A place for vintage enthusiasts. An excursion for retro seekers. It’s a dream turned into reality for car enthusiasts. For adults, it is a nostalgic trip back to a time when things seemed simpler. For children though, it’s a bit of a mix where education and entertainment combine with an appreciation for automobiles and an understanding of the history of transport in the country.
The Heritage Transport Museum is by far one of the best-organized museums I’ve been to in the country. Professionally displayed transport vehicles, a helpful available staff, guided tours, and lots of space – both inside and out in the open – to explore and discover.
Situated roughly an hour away from New Delhi, towards Jaipur, just off the NH8, a visit to the museum makes for a wonderful day trip for the whole family. Although the majority of the museum covers cars from different eras, there’s enough about other modes of transport – Air, Water, and Sea – to give the young ones something to think about.
There’s ample to do at the Heritage Transport Museum beside a walk through all the vintage beauties; An hourly movie presentation in a small theatre – educational – is perfect for a breather after all the walking. The open garden often has activities (at an extra cost) like camel rides or paint-a-car. For those wanting to celebrate a special occasion or host an event, the museum also rents out its space – auditorium, conference room, and grounds.
Since a trip to the museum is a day out you should either pack your own lunch, especially when traveling with kids or can also make use of the in-house cafe. There’s a small souvenir shop too if you like collecting memories in a more physical form.
One of the most interesting aspects of the museum was the space provided for exhibitions – art and art installation – throughout its premises adding more vibrant and stimulating features to admire. From quirky to functional to social, the variety in the art displayed is quite diverse in color and thought.
However, it is a museum in the truest sense and that was one of the two issues that bothered me slightly. The no-touch policy – understandable – means you can only look at the vintage beauties but not sit in them (or touch them either). I understand that it’s necessary, to keep them shining and polished, but for a visitor, especially children, it does take away half the fun.
The other issue being from the point of view of an amateur photographer, the lighting is very moody and dim and also because all the cars are cramped together – again, understandable – photography is no easy task.
Other than these minor picky issues, the museum makes for an extremely fun-filled day. The Heritage Transportation Trust, who own and administers the museum, also works with schools and has an outreach program so that this space, which has so lovingly been created, can benefit more. Workshops and library sources are added benefits that can further ignite the interests of the visiting audience.
Photos clicked, nostalgia kindled, and information learned, if you want to add some desi, local flavor to your return journey, then make sure to stop at one of the numerous dhabas – roadside eateries – that dot the Delhi Jaipur Highway (two that I’ve eaten at are Old Rao Hotel and Gollu Rao Hotel).
Heritage Transport Museum
Bilaspur – Taoru Road (Major District Road 132)
Off NH 8 (Bilaspur Chowk), Taoru
Gurgaon (Haryana) 122105
Timings : Tuesday to Sunday – 10AM to 7PM
Fee : Adults – Rs. 400 / Children and Students – Rs. 200