A museum of one's own

Last Updated 13 October 2018, 19:45 IST

Museums have always been spaces that take a person back in time. They are also an integral part of history and showcase the culture of a place. In other words, the little keepsakes and artefacts provide a wealth of information and a peek into the lives of the people in the olden days. If you’re a history enthusiast and fancy an outing at a different kind of museum, then M K Shivappa’s home is the place for you. Shivappa, a native of Davanagere, has been living in Hubballi for the last three decades. He runs a manufacturing unit which produces cotton mattresses, and as a hobby, he collects antiques and displays them in his house.

Located in Renuka Nagar of Hubballi, the museum attracts many visitors. This museum, in a house, has grabbed the attention of people living in Hubbali and Dharwad city.

At the entrance, a model canon and a swing welcome the visitor. The inner walls of the house are adorned with various paintings like Warli and others.

Back to yore

The entire house is a history lesson in itself, and there are antiques placed in every nook and corner. These are essentially souvenirs collected by him during his business trips. Shivappa started procuring artefacts from the year 1976 and even after 40 years, he is excited and lively about the hobby as he was in his earlier days. In his huge collection of artefacts, there are inscriptions, epics and poems inscribed on palm leaves. He also has copies of ancient books like Shabdamanidarpana, Girija Kalyana and Raghavanka’s Harishchandra Kavya, which belonged to his ancestors.

He says, ‘‘I started reading Kannada and English literature when I was a student. I was also interested in research, and this led me to explore historical documents and eventually collect such items.’’ Shivappa’s collection spans across themes. He has his own numismatics gallery with rare coins from the Vijayanagara period and Victorian era including two gold coins. He also has coins belonging to the time of Tipu Sultan’s rule, the colonial period and from the freedom movement. Apart from this collection, he has developed several arithmetic modules and mathematical theorems on the walls of his house.

The collection in this storehouse spans from prehistory to contemporary era. One can see a model cannon, weapons, clothes, jewellery, tools and number of other objects here. The interesting bit about this museum is that the variety of objects on display, which is a rarity in small cities. The objects placed here are bound to engage both young and old minds alike. Many photographs and old costumes make for an interesting viewing experience.

Besides, there is Shivappa, the raconteur, bringing alive the history behind these artefacts. He has a collection of a peculiar variety of things which have been orderly placed on the walls, floors and showcases of his house.

Tales of tours

He narrates the stories behind them all animatedly. It’s a delight to listen to him when he talks about the variety of karadiges in his house, which were used in Tamil Nadu, Kashmir and Sri Lanka. Among other items, he also elaborates on the canon placed in front of his house, dog-shaped lock, old lamps, Kinnal dolls, stones from Rajasthan and so on.

“I began collecting these artefacts in the year 1976, I picked up items that caught my attention during my travels to various places for business,’’ he says.

Initially, Shivappa’s house was not a museum, as the artefacts increased, he began exhibiting them in his house and it was only recently that this was opened to the public. The curator says that his primary goal is to preserve the cultural heritage of the state and therefore, there is no entry fee here. For more information, one can call Shivappa on 8762200698.

(Published 13 October 2018, 19:30 IST)

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