Spread out over a sprawling plot off the NH8 in Gurgaon, India, is the Heritage Transport Museum, the first of its kind in the country. The museum is a collection of vignettes that bring together the past, present and the future over one common topic– transportation. And while that may seem like quite a dry topic to exhibit about, a trip to the transport museum lays bare exactly why this collection is so revered. The hunt for the rare and elusive is what led to the birth of the museum, and the support of the government and private donors is what sustains it to this day. This guide to Heritage Transport Museum Gurgaon has comprehensive information about visiting the museum.
Things to do / highlights
Walk through the museum
The Heritage Transport Museum has a dozen collections to boast of, so a day there is best spent wandering around the exhibits. The Automobile Gallery enshrines the Indian car industry through 75 vintage cars and ephemera from bygone years. A historical railway platform along with a restored saloon from the 1930s grace the railways section while a Maritime Gallery pays homage to the growth and decline of Indian’s waterways.
Visit an exhibition
Apart from the regular exhibits, the transport museum also hosts special exhibitions and events. The past and future lineup include the likes of Baptist Coelho, Atul Bhalla and TV Santosh. However, all the exhibitions are linked by the common theme of transportation and the role it plays on the socioeconomic stage. They’re also an exciting tribute to humans’ thirst to travel the world and satisfy their curiosity.
Explore the Discovery Centre
On Level 2 of the museum sits the Discovery Centre, geared at explaining the way various modes of transportation work. Visitors can play around with working models and actual parts of transportation modes, such as gearboxes and engines. The centre is designed to allow visitors to operate models themselves, making for a fun, science-filled day out among the machines. Regular workshops are even better for hands-on learning and cover topics such as the creative links between the museum’s collections, and the preservation of antiques.
Research on transportation
The massive library and research centre is where you need to be to read up on all sorts of topics related to transportation. The collection is expansive and also includes books on art, design and street art to boot. It’s a wonderful place to spend a good few hours imbibing knowledge about anything under the sun! Don’t forget to take a look at the rare books collection, printed in the early 20th century.
Catch a movie
Apart from the permanent exhibitions, the museum also screens documentaries and films on transportation and aviation. If you have the time, try to catch one of these screenings because they’re heavily informative and a good way to absorb as much knowledge as you can. They also provide context to some of the exhibitions, if you’re keen on exploring further.
What to eat
The heritage museum also houses a small cafe. While it’s not your average restaurant, it has enough items on the menu to cure hunger pangs borne of hours spent wandering around the museum. When you’re resting your feet at the cafe, try out their French fries, burgers, aerated drinks and juices.
Things to buy
The heritage museum hosts a quirky souvenir shop. Like the rest of the museum, the shop is also designed to carry on the theme of transportation, making it an exhibit on its own. However, if you’re keen on getting something to remember your trip by, be sure to get your hands on any of these transportation-themed knick-knacks such as keychains, magnets, stickers, coasters, postcards, notebooks, etc. Alternatively, you could also get souvenirs such as tote bags, mugs, t-shorts, die-cast toy vehicles and antique-inspired tins.
If you absolutely must come away with something, the die-cast toy vehicle is a strong recommendation because it will definitely draw a lot of eyeballs when you display it at home!
Give the museum a few hours
Being a massive structure with a dozen permanent exhibitions and yet more installations and workshops, it’s safe to say that you’ll need at least half a day to see the museum in its entirety. Every collection is unique in and of itself so its best to dedicate three to four hours to roam around the area on foot. The manicured garden is the perfect place to catch your breath once you’re done with the tour.
There’s wheelchair access
The museum has been constructed keeping in mind accessibility, so there are ramps and elevators at strategic points. Some visitors claim the ramps are a bit on the steeper side, so do factor that in. Otherwise, the museum is completely accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, so don’t let those deter you from visiting.
It’s a little out of the way
The museum is set on a strip of land a little away from Delhi and Gurgaon, along the National Highway. Visitors should factor in the costs of transportation to the museum, along with ticket prices, before making a decision to visit. That said, the museum is a gem of a place and well worth going a little out of the way for!
How to get there
From Gurgaon, you could catch a public bus to Bilaspur Chowk along the NH8. From there, you’ll need to hire a rickshaw or a taxi to take you to the museum, which is 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) away.
Car, taxi, auto rickshaw or motorbike
From Gurgaon, take the NH8 and travel for about 35 kilometres (21.7 miles).
How to book tickets
If you’re planning your trip in advance, it’s a great idea to factor in the ticket prices. According to the Heritage Transport Museum website, a single-day ticket costs INR 400 (USD 6) per adult. Children under the ages of 12 can enter on a half-price ticket, as can students with a valid university or school ID.
Children under 3 years of age can enter free accompanying an adult ticket, as can visitors with disabilities and a single companion.
If you’re coming to the museum from Delhi, you can call the museum in advance to arrange transportation– the prices vary depending on the individual transportation bookings made.
Heritage Transport Museum Information
Heritage Transport Museum, Gurgaon
Address: Bilaspur - Taoru Road (Major District Road 132), Off NH 8 (Bilaspur Chowk), Taoru, Gurgaon (Haryana) 122105
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 7pm (closed on Mon)
Cost: 6 USD
Official Website: Heritage Transport Museum
Department of Tourism: Haryana Tourism
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