Monday, January 30, 2012

Dakshina Chitra

If you have not been to this place, you better go and soon. Its about 45 minutes from Chennai on the ECR.
Very nominal entry fee and a great place to spend a day or so.
As the name suggests Dakshina Chitra is an embodiment of all kinds of art from the south of India (There are separate sections for the 4 south indian states).

From Architecture to Weaving to Pottery to block and pot painting to Mehendi, every kind of art and crafts is represented. They even teach pottery, weaving, block painting, pot painting and a lot of other interesting stuff. You can get your hand read (Palmistry) or stain it with Mehendi  (I am still sulking coz Mom's mehendi has stained so much darker than mine and she has not done a darned thing, while I have been rubbing my palms with coconut oil  :-( ). There are special shows such as puppet shows, folk dances (based on the season and the artists available, I guess. We were able to see a special kind of folk dance from Karnataka called the Yojna Dance)
Cute hand made violins, bows and arrows, marble statues, jewelry, silk paintings, wood carvings, tapestries are all available for sale too.
Here is a very very small sample of the places to see in DC

Tamil Nadu
Ornate entrance to the Chettiyar house

The Thinnai and mutham as seen from the entrance of the same Chettiyar house
 The Mehendi Lady convinced me to get it done at the first house we visited instead of the last one, as we originally planned

 Ladies playing Pallanguzhi. 
 Inside the Cloth Weaver's house
 An actual weaving machine from Sundari Silks ( the weavers had gone for lunch). They are weaving a silk sari, the Pallu alone takes about 15-20 days and the whole sari takes 1.5 months to weave.
The outside view of a Kerala Syrian Christian house
 An example of traditional kerala cloth mural
A traditional wall mural
A Lambani mannequin and a tapestry woven by them
A Lambani residence (They are building traditional houses from Chikmagallur and a couple of more places)
Andhra Pradesh:
The Famous Cheriyal dolls in the prayer room of an Andhra weaver's house
Finished products after the weaving, Andhra Style (not that I would know the difference). We were able to see the actual weaving for this one.

1 comment:

RS said...

Im sure I would've visited this place had we gone to Mahabalipuram for that holiday. Anyway - lots of catching up with you due. Will call you sometime soon... :-D