When we think about museums, the first thing that comes to mind are images of stuffy galleries with said security guards on hand to quiet the crowds. Not so at these decidedly quirky museums that prove there’s something for everyone, with exhibits celebrating unusual subjects, including black magic, human brains and even toilets.
So, forget the regular history and art museums, and pay a visit to these unconventional and unique museums in India that don’t just educate but entertain as well.
5. Legends Motorcycling Café, Bengaluru
While vintage car museums are common, this one here is dedicated to vintage motorcycles!
S.K. Prabhu, a passionate biker, began collecting them in 1992 and Legends Motorcycle Museum is his private collection. A biker’s delight the museum has more than 20 vintage motorcycles that are still in working condition, including a few rare ones that date back to World War II. Pride of place in his display is occupied by a red-and cream-coloured Cezeta, a rare 1962 model scooter made in erstwhile Czechoslovakia.
4. Paldi Kite Museum, Ahmedabad
The city of Ahmedabad is globally renowned for Uttaran or the Kite Festival so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the city has an entire museum dedicated to kites. The brainchild of Mr Bhanu Shah, a kite enthusiast who donated his 50-year-old collection of rare kites to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, this museum was established in 1985 and houses some of the rarest kites in existence, making it the first of its kind in India and second in the world.
3. Pukhauti Muktangan, Raipur
With a very indigenous name, which literally translates to ‘free and open courtyard of our ancestors, this newly developed museum-cum-culture park combines the native ethos of Chattisgarh with modern design sensibilities. With murals by award-winning artists, gardens adorned by tribal art installations, and iron gates that tell long-forgotten local stories, this beautiful museum brings together the past and present of Chhattisgarh’s art forms in one place.
2. Losel Doll Museum, Dharamsala
Nestled inside the lush gardens of Norbulingka Institute in Mcleodganj, Dharamsala, the Losel Doll Museum is the world’s largest collection of Losel Dolls. These beautiful collector’s items are handcrafted by monks (of the Drepung Loseling monastery) who use wire, clay and papier mache to make them. Dressed in traditional Tibetan costumes, tailored from cotton, wool and silk, the doll is completed with jewellery and other accessories that illustrate aspects of Tibetan culture.
1. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, Delhi
A staple on the list of unusual museums around the world, this museum is dedicated to the history of sanitation and toilets. With exhibits dating back to 3000 BC, the museum has fascinating displays of reproduction of ancient chamber pots, Victorian toilet seats and even toilets made of gold that were once used by Roman Emperors. There are also models of the low-cost biodegradable toilets that Sulabh is building in rural areas and poor neighbourhoods.