With a passion for collecting rare and historical relics and artifacts, 40-year-old Satya Ketan Mohanty has over the last two decades gathered priceless items that range from musical instruments to coins that date back to the Ashoka era. With over 8,000 items in his collection now, the businessman and hobbyist dreams of establishing a museum in Western Odisha. A resident of Bargarh, Mohanty says he has been collecting for over 23 years now. He has divided his collection of rare antique items into 14 sections. It includes gold coins, he claims are from the Ganga dynasty, coins from Ashoka and Kushana dynasty as well as from the period of Raziya Sultan and those issued by kingdoms in Gujarat and Rajasthan. He has a total collection of more than 1000 coins. Also Read - US returns 200 artifacts worth USD100 million to India
Apart from coins, he says he has in his possession items that to Buddhist and Jurassic era. Over 100 fossils, rare seashells, rare musical instruments, arms and weapons, ornaments of tribal people, over 350 rocks and minerals are part of his collection.
Mohanty also maintains a treasure trove of over 2,000 types of postage stamps, old envelopes, letters, palm leaf manuscripts and around 800 types of herbal dry products among other things. The collector says he spends half of his total earnings into collecting.”I will establish a museum in western Odisha in the near future on my own which will help the young generation to know about the rich history and culture of India,” he said.
Mohanty holds two India Book of Records, for having the largest collection of seashells and for the largest collection of Indian symbolic coins. Many educational institutions in western Odisha have invited him to put up a display of his collection for their students.