This museum showcases different aspects of Gramjivan (village life). Gram means village and jivan means life in the Marathi language. This initiative was the dream of Mahatma Gandhi, and was created through the vision and efforts of Siddhagiri Gurukul Foundation. The history of self-sufficient village life in Maharshtra, before the invasion of the Mughals, is depicted in the form of cement sculptures. Each sculpture is lifelike and represents activities performed in daily village life. There were 12 Balutedars (essentially artisan castes), and 18 Alutedars who provided equipment to carry out domestic and professional tasks.
The museum is spread over 7 acres (28,000 m2), and the surrounding countryside is beautiful, with lush greenery. Every aspect of village life has been depicted in almost 80 scenes that showcase more than 300 statues.
Village priest’s abode. The first scene is the house of a highly educated village priest. He performs his duties, rites and rituals like weddings and thread ceremonies, and is tasked to find auspicious days and times for any major activity such as house-building and house-warming activities, digging wells, sowing seeds, piercing nose or ears. He earns his livelihood from Dakshina (donations) he receives. He consults the Panchaang (almanac) for finding auspicious dates.
Goldsmith at work
Ironsmith shoeing a bullock
Village well - villagers fetching water from the public well.
Nursing an elder family member
Grocer’s shop - a woman visiting the grocery shop with her son. The shop-keeper is weighing items in an old weighing machine. Items like jaggery, sugar, chillies, salt, wheat, and rice are stocked. The son is asking his mother to buy kites for him.
The museum has an old Shiva temple on the grounds. It is related to the Inchegeri Sampradaya, to which Nisargadatta Maharaj belongs. It is believed that a Shivling was installed by a Lingayat Priest on a beautiful hill in the 14th century. About 500 years ago, a Lingayat Priest, Shree Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj, developed and renovated it, and hence the place is now known by his name. The temple includes a 125 feet (38 m)-deep well, a 42 feet (13 m) Shiva idol, and a large Nandi bull.
Dnyaneshwar[q] (1275–1296) also known as Sant Jñāneshwar or Jñanadeva[r] and as Kadasiddha[s] or Kad-Siddheshwar Maharaj[t]
Kadasiddha,[u] also called "Almighty "Kadsiddeshwar",[v] who appeared as a vision to Sri Gurulingajangam Maharaj[w] or
The 22nd or 24th[x] Shri Samarth Muppin Kaadsiddheswar Maharaj, who initiated Sri Gurulingajangam Maharaj[y] or
"The 25th generation of the kadsiddha at siddhagiri had then initiated Guruling jangam maharaj of nimbargi."[z] or
"Juangam Maharaj" c.q. "a yogi [at Siddhagiri] who gave [Nimabargi Maharaj] a mantra and told him to meditate regularly on it"[aa]
Nimbargi Maharaj (1789-1875) also known as Guru Lingam-Jangam Maharaj [ab][ac][ad]