For the Love of Nature

Gargoti The Mineral Museum, Nasik- India

While participating in shows around the world, KC assured visiting various museums in different countries. He was incredibly impressed by the ideas and efforts put in to conserve and educate people about the heritage and natural wealth of a particular region. He had always cherished and appreciated the interest and hobby of mineral collectors, be it small or big, for their love and enthusiasm towards these natural crystals of Mother Nature – irrespective of their origin.

The lack of this education, interest and enthusiasm towards such amazing natural creations amongst the Indian population unsettled KC greatly as the national wealth and heritage of a country must be held in paramount stature by its citizens. Before moving outwards into the world, the treasures available within one’s own motherland need to be collected, conserved and appreciated.

With these ideologies ruling his heart, taking a brave patriotic step ahead in this direction – KC decided to set up his own mineral museum, the first ever in India and the only privately owned mineral museum of Zeolites (from the Deccan Plateau) of an incomparable capacity in the world, which exhibited a collection on such an unprecedented and grand scale.

The passionate futurist invested absolutely all of his and his family’s collective savings in constructing this museum, and expanded his personal collection of minerals and crystals from around the world to display in there. The main motto of building this museum was to educate the people of India about the hidden and neglected natural beauty arising from within their motherland and around the world. It was also intended to inspire more people in India, especially youngsters, to appreciate the multihued and opulent heritage of our country and take up the hobby of mineral collecting.

A glimpse of the “Deccan Plateau Gallery” of the Gargoti Museum, Nasik- India
A glance of the “Prestige Gallery” of the Gargoti Museum, Nasik- India
Mr.K.C.Pandey lecturing a group of young “National Cadet Corps” visiting his Gargoti Museum, Nasik- India

KC’s hard work towards his vision got India it’s 1st Mineral Museum named “Gargoti” (which means pebble in native Marathi language), at Nasik, in the year 2001 which was inaugurated on the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritya (festival for prosperity). The occasion also witnessed the presence of noble laureates and eminent personalities. The museum has marked its presence on the global map as an establishment which houses the biggest and the best collection of Indian Zeolite Minerals in the world. Originally meant only to serve as a prototype, an introductory model for exhibit of Indian minerals, the stupendous success of Gargoti has now transformed it into an institution in itself; the last word in the realm of mineral display and conservation in India.

Extremely popular amongst the tourists visiting the country, Gargoti Museum, Nasik is visited by atleast 200,000 visitors annually which includes families, students, celebrities, businessmen, politicians, socialites, geologists, gemmologists, academicians, parliamentarians, architects, interiors designers, scientists, research scholars, mineral dealers and collectors; both national and international, who appreciate and inspire from the valiant initiative taken by KC.

A Tribute to Mother Nature
A tribute to Mother Nature – The towering statue of Mother Earth at the Gargoti Museum, Nasik- India

Adding yet another feather to his cap and lending more muscle to his endeavour, KC has also been curating a National Design Gallery & Museum in the heart of the Indian capital of New Delhi which was established in collaboration with the Handicraft & Textile Ministry of The Government of India (PPP association model), and has been running successfully for the past 8 years now. This venture was taken up in order to aid and boost the poor performance of an existent Handicraft Gallery. The initial years of this venture witnessed a dearth of visitors, as it was hard to get people to stop over at the third floor establishment. But constant and persevering efforts by KC and his team managed to turn the tables to a major extent. Despite a lack of footfalls during the initial years KC invested crores of rupees in refurbishing the entire galleria; such was KC’s dedication towards this endeavour which sought to magnify and display priceless assets from India’s rich heritage in its national capital, brimming with immense patriotic fervour. The gallery has been visited by many elite personages, including ambassadors from all over the world, and features on the must visit list of foreign dignitaries visiting Delhi.

National Handicraft Design Gallery & Museum, New Delhi