Shilpgram Museum

Go Ethnic at the Shilpgram Museum of Udaipur

Where the sand is horizon kissing and the camels pass by in silhouetted caravan and where the ancient havelis and fortresses still echo untold tales or princes and swords, there you can’t let the traveller inside you be dormant. When you visit Udaipur, one of the most enormously beautiful tourist attractions is the ethnographic hamlet that is literally the ‘Craftsmen’s village’ where tribal Rajasthan comes alive for you. Isn’t it sheer romanticism to walk into a little tribal hamlet where ethnic cuisine welcomes you while you take a traditional tour to let ravishing Rajasthan slip inside your skin?

Location of the Shilpgram museum

The Shilpgram Museum is situated at a distance of 6 kilometres from the city of Udaipur and is very near to the Fateh Sagar Lake and the City Palace. The exact location is the Havala village which is at a distance of 3 kilometres from west Udaipur city. The state government has created a folk village by replicating 26 thatched roof huts built on 70 acres of land. Dark brown and brownish red hue of the sand makes the ethnicity stand out more from the urban surrounding of the Udaipur town. What adds to the forte is the carved wooden design. The Aravalli range in the backdrop creates a perfect ambiance for you to feel close to nature.

Uniqueness of Shilpgram

This is a 130 bighas stretch where you would experience the real Rajasthan coming into life for you with its craft, art, artefacts, dances, theatre and music in blooming splendour. The smell of the soil and the flickering flame of the traditional oil lamps engulf you in an ethnicity that makes you crawl out of your urban tourist’s shell and become one with tribal Rajasthan. The motive of setting up Shilpgram is commendable. It is to spread awareness amongst the younger folk about the importance of being grounded to your roots. Too much urbanisation has scooped out the creative aura out of the younger generation and thus the cocoons hardly grow into butterflies.

The artists from all over Rajasthan come to Shilpgram to showcase their merchandise and interact about the art and craft market of the country. When you take a stroll inside the museum you can find ceramists, glass painters, weavers and potters with their own works on display. You can buy the products and thus help them to get empowered.

Crafts Bazaar

Have you ever been to a village ‘haat’? It is a weekly or temporary fair kind of market where the artisans display their products for sale. It widens their scope of getting recognised and they often get a business opportunity in the nearby urban areas.

Open Air Amphitheatre

The Shilpgram Museum has an open air amphitheatre that has a seating capacity of 8000 people. During the major crafts festivals street plays and music concerts are arranged there to pull crowds.

Crafting creative Unity in Occupational Diversity

There are five huts from the state of Rajasthan. The weavers of Marwar are represented here. Two remote desert hamlets of western Rajasthan by the names Ram and Sam have huts here. The third is a potter’s hut from Dhol village, the fourth is a hut representing the farmers of Bhil and the fifth is a hut representing the Sehriyas of south.

Gujarat has seven huts in total in the Shilpgram museum. There is a huddle of six huts from the district of Banni. One hut is from Bhujodi which is in the Kutch wasteland. Amongst the six huts of the Banni cluster there are two each from the areas Rebari, the villages of the Harijans and the Muslim communities who are known for centuries to be talented artisans in the fields of bead work, mirror work, wood carving, weaving and embroidery work. There is a hut of potters from North Gujarat’s Poshina district. Beside this a weaver’s hut from Vasedi village in the Chota Udaipur district of western Gujarat. The farmer’s villages of Dang and Rathwa of southern Gujarat also have one hut each in this model village cum museum. The most striking architecture in the rural wonder is a beautifully carved wooden hut representing the culture of Pethapur which is near Gandhinagar.

The next set of huts belongs to the state of Maharashtra. There is a hut from the fishermen’s villages of Koli in Raigarh and the adjacent one of Kolhapur which is famous for leather footwear. There is another fisherman’s hut from Mandovi. There is a hut of wall paintings from Warli and there are two huts from the Maria and Gond tribals who are renowned for dokra work. From Goa there are five huts. One is of Bicholim which exhibits pottery, there are huts constructed on laterite stone. The huts of Canacona that belong to the tribals of Kulumbi community have products made of grass and cane.

Timings of Visit

You can visit the Shilpgram model village cum museum on all days of the week between 10 am and 4:30 pm. The administrative hours are from 11 am to 7 pm in case you need to meet the office for some travel or business related issues. It would be better if you can take a local guide alongwith you.

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