The history of human civilization highlights that mankind has never remained contented with whetting physical appetite alone. This eternal human urge to look beyond the bare necessities of food, shelter and clothing had culminated in generating various sources entertainments.
Mankind’s infinite urge to learn, explore and discover the unknown and unseen, purely for aesthetic pleasure, has resulted in development of tourism.
In keeping with the inextricable human urge, people of Guwahati and Assam are seen to be traveling across India and abroad with a view to explore the world, to have a look at various historic monuments, experience different cultures and other timeless human achievements and architectural brilliance etc.
However, true to the saying that “nearer the Church, further from God”, many of us have not cared to visit the magnificent car museum that has mind blowing collection of some of priceless, vintage cars, four wheelers and motor bikes at Medhikuchi village, near Sonapur, approximately fifteen kilometers away from Guwahati on the National Highway 37.
In the backdrop of lush green surroundings, eye-pleasing natural beauty, the first car museum of Assam and North east stands with all its splendour. As one enters the grand antique collectible museum, one is simply flabbergasted by the sight of a number helmets excellently embellishing and adorning the entry gate.
It transpires that these helmets were used by the soldiers during Second World War. The endeavour and tenacity to procure such invaluable items showcase the innovative thinking, artistic bent of mind and passion of the man, the architect, behind this magnificent museum.
The connoisseurs get highly euphoric to find huge collection of classic cars that range from a ‘Skoda’ vehicle manufactured as back in 1899. To put on record that ‘Skoda’ remains one of the five oldest car producing companies in the world with unbroken record till date.
Vintage cars like Plymouth (1928), Volkswagen Beetle (1936), Morris Minor (1952), Vauxhall (1936) delight the vehicle lovers.
The sight of ‘Oldsmobile’ vehicle of 1897 model and a ‘Baby Austin’ of 1924 speaks eloquently of the quality of the car museum.
Many more antique cars are available numbering approximately 55. The splendid museum, in a way, provides opportunity to view the evolution of vehicles from its nascent stage.
Abundance of vintage two wheelers enrich the classic gallery of the museum. Iconic ‘Albion motor cycle’ named as ‘Bell Drive’ manufactured in 1901 is there for the watchers.
‘Royal Enfield bikes’, of different varieties, which were used during Second World War, add attraction to the adventure loving connoisseurs. The museum houses nearly 50 iconic motorbikes manufactured in ten decades starting from 1902.
In addition, approximately, twenty classic scooters can be seen.
The collector’s passion for vintage, priceless things does not stop with automobiles alone. Exhibition of old watches, gramophone and last but not the least telephones in chronological sequence makes the visit remarkable.
A replica of telephone invented by Graham Bell is scintillating and an asset.
No accolade, eulogy is enough for the single-handed effort of Mr Pickloo Deka, the man behind such awesome collection of vintage cars, two wheelers, artifacts magnifying his selfless dedication and passion for the timeless, worth preserving objects.
Mr Deka has done everything on his own– from collection of various items to setting up of infrastructure, daily maintenance and upkeep. He has spent his own hard-earned money for the whole project to translate his dream. Vintage car museum at Sonapur is a connoisseur’s delight.
Many of us have passion. We dream. But to realize the dream into reality calls for unflinching effort , single mindedness of purpose and the mental resilence to sacrifice personal interest.
Mr Piklu Deka’ s long cherished dream for a car museum has provided the ‘hoi-polloi’ an opportunity to get a respite from humdrum life, an avenue for recreation for automobile lovers besides giving fresh alternative and choice to tourism lovers to depart from visiting familiar tourist jaunts like Kaziranga national park.
Assam is known across the world for its wild life and religious tourism attracting thousands of tourists. At a time when unprecedented flurry of benevolent, people- friendly works are being implemented at the grass root level with remarkable speed ever since the installation of the present Assam government in May 2021, it is felt that government may contemplate to include ‘vintage car museum’ in its glorious, established tourist destination list adding a new vista to Assam tourism.