About four years back, Nupur had written about her experience at the Craft Museum. Tanuja visited this place in the month of April this year for the very first time and, today, it’s her experience that we are sharing with our readers. Whether it be a historical monument, a nature walk or a museum, each of us experiences it differently. So, get ready to visit the Craft Museum in Delhi through Tanuja’s eyes. Over to Tanuja:
Crafts museum at New Delhi is one of those hidden gems of Delhi, sharing boundaries with very famous landmark of the capital city, the Pragati Maidan. A Government initiative, the campus has a museum, which houses crafts from across the country. History, techniques, people involved with the craft, all under one roof. It also has small open outlets, where artisans can display their crafts. Some would also be finishing their piece of art in front of visitors. Much like Dilli Haat, (not on the same scale though), the artisans here would typically take up an outlet for a month, to present their work to the visitors.
During my recent visit to the place, during a lazy afternoon, I found the place fairly deserted. It was April, but the huge trees kept the place cool and shady, which meant that the dry heat did not spoil our experience. Few visitors also meant we could chat with the artisans and understand their culture. As is often said, that even if you can’t buy from the artisan, do take time out to appreciate his work and the stories behind it all. It means the world to them; the love and respect for their work.
Gond paintings from Madhya Pradesh were adorning walls as well were the Warli and Madhubani ones. Each of these are based upon folk stories. Stories that talk about relationships, nature and culture. Through their art and stories these communities don’t just keep connected to their roots, but spread the same message to all those buying their art.
Pottery from Khurja (UP) – bright colours of pottery always attract me and am sure do the same for many others. The artisan here had some beautiful ones in various shapes and bright colours. Blue pottery from Jaipur is very famous, but same is also done at Khurja – colours and patterns of the two places are distinctly different.
The premise also has a place for artists to perform music and dance. Folk songs n dance can lighten up your mood. There was a small group of women and men, dancing away, under the shade of the huge trees.
A lot of artists here have won national awards. Government is doing its bit to encourage traditional crafts to not just survive, but to thrive. As end users, we should do our bit too. The legacy should live on. If you do take the time to visit this place, you will find that original art work is priced extremely reasonably. Do remember to get a piece home…you will not only have added some beautiful part of our rich culture to your home, but would have also helped an artisan put food on the table.
Additional attraction at crafts museum is Cafe Lota. A lovely, cool (as in away from the rays of the piercing sun) place to enjoy some delicious, seasonal food.
I certainly had a great time. Will be back again with my family. You planned a trip yet?
Support the museums and be a tourist in your own city; Be Notjustashopper!