It was the realisation of a dream which he had been nurturing for more than two decades and go through struggles and tribulations before achieving it. Meet Tarun Thakral, founder and managing trustee of the unique Heritage Transport Museum, which is probably the first of its kind in South Asia. Tarun has the distinction of being honoured with the National Tourism Award recently. This award has been conferred on him by Lok Sabha Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan .
“This award is a big boost for me. I am humbled by this. The best part of this is that I feel vindicated in pursuing my hobby. I must admit, there were times when I started doubting myself. But then I was quite firm about achieiving this transport muesuem and must admit that I was encouraged in my endeavours by my friends and well wishers,” Tarun said.
On the main objectives of setting up the Heritage Transport Museum, Tarun said, had to do with conveying the multiple narratives of the evolution of transport. “From Day One, I was very sure about one thing — that I should convey to my countrymen the multiple narratives of transport movement in the country. I want to share the rich and diverse collection of transport in this country.
Tarun also said that his museum gives a taste of the bygone era to visitors. “This museum literally transports the people into the yesteryear. There are sections which are quite interesting and also basically potray an accurate picture of how our transport system was,” he said.
The Heritage Transport Museum is an endeavor to showcase and interpret the multiple narratives of the transport movement in India. The vision behind the museum is to share its rich and diverse collection with large number of people and give them a fun filled learning experience. The museum was conceptualized quite literary to transport people to a bygone era.
It must be mentioned here that the Heritage Transport Museum was inaugurated in December 2013. Since its inception, thousands of curious visitors have been virtually left awe-struck by the wide range of heritage vehicles on display here. “At first I could barely imagine standing in the presence of such vehicles from a bygone era — something I had heard from my grandmother,” said Nikhil, who visited the Heritage Museum recently.
“This museum has been built on a three-acre complex. It is spread over 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, and has a library with a reference centre, a mini auditorium, a museum souvenir shop.”
Giving details on the number of objects displayed in the museum, Tarun said that there were many objects. “Right now we have about 2500 curated objects . These objects weave the tale of India’s transportation history. We have divided these objects into many sections. These sections are pre-mechanised and heavy-mechanised transportation, railways, aviation, maritime, collectable Indian toys on transport, rural and indigenious transportation. In addition to all these, there is a popular and tribal section which gets a lot of attention from visitors,” said Tarun.
This impressive museum is situated at Taoru, near Gurgaon — about an hour’s drive from Delhi. “The museum has been built on a three-acre complex. This four-storey building is fully airconditioned. It is spread over 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, and has a library with a reference centre, a mini auditorium, a museum souvenir shop, seminar rooms and a refreshment area,” said Tarun.
The Heritage Transport Museum is being run by the Heritage Transportation Trust, which is a registered non-profit trust.