As a part of his outreach initiaitive, Kuwait Ambassador to India H.E. Fahad Al Awadhi visited India’s first and only Heritage Transport Museum last Sunday, which features an amazing collection of artifacts that depict the evolution of inventions including steam engines to motor cars and ships.
On his arrival, the Ambassador was received by the Founder and Museum Managing Trustee Tarun Thakral, who led him on a guided tour of the museum. Besides the transport collection, the Museum recreated an old station during the steam engine age or showed the dispensation of gasoline before the arrival of petrol stations.
Showing keen interest on many of the collections, Ambassador Awadhi told Thakral that it was actually a travel down the memory lane when he saw older cars such as the Austin Morris, the first version of Land Rovers, Mercedes and BMWs. “ It attracts your attention as some of these collection are associated with your childhood memories,” said the Ambassador.
The Ambassador was also impressed to see an old boat that was constructed without any use of nails or iron fitting, but was actually sewn with jute threads. “What an innovation,” he said.
The Museum has an interesting history as initially the Museum Trustees wanted the museum to be inaugurated by H.H. Sheikh Nasser Al-Muhammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who too had a huge collection of vintage car. “We had approached the Embassy of Kuwait with our request to invite HS Sheikh Nasser who is an icon to all of us but due to some urgent political development at that time, the plan was shelved,” Tarun revealed that the Ambassador said nothing more relevant could have been done had this museum been graced by H.H. Sheikh Nasser presence as from his childhood there were stories circulating about his vast collections and his indomitable interest in vintage cars.
The Ambassador was accompanied by his wife and two daughters.
Curiously, the passion to collect homogenous objects, the search for the rare, unique and often elusive is what impassions all collectors. This is where it all started for the Heritage Transportation Trust.
Registered under the Indian Trust Act (1882) as a non-profit organisation it was conceived to document, exhibit, educate and disseminate information about transportation. In collaboration with five other trustees, it has bought together a passion for collecting all forms of objects related to transportation in India. After over two decades of research about the evolution of the modes of transportation that formed the plinth of the collection in possession of the Trust, the Heritage Transport Museum was initiated as India’s first comprehensive transport museum.
The museum showcases the evolution of transportation in India and sets a benchmark in interpretation, exhibition and in communication. As the first private museum of its scale in India, it is conceived as a space that engages visitor participation in learning while remaining a family experience.
The Heritage Transport Museum is situated on a three acre plot, off National Highway 8 at Tauru-Gurgaon. The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has accorded a grant of six crores to offset the cost of construction of the museum building. The remaining investment is the fruit of corporate and individual donations and sponsorships.