The National Institute of Sports (NIS) Museum, Patiala

KINGLY patronage to sports may belong to an era long forgotten but this legacy can still be savored at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) Museum at Patiala which has the distinction of being the only sports museum in the country.

Contributions from the royal family of Patiala along with rare photographs and personal artifact belonging to elite sportspersons, including hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, that are kept in the museum make it a Mecca of sorts for the average sports lover.

Of special interest are the Adidas spikes worn by Milkha Singh in the 1960 Rome Olympics quarter-mile event which he lost by a fraction of a second, Major Dhyan Chand`s gold medal which he won at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, the hass — a doughnut shaped exercising apparatus weighing a solid 95 kgs — belonging to the legendary Gama Pehalwan who used it for squats, shoes which PT Usha wore during her 1986 Seoul Asiad win and an autographed silver bat presented to Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Patiala in 1925 by members of the Elphinstone College ,Bombay and the BB&CIRailway cricket teams in appreciation of His Highness’s hospitality and patronage to cricket.

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