Millennium Post

'Sail' through history of boats in Kolkata museum

Kolkata: India's first Boat Museum inside the Ambedkar Bhawan in Kakurganchi has successfully captured the rich history of Indian waterways and their heritage.
With around 46 models of boats which were used for different purposes from time to time, it sure is a unique experience for visitors to glance through the past.
This museum has tried to cover most of the known types of boats which were used for meeting various objectives by men and kings of earlier times.
As one enters the museum, the first thing you notice is the huge model boat, very similar to the boats used for rides at Prinsep Ghat. On the very left, after a few boat models, is the 'Padma Boat' which was the luxury boat of Rabindranath Tagore. In that model boat, you could clearly visualise how he would discuss matters of importance, sitting inside the small shelters, with personalities like Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose and Lokendranath Palit. Moving across the museum, you would notice another luxury boat of this contemporary India - the Kerala Boat House.
The museum has a number of large boats like Khorokishti and the magnificent Sultani, with a huge sail making it look mighty, which were earlier used by traders to export and import goods.
Trawlers catch one's attention as they lay on display showing their might as coastal fishing boats. Small storage shelter in the middle and something like a tiny washroom for the fishermen.
The racing boats are an enticing view in the museum as they are discrete in their nature from other boat models. They are long and narrow, with space enough for many people to take part in competitions. As we look beyond, we see the view of the Indus Valley Boat, which baffles one's mind thinking of the period they were used in.
At the end of the museum tour, you are enlightened with the culture and heritage of our boat industry and left with a sense of pride over the hard work of the craftsmen who worked on them.

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