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History’s home in a village

November 18, 2013 in Ancient Coins, Antique Coins, Art, Bank Notes, British Coins, Coins, History, Museums, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Paper Money

By Hemant Kumar Rout 11-17-2013 (http://newindianexpress.com)

It is a treasure trove of antiquity buried in obscurity. The Odisha Rural Museum  is home to 6,000 rare coins and currency notes of around 200 countries, 7,000 postage stamps, 3,425 foreign and Indian paintings, 2,000 rare metals and stones, 3,000 books and magazines, old clocks, watches and much more.

Located in Maitapur village in Balasore district, 200 km from Bhubaneswar, it is the only museum of its kind in the state with a collection of nearly 30,580 rare artefacts that draw innumerable visitors, including students and research fellows.

However, it is not run by any government agency or corporate body. It is the labour of one man’s love and untiring effort. Kailash Chandra Mohanty, a retired employee of Indian Post and Telegraph Department, was determined to retain the historical significance of his native village which led to the creation of the museum.

During his tenure, Mohanty travelled across the country and collected artefacts over 50 years. He spent his own money and established the museum in 1985. Since Mohanty’s demise at the age of 74 earlier this year, his wife Janakilata Mohanty (67) has been managing the place.

There is no entry fee here and the museum is open from 10am to 4pm every day. Exhibiting ancient coins, foreign currency, century-old postal stamps, palm leaf manuscripts, musical instruments, ancient weapons and armoury, the three-room museum is a confluence of world culture.

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