India's capital city, Delhi, is renowned for its extensive historical and cultural legacy. Several museums that highlight many facets of India's past and present are located throughout the city. Yet, Delhi also has a few unique museums that are off the beaten path but are unquestionably worthwhile visits including a bunch of science museums. These museums offer a special perspective on some lesser-known facets of Delhi's culture and history.
Here are a few of the offbeat museums in Delhi you must explore
1. Toilet Museum
West Delhi's Mahavir Enclave is home to the unique Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the creator of the Sulabh International Social Service Organization, founded the museum in 1992. This offbeat museum highlights the various types of toilets used around the world while showcasing the progression of toilets from the times of old to the current era.
A wide variety of toilets, from basic squatting models to more complex models like the portable lavatory used by astronauts, are on display at the museum. The museum also contains a section with sculptures, paintings, and photography that are all about toilets.
The Toilet Museum does more than just display toilets. It also tries to raise awareness of sanitation issues and the significance of having clean restrooms. The museum offers educational exhibits and videos that highlight the significance of sanitation and hygiene. This is of the best museums in Delhi to start with if you want a unique yet enriching experience
2. Shankar’s International Doll Museum
Shankar's International Dolls Museum is situated close to Connaught Place in the centre of Delhi. K. Shankar Pillai, a well-known cartoonist and illustrator, founded the museum in 1965. The museum offers visitors a singular and entertaining experience thanks to its extensive collection of dolls from all over the world.
The museum's dolls are decked out in traditional garb to give visitors a glimpse into the customs and cultures of many nations. Around 85 nations are represented in the collection, with dolls from India, Japan, Russia, and the USA, among others. A section of this unique museum is devoted to dolls that represent several Indian states, reflecting the country's varied cultures and traditions.
The museum contains a puppet theatre and a collection of traditional masks from many nations. The museum is a fantastic resource for learning about the various cultures and traditions of the world.
3. Air Force Museum
Near the Delhi airport is Palam, where the Air Force Museum is situated. The museum, which was founded in 1967, presents the background and accomplishments of the Indian Air Force. A sizable collection of aircraft, missiles, and other items used by the Indian Air Force are on display at the museum.
This defence museum's outdoor aircraft show, which features classic aircraft like the Hawker Hunter and the Supermarine Spitfire, is its main draw. The museum also features an inside area with a collection of images, outfits, and other artefacts pertaining to the history of the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Air Force's participation in different wars, notably the Kargil War, is also covered in a section of the museum. The area features exhibits of the gear used in the conflicts, such as clothing and weaponry. It is one of the biggest air force or Army museums in the country.
In addition to the exhibits, the Air Force Museum offers a flight simulator where guests can try out operating a fighter jet. The museum is a fantastic resource for information on the background and accomplishments of the Indian Air Force and the nation's aviation sector.
4. Waste To Wonder Park
In the Sarai Kale Khan neighbourhood of South Delhi, there is a peculiar park called The Waste To Wonder Park. The park, which opened in 2019, has exact reproductions of some of the most well-known structures in the world created entirely out of scrap metal.
There are seven statues in the park, including the Colosseum, the Statue of Liberty, and the Eiffel Tower. Each artwork is constructed using scrap metal, such as automobile pieces, metal pipes, and used kitchenware. Not only are the sculptures stunning to look at, but they are great advocates for recycling and trash reduction.
The park also contains a playground and a snack court in addition to the sculptures.
5. The National Crafts Museum
The National Crafts Museum, commonly referred to as the National Handicrafts & Handlooms Museum, is situated in Pragati Maidan, close to India Gate. The museum is situated on 5 acres of land and was founded in 1956. The museum provides tourists with an insight into the cultural richness of India by showcasing the country's rich handicraft and handloom legacy.
Almost 35,000 objects, including textiles, pottery, jewellery, and furniture, are housed in the museum. The displays are arranged according to India's several regions, showcasing the distinctive arts and customs of each. The museum also features a section on rural crafts that highlights the expertise and originality of India's rural craftspeople, making it one of the best museums to visit in Delhi for handicraft aficionados.
The museum offers a live demonstration area where guests may see artists make handicrafts and operate handlooms. The museum also holds workshops and other activities that give guests a chance to discover and engage with India's rich handicrafts and handloom legacy.
6. Madame Tussauds
Famous wax museums like Madame Tussauds have locations all over the world. Wax sculptures of well-known people from India and around the world may be found in the museum in Delhi, which opened its doors in 2017.
Around 50 people are represented at the museum, including world leaders like Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, Bollywood stars like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, and actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. Visitors can take selfies with their favourite celebs, thanks to the remarkably lifelike wax sculptures.
This celebrity wax museum in India offers interactive displays and 4D performances that immerse visitors in the experience. Madame Tussauds Museum is a fantastic location for amusement and creative photo opportunities.
Delhi is home to various remarkable museums that provide tourists with a singular and exciting experience. These museums present diverse facets of India's rich history and culture, ranging from a museum devoted to toilets to a park filled with sculptures fashioned out of recycled metal. These museums are definitely worth a visit, regardless of whether you are a history enthusiast or just seeking something unusual to do.
If you liked these, don’t forget to check out the Kiran Nadar Museum of Arts situated in Saket, New Delhi.