Patiala, a city with an incredibly rich heritage, was established more than 250 years ago. But, few people are aware that the city houses a hidden museum with artefacts more than 15 million years old. The Antique Museum Patiala houses the personal collection of Sardar Kamarjit Singh Sekhon, who spent more than 35 years of his life collecting and preserving various unique artefacts that depict not just the rich cultural heritage of the city, but also some international items such as Christmas chocolate boxes from early-20th century England.
Some of the most interesting items are the unique animal shaped locks and keys, surmedaanis, suramchus and shingaardaans (make-up kits), as well as a 'magical glass' which can be folded and fitted into one's pocket. Some of the oldest items include fossils, terracotta beads and coins dating back to the 12th century AD. There is a huge collection of coins, envelopes and letterheads of various princely states. A fascinating item in the collection is an antique wooden carved bed, which is embellished with painted tiles and mirrors. The curator, Mr Sekhon, has an interesting tale to tell about when he accidentally found a newspaper behind the bed's mirror from pre-Independence India, which was filled with articles related to Bhagat Singh's hanging.
This guided tour is free.