sports-museum

Patiala is a famous tourist destination in Punjab. The city has several interesting places that are worth visiting including numerous museums, palaces, forts, gardens and architectural marvels. The city is rich in cultural diversity and is a relief from the usual hustle-bustle of the urban city crowd. If you want to see the unusual combination of Punjabi, Mughal and Rajput cultures, Patiala is the ideal destination. Patiala is also home to the National Institute of Sports, the largest of its kind in India and also in Asia. For an ardent sports fan, the Sports Museum in Patiala is worth visiting.

The Sports Museum in Patiala is a museum one of its kinds. Featuring rare photographs, kits and medals of renowned Indian sportsmen, the museum is a must visit for any sports fan. The Sports Museum is housed in the National Institute of Sports in Patiala; the museum is among the most prized attractions of Patiala.

The National Institute of Sports is located inside Old Moti Bagh Palace. It is the largest sports institute in not only India but Asia. The institute is located over an area of 268 acres and is famed for providing excellent facilities for academics and sports. The NIS offers facilities of international standards including a state-of-the-art gymnasium, squash courts, swimming pool, athletic tracks, hockey fields and indoor and outdoor courts. There are no specific timings to visit the museum, the institute is open all around the day.

The National Institute of Sports was founded in 1961 and was retitled as Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sport in 1973. Old Moti Bagh Palace belonged to the stately family of Patiala. The palace was later bought after independence by the Indian Government. The Sports Museum was established in the National Institute of Sports in 1972 and was inaugurated by Sri G.S Pathak. The NIS has constantly produced renowned coaches and players.

The museum and art gallery which forms a part of the museum house numerous rare photographs and personal items contributed by the royalty of Patiala. Some of these artefacts belong to world renowned sportspersons like Dhyan Chand, Milkha Singh, Gama Pehalwan, PT Usha, etc. Special features of the museum are the Adidas spikes worn by Milkha Singh in 1960 during the Rome Olympics, the gold medal won by Major Dhyan Chand at the Amsterdam Olympics conducted in 1928, shoes worn by PT Usha in the 1968 Asiad and a donut shaped exercise equipment used by Gama Pehalwan. There is also a silver bat in the museum which was presented in 1925 to the then Maharaja of Patiala by the members of the Elphinstone College.

There are several other bats, medals, trophies and memorable items in the museum that have been contributed by the royal families of Patiala. One such noteworthy memorabilia in the museum is a silver trophy which features a statue of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh dressed in sports attire along with a bat. The trophy was presented to him by cricket teams in the year 1934. The trophy was presented as an appreciation of the sportsmanship of the ruler and also to honour the 25 years of visit by the teams.

Another artefact is a water jug with a metal head that depicts a cricket game being played. There is also a framed photograph of the premier MCC Cricket Team along with the Maharaja and the captain. The museum also features a bat signed by the Indian Cricket Team that was headed by Kapil Dev, who won the World Cup in 1983. Visitors can also see photographs of the 1908 Olympics displayed at the museum. The gallery also has photographs of one of the best Polo Players General Chanda Singh. In the picture Chanda Singh has posed on his horse named Miss Haig. The picture was taken in England in 1909. Also a part of the rare collection of the museum is a picture of the Tiger Polo Team that won the King’s Coronation Cup in Ranelagh in 1923.

There are several other souvenirs, trophies and medals displayed in the museum that are a treat for any sports fan. The museum also features replicas of different national awards given for sports like the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri Award and the Dronacharya Award.