Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
Historical Evolution of Toilets
Ever since families have had a house of their own or a place to live in , there was always a need to build a personal section to defaecate. Initially, it started with Chamber pots, Chamber pots which were cleaned up manually by one's servant. Later on, toilets were developed where the waste was thrown into the water bodies or from the roof tops of castle or forts.
One of the finest forms of sanitary engineering dates back to 2500 B.C., where the people belonging to Harappan civilization had proper water borne toilets. In countries like Egypt, Rome, Sri Lanka, Thailand, historical evidences suggest early use of sitting type toilets. The Dark period of human hygiene can traced back to 500-1500 AD where especially rich, were observed to be throwing wastes in an open ground or a river.
18th century time period witnessed huge developments in the sanitation habits of people as well as in the toilet technologies. There was use of water closet instead of earth closet, valve type flush toilets, cantilever type toilets. Emphasis was also laid on making pots, cisterns more decorative, fragrant and clean. Interestingly, the code for defecating is described in an ancient "Aryan scripture - Manusmirti Vishnupuran" which dates back to 1500 B.C.
Attractions of the Museum of ToiletsThe museum houses an exhaustive collection of some rare pictures, objects about social customs related to toilets, etiquettes, judicial regulations. It also displays historic pots, privies, water closets, toilet furniture, etc. The details of which are as follows:
- Chamber pots for Ladies used during the period of 1794-1800 AD, which were later modified by Americans.
- In Britain , in ancient times, commodes and urinals were carved intricately and were made of stone. These included decorated commodes in the shape of treasure chest.
- The fascinating idea of designing toilets in the form of a book, to ward off monotony , was developed in France. The names of literary classics were carved on these toilets.
- The Austrians added color to urinals. They developed colorful, vibrant cisterns and toilets in various designs like that of dolphin, lion, etc.
- One can obtain amusing books on order like Toilets,, Toasters and telephones: The How and Why of Everyday Objects, Hidden Assets : Stories Behind the Thorne, etc from here.
Quick facts/ GuideLocation: Sulabh Bhawan, Mahavir Enclave, Palam Darbi Marg,
New Delhi 110045
Timings: 10am to 5pm
Open: Open all days
Entry Fee: Free of cost
How to Reach: Nearest metro stations are Uttam Nagar East and Dwarka Sector 9. From Uttam nagar metro station, one can take a bus like of route no. 761, 881, 801, to reach here in around 25 minutes. Alternatively, from Dwarka sector 9 metro station, one can take up a local bus like that of route no. 877,801, UG, 794, etc.