The Museum has a rare collection of facts, pictures and objects detailing the historic evolution of toilets from 2500 BC to date. It provides a chronological account of developments relating to technology, toilet related social customs, toilet etiquettes, prevailing sanitary conditions and legislative efforts of different times. It has an extensive display of privies, chamber pots, toilet furniture, bidets and water closets in use from 1145 AD to the modern times. It also has a rare collection of beautiful poems related to toilet, their usage.
The pictures displayed in the Museum make one aware of how the world looked like when societies did not have the benefit of water closets (W.C.) and the changes that have been brought about by its invention. Ornately carved and painted urinals and commodes attract attention and are a source of amusement to many. The models and pictures of medieval commodes are noteworthy. There is also a replica of medieval mobile commode in the shape of a treasure chest, which the English used while camping out for a hunt. One could imagine the shock registered by some unsuspecting highway robbers, if they made away with such ‘treasure chests’, thinking it to be containing something absolutely costly inside. The Museum also displays how the Roman emperors used to have toilet pots made of gold and silver. The Museum has a rare record of the flush pot devised in 1596 by Sir John Harrington, a courtier during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The Museum displays sewerage system of the Harappan Civilization dating back to 2,500 BC and maintains a detailed record of how modern toilet pans have emerged over a period of time.
The Museum has a stock of interesting anecdotes and facts associated with the development of toilets. Tracing the history of toilets from the Indus Valley Civilisation in Lothal, 62 km from the city of Ahmedabad, India where a highly developed drainage system existed, the Museum also documents facts relating to the countries in Europe where most of the early technological developments in the evolution of toilets took place. The national flags of different countries, from where the pictures of toilets have been collected, are also displayed.
The Museum receives a daily stream of visitors from India and abroad, ranging from doctors, nurses, school students, planners, Government Officials, anthropologists, engineers, scientists, designers, etc. The Museum has over the years proved to be a source of inspiration and a unique Centre for raising awareness towards proper sanitation and toilets around the world.
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Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, is managed by parent organisation Sulabh International Social Service Organisation. Founder of the organisation Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is a world renowned social activist and sociologist Sociologist, Social activist & Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, received a great deal of national and international recognition for his work, including the Stockholm Water Prize in 2009. The Sulabh International Museum of toilets is the brain-child of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak. His painstaking efforts for marshalling even the minutest details about the development of toilet system in the world led to the establishment of this unique museum in 1992 in New Delhi. The exhibits, so collected, have been meticulously displayed chronologically. Thus, it showcases the development of toilet system of last five thousand years from the third millennium B.C. to the end of the 20th century.
The museum has three main sections – Ancient, Medieval and Modern.
The story unfolds with the sanitation arrangements of the Harappan Settlements of around 3,000 B.C. The excavated main sites of that civilization at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro Learn More…
During the Middle Ages, whether in India or elsewhere, the kings and emperors used to live in big forts for security reasons. The museum displays toilets of Amber Fort of Jaipur Learn More…
This section has interesting toilet related cartoons, photographs of toilets from the catalogues of reputed sanitary ware manufacturing companies, public toilets of different countries and toilet jokes.Learn More…