Dakshinachitra – a Kaleidoscope of South-Indian Culture

30 May 2016

Visit to some places enthrals you even if you are visiting the place for a 10th time. Dakshinachitra, the culture and heritage village, on ECR Road, Chennai, is one such place. Each visit to Dakshnichitra provides a new learning experience. Dakshinachitra is one of the few places my daughter wants to visit during any visit to Chennai.

This time also, she insisted on visiting Dakshinachitra during our summer vacation trip to Chennai. Last 14th we reached Dakshinachitra around noon. During weekends, the place is usually crowded and it was no different that day.

After entering Dakshinachitra, the first thing we noticed was the DailyDump Khamba composter lying on one side of the entrance. The usual art shops were open.Traditional dance performances by two artistes were in progress on another side.

For the next few hours we were in one of the best class-rooms in India for the Art, Architecture, and Culture of South-India. Each traditional house, re-built from an original one, reminded us of what we were missing.

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Dance Performance at Dakshinachitra

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 Traditional measuring vessels and house-hold equipments on display and my daughter experimenting with a traditional grinder

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Traditional grinder put to test

In the last two years, several new traditional houses and sections were added. A Kodagu house is added to the traditional houses. Inside the Kodagu house, on the first floor, audio-visual presentation on various traditional dance forms were in progress. The new Art Museum and Library includes an audio visual room and an exhibition hall. The handicrafts and drawing sections are now closer to the cafeteria.

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Audio-visual presentation in progress  inside the Kodagu house

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 The Art Gallery

A visit to Dakshinachitra is incomplete without meeting the glass artist. To demonstrate how art forms are created using glass, he made a stirrer for us. We bought a glass stirrer and a Vinayaka idol.

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Glass art demo

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Glass art work on display

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 Loom in a weaver’s home

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Real Madras Handkerchiefs

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Traditional pulley in Kerala house

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Leather puppets ready for a show. Check the Dakshinachitra website if you are interested in learning puppet painting.

If you are interested in art, architecture, and culture, make sure to visit Dakshinachitra during your next visit to Chennai.

To know more on Dakshinachitra, visit the following websites:

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