Museum of Rural Life in Ludhiana
The Museum of Rural Life holds a lot of importance in the present times due to rapid desertion of the rural Punjab. The old customs and traditions, which were widespread till the last few years, are now taking a backseat with the involvement of technological advancement. You can no more see the women fetching water in ‘gaggars’ (bronze pot) from the wells. Old bronze utensils have become historic pieces now.
No spinning of charkha can be seen. Women do not embellish Phulkari. With the advancement of latest technology, the ‘Charsa’ and ‘Dhingli’ have been replaced by the mechanical threshers and electric motors and pumps. All those traditional items, which were once the heart of Punjabi culture, have now almost vanished. Nevertheless, PAU’s Museum of Rural Life preserves all such items for those who want to relish the lovely old memoirs as well as for those who are apprehensive to learn about the rural life of the state of Punjab.
The establishment of the museum can be credited to the first Vice Chancellor of PAU, Dr. M.S. Randhawa. He conjured up the idea and made the first move to start the project. He also settled on a suitable blueprint for the edifice and collected the old bits and pieces from small primeval places like Rahon, Zira, Sunam, Goindwal and Sultanpur Lodhi.
Structural Arrangement of Museum of Rural LifeThe museum has a magnificent portico resembling the traditional rural houses of Punjab. It is spread in a vast area of 4000 square yards. Bordered by water channels on both sides, a 100 yard long pathway leads you to the beautifully engraved main door of the museum.
The museum is basically divided into two divisions. The first room has a compilation of Harappan coins and poetry. After that is an open kitchen – that includes all the equipments that were typically used in rural Punjab like an old earthen chulha (hearth), a peerhi and a big paraat (plate) etc. Besides this, there are also mannequins of tow housewives – one rolling chapattis and the other carrying a ‘gaggar.’ On the left side, you can see the bronze utensils for eating, drinking, cooking as well as milking cattle.
The second rooms comprises of other equipments used in the household including spinning wheel, grain storage baskets etc. You can also images of village artisans by the famous artist Kehar Singh. The center of the room has the statue of a lady making trouser thread.
When you enter the next room, you will see the idol of a typical house in rural Punjab. The lady is seen grinding grains with the hand mill. The room also has some other home equipments as well as baskets made of date leaves and reeds. Outside this room, there is a ‘kuppa’ (huge oil urn) in the verandah (balcony).
Another division of the museum comprises of the musical instruments such as the Dholak (drum) and others like Sarangi, ALgoza, Tumba and Sitar. The next room has a baby cradle, a large bed, toys and a walker. Vanity boxes, typical dowry items, and oil lamps are also present here. There is also a statue of a lady whipping milk. You can also find a well with all the attachments to draw water. There are also the items utilized in holy ceremonies placed in a cabinet. The next room contains decorations, saddles, and harnesses for camels and horses.
The balcony is primarily kept for the display of different items of Phulkari. There are statues of some women adorning phulkari. You will also find the statue of a bride sitting in a doli just about to leave her parents’ house. There are toys that represent the folk dance of Punjab – Bhangra. The typical dresses of Punjabi boys and girls, Punjabi Juttis (footwear) and jewelry are also displayed here.
How to Reach The Museum of Rural LifeThe Museum of Rural Life will surely leave you enthralled with its real picture of rural Punjab:
Location: Backside College of Home Science
Punjab Agriculture University
Timings: The museum is open on all working days of PAU from 9 A.M to 1 P.M. and from 2 P.M. to 5 P.M.