Though the importance of toilets has always been superlative in our lives, did you know that there actually exists a place that is solely dedicated to toilets from around the world? Yes, a museum that doesn’t depict paintings or sculptures but rather a large collection of international toilets, their long drawn history and their evolution over the years. Located in New Delhi, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets does just that by exhibiting the 5000 year old history of toilets. Housed inside a low slung concrete building, the museum is filled with antique exhibits of latrines and commodes. From simple chamber pots to decorated toilet seats belonging to the Victorian era, this museum has been ranked third in the list of the World’s 10 Weirdest Museums according to a survey conducted by the Time Magazine, and rightfully so.
Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, a humanist and social reformer, has made a difference in the lives of millions of people by being the icon of sanitation. An ardent admirer and follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Pathak strongly believes in the Gandhian ideology of abolishing scavenging. Regarded as the inventor of the Sulabh Sauchalaya, Dr. Pathak wanted to educate the whole world, especially students, about the development of toilets and the importance of sanitation in our lives. With the additional goal of helping sanitation experts solve the problems in the sanitation sector, Dr. Pathak officially launched his museum in 1994. Considered to be one of the rarest museums in the world, it received the Certificate of Excellence award from Trip Advisor in 2013.
If you have decided to visit this museum for a ‘Sulabh’ experience, here is a quick heads up from our end. Firstly, the museum has been divided into three sections; Ancient, Medieval and Modern. In the ‘Ancient’ section, you will discover the sanitation arrangements during the Harappa Civilization and Mohenjo-Daro. The ‘Medieval’ section will give you a walkthrough of the toilets made for the palaces such as the Amer Fort, Akbar’s Fort and the Golconda Fort. You can also find the table-top toilet of England and the highly decorated commodes from Austria in this section. The ‘Modern’ section will conclude your tour with some toilet jokes, public toilets of different countries and a toy commode from China.
Secondly, this unique toilet museum gives you a chance to see the replica of the biggest toilet complex at any religious place (Shirdi, Maharashtra). Finally, you can also find a full-size replica from the court of King Louis XVI which was both, the king’s throne as well as his toilet.
If you are a resident of Delhi, locating this museum will be easy. Just board a metro on the Blue Line till the Janakpuri Metro Station. After getting off at the station, just head towards Sulabh Bhawan in Mahavir Enclave and you’ll be at your destination. If you don’t live in Delhi, then board a flight to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, as from the airport this museum is just 21 kms away.
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Address: Sulab Bhawan, Mahavir Enclave, Palam Dabri Marg, New Delhi 110045
Web Address: http://www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org/
Contact: 011-25031518, 011-25031519
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM (April to October), 10:30 AM to 05:00 PM (November to March)
Cost: No entry fee
Easiest way to reach: Via a rickshaw from Janakpuri West Metro Station