Patiala, a city with an extraordinarily rich heritage, was established more than 250 years ago by Raja Ala Singh. However, few people are aware that the city is home to hidden treasures which are approximately 35 million years old. These fossils are preserved and housed in the Antique Museum, Patiala, which additionally comprises of 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 of the whole country. The museum includes items such as Christmas chocolate boxes from early twentieth-century England, unique animal-shaped locks and keys, surmedaanis (Kohl boxes) 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 housed in the museum are fossils, terracotta beads and coins dating back to the twelfth century AD. There is also a huge collection of envelopes, coins and letterheads of various Princely States. Another fascinating item is an antique wood-carved bed which is embellished with painted tiles and mirrors. The second level of the museum is entirely dedicated to various varieties of cacti and a few other plants. A visit to the museum shall be a delight for lovers of history, Punjabi virsa (culture) enthusiasts, anthropologists, archaeologists, botanists, gardening enthusiasts and students from various fields.