Siddhagiri Gramjivan Wax Museum (Kaneri Math) at Kaneri near Kolhapur, Maharashtra is a unique wax museum, probably the only one of its kind in India. The museum is called ‘Siddhagiri Gramjivan (Village life) Museum’. This unique project is the only of its kind in India and situated at Shri Kshetra Siddhagiri Math. Many people know about Kaneri Math but very few know about this museum.
For those who even don’t know about ‘Kaneri Math’; here is something - It is holy place with a Shiva temple. It is believed that a Shivling was installed by a Lingayat Priest on a beautiful hill in the 14th century. The temple is beautiful and peaceful with a huge Nandi. About 500 years ago, a Lingayat Priest Shree Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj developed and renovated it and hence the place is now known by his name. A 125 feet (38 m) deep well and a 42 feet (13 m) huge Shiva idol is worth seeing.
To reach Siddhagiri Museum: Take the Kolhapur-Bangalore NH 4 Travel approx 10–12 km. Take right from Gokul Shirgaon Junction to go to Kaneri village. Drive approx 4–5 km to reach Siddhagiri Museum.
A unique project, perhaps the only project in India situated at Shri Kshetra Siddhagiri Math, Kaneri, Tal. Karveer, Dist. Kolhapur. The place is near Kolhapur city on Pune Banglore Highway. Shri Kshetra Siddhagiri Math has a history of more than 1000 years, and is a holy place of worship of Lord Mahadeva. The surrounding around the museum is very calm and quiet, a hilly place with a good collection of Flora and Fauna.
The project is a dream village of Mahatma Gandhi, visually and symbolically created through the vision and efforts of present 27th Mathadhipati H.H. Adrushya Kadsiddheshwar Swamiji.
The main objective of the Project is to refresh the history of self sufficient village life before the invasion of Mughals in Maharashtra. There were 12 BALUTEDARS (12 main profession based casts i.e. Professions performed by generation by family members) and 18 ALUTEDARS, who provided equipments to all villagers useful in their day-to-day necessities of domestic as well as Agricultural life.
These Balutedars, Alutedars and others had a special characteristics with which they served society. The description of all 18 Alutedars, 12 balutedars and other people and there duties are vividly depicted in the museum.
The first phase of the museum spans over 7 Acres of area with almost 80 main scenes and around 300 statues. Several subtle village lifestyles are taken into consideration. There is a unique combination of expression, accuracy and liveliness in the whole village. Each sculpture has a multi dimensional effect and lifestyle theme which Swamiji very keenly arranged each and every scene to make a proper visual story. In the total cluster the village demonstrate a self sufficient machinery within village. Barter economy, Interpersonal healthy happy relationship among villagers is reflected.
The Museum projects the entire village as a single family, and as single family members in a joint family. No adulteration, no cut thought practice, no mad Rat Race, No pollution, but Caring, and delightful atmosphere, no bitter feeling, but fertile land, clean water, clean air, quality food, maximum use of natural resources, cattle field, livestock, job satisfaction. All these things are reflecting the beauty, Joy, satisfaction of human race and oneness with nature. It advises us to get back to nature, without disturbing the equilibrium of nature and many other things which are beyond our imagination.