Sulabh International Toilet Museum: Exploring one of the Unusual Museum of its Kind

Have you ever imagined yourself walking amidst toilets of various kinds and types displayed systematically in a complex?

Yes, Sulabh International Museum of Toilets can bring this imagination of yours into colours. This unusual museum situated at the Sulabh Service Center, Mahavir Enclave, Palam, New Delhi serves as a place of amusement and never miss a chance to surprise its visitors with its unique individual collection of toilets.

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak- the man behind the idea of this museum, is a renowned sociologist and social reformer. Pathak founded Sulabh International Social Service Organisation in 1970 and launched a social reform-cum-environmental upgradation movement taking up the challenge of sanitation related pollution leading to environmental degradation and health hazards caused by the practice of open defecation and use of bucket toilets. He created a pan-Indian network with 50,000 volunteers and started the Sulabh Sanitation Movement.

About the museum:

Following his dream to showcase the history of sanitation Mr. Pathak initiated the project which led to a worldwide search for each and every detail on the historical journey of sanitation. The museum was opened to public in the year 1992.The museum of Toilets got its shape under the curatorship of Dr. Fritz Lischka from Austria.

The museum is the first of its kind in the world to provide an unusual experience to its visitors combined with a package of imparting knowledge to laymen about historical methods of hygiene and sanitation, toilet related social customs, toilet etiquettes, prevailing sanitary conditions and legislative efforts. It successfully narrates the story behind the development of toilet through ages.

Few points quoted from the curated display are as follows:

  1. The ancient saga of sanitary system reveals how the first sanitation found in Harappan settlement around 3000BC. The Indus Civilization was prominent in hydraulic engineering and had water supply and sanitation devices that were first among many. Here we can learn about sanitation arrangements during ancient civilizations of Babylon, Egypt, Jerusalem, Crete, Greece and Rome.
  2. The medieval section shows different toilets used in Indian forts. Those are the toilets from Amber fort (Jaipur), Akbar’s fort in Fatehpur Sikri, Gingee fort (Tamilnadu) etc. The beautifully decorated Victorian toilets, toilets from Austria and England are on display. The most fascinating piece is the throne like chamber pot of the French emperor Louis XIV,who while using it, used to give audience to the people.
  3. The modern section has various posters, cartoons, photographs of public toilets of different countries etc. The star object of this section is the toilet used by astronauts. Apart from these other electronic and ultra modern toilets are on display. The model of the biggest toilet complex of Shirdi, Maharashtra attracts people.

The flush pot devised in 1596 by Sir John Harrington is one of the prized possessions. Some weird collections are, one French toilet that looks like a stack of books, and an English one which resembles a treasure chest.

Other Informations regarding the museum:

This museum advertises the collection through online and offline mediums. Parking and entry ticket is free for all. Guided tour is available for visitors. The handbook and  brochure of the collection is available online.

According to the time magazine this museum is one of the weirdest museums in world. In 2013, awarded the museum with the certificate of excellence. 

Thus, this museum is running successfully than some bigger museums because of the peculiarity of its collection.

The museum attracts school children and good number of visitors everyday.