Delhi-NCR is home to more than 25 museums big and small! While the Rail Museum, National Museum and Gandhi Smriti Museum are most popular choices for school picnics etc, many other quirky ones, too, will catch your fancy. And mind you, there’s quite a mix — from one for philatelists (people who love stamps) to a doll lover’s delight, a science enthusiast’s mecca, and even one dedicated to toilets, for the followers of sanitation campaign!
What better day than International Museum Day, to visit these gems in the city? To help you choose from the options, we bring you nuggets of history from all the historicity that these museums offer.
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
Well, who thought that a collection of commodes could also be part of a museum? Probably the world’s first toilet museum, this place has a rare collection of facts, pictures and objects detailing the historical evolution of toilets from 2,500 BC to the modern day technologies from the world over. The collection includes a toilet-shaped piggy bank (from Japan) that makes a swooshing sound like that of water being flushed! The museum was founded by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the man behind the sanitation revolution called Sulabh.
Where: Sulabh Bhawan, Palam Dabri Marg, Mahavir Enclave, Palam
Timings: 10.30am to 5pm
Nearest Metro Station: Dwarka Sector 9 on Blue Line
Malliah Memorial Theatre Craft Museum
Ever thought where does all the inspiration for theatrics, in Mandi House, come from? Probably, the source lies in the theatre craft museum, which houses more than 5,000 craft objects, including a rare collection of puppets and masks from India and abroad, ornaments crafted from metal, wood, horn pitch and shells. From life-size mannequins, dressed in traditional theatre costumes, ornaments and weapons from various regions of India to puppets and props used in theatrical productions – this place is a treasure trove!
The museum was curated by late social reformer and freedom fighter Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, who travelled across the globe and bought exquisite craft pieces for the museum’s collection, which she dedicated to her late friend and freedom fighter, Ullal Srinivas Malliah, a patron of rural crafts.
Where: 5, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg
Timings: 10.30am to 5pm
Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House on Violet Line
Vintage Camera Museum, Gurgaon
Set up by photographer Aditya Arya, this is the country’s largest camera museum — with a collection of 800 antique cameras manufactured in the 19th century. The Museo Camera – Centre of Photography museum is spread across 15,000 square feet, and showcases Arya’s collection of works by different photographers such as Raghu Rai, Kulwant Roy and Pablo Bartholomew. The museum boasts the same camera model that was mounted on the bomber aircraft used to drop atom bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, to capture the damage.
Where: T23/5, DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon
Timings: 11am to 5pm
Nearest Metro Station: Sikandarpur on Yellow Line
National Philatelic Museum
With emails taking over letters, the use of stamps has reduced. But the love for stamps hasn’t. This museum — after undergoing redevelopment in 2011 — now has on display not just rare stamps from India and abroad, first day covers and special cancellations, but also an amphitheatre and a library. There’s also a counter for sale of stamps, from the world over.
Where: Dak Bhawan, Sardar Patel Chowk, Sansad Marg
Timings: 10am to 5pm
Nearest Metro Station: Patel Chowk on Yellow Line
Shankar’s International Dolls Museum
A gift from a Hungarian diplomat gave political cartoonist K Shankar Pillai an idea to collate a museum with a collection of 500 dolls. Since it’s inception in 1965, the number has risen to more than 6,500 dolls from around 85 countries. The major attraction is 150 types of Indian costume dolls created at the museum workshop. Most of the handmade dolls are created from clay, cloth, wood, bone, leather, straw and twigs.
Where: Children’s Book Trust, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
Timings: 10am to 6pm
Nearest Metro Station: ITO on Violet Line
Other popular museums in the city:
2.National Museum of Natural History
3.National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum (Crafts Museum)
4.National Rail Museum
5.Nehru Memorial Museum
6.Air Force Museum
7.Red Fort Archaeological Museum
8.National Police Museum
9.National Science Centre Museum
10.Ghalib Museum & Library
11.Sanskriti Kendra Terracotta & Metal Museum
12.Gandhi Smriti Museum
13.National Police Museum
14.Madame Tussauds (to open soon)
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