among the materials used.
Fishing, Hunting and Gathering Gallery: This gallery includes masterpieces related to hunting, fishing, planting, and crop cultivation. Different cultures use various techniques, which are shown in the gallery for visitors to see.
Introductory and Pre-History Gallery: The name suggests that one will read about the state's history and revolutions in this gallery. The gallery displays a variety of murals, sculptures, drawings, and models for tourists to admire and learn.
Lands and People Gallery: The gallery educates tourists about the people and land of India's north-eastern states. There is more than just old-fashioned cuisine or clothes. It reflects the richness of communities and livelihoods.
Language Gallery: It is worth noting that the northeastern states of India are home to over 200 languages. Although English is the most widely spoken language in Meghalaya, the state's rural people tend to talk in their native language. This gallery educates tourists on the different languages spoken in India's northern region. It demonstrates how culturally diverse India is, even in terms of language.
Musical Instruments Gallery: Music is an art. It can heal in the literal sense. The people of India's northeastern region believe in its power and enjoy its melodious rhythm. A fascinating fact is that the people in this area will narrate their entire life, social problems, and any other subject in the form of music, which one cannot help but respect, admire, and gallery in its true meaning unless they are visitors in this museum.
This is not a place to visit in a rush. A proper exploration can take a half-day, but one can also search through the museum in two or three hours. The time spent at the museum is worth the experience. No travel is complete without knowing a brief history of the region, and what better place to learn than a museum?
DBCIC is an excellent destination for taking a closer look at not just the situation of Meghalaya, but also the whole northeast region of India. It is not only an interesting experience, but also a learning experience to appreciate and respect the diverse cultural, religious, traditional, and wildlife diversity that exists in the northeast part of India, which is hardly one-fourth of the country's route.
Except for Sunday, the museum is open every day of the week. Summer hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., while winter hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors may also shop for souvenirs as a memento of their visit.