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Crafts Museum

Renowned freedom fighter, late Smt Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay set up this museum over a period of 30 years commencing from 1950s till the late 1960s with utmost efforts. This was done when the area was envisaged to be known an ethnographic space, which allowed craftsmen from multiple parts of India to come in to work for preservation of several traditional crafts and arts. By the end of 1980s it was already known for its substantial collection. With time, the museum space evolved gradually and got transformed into its current shape.  At present, the museum shelters more than 35,000 distinctive pieces reflecting the perpetual tradition of Indian craftsmen through textiles, embroidery, and painting, various crafts of wood, clay and stone. All of this is housed in a building, which was designed in between 1975 to 1990 by the architect named Charles Correa, who incorporated the traditional architectural vocabulary into a completely modern design.

Features of Crafts Museum

A distinctive gallery inside the museum includes the Gallery of Popular Culture, Tribal and Rural Craft Gallery, Textile Gallery, Gallery of Courtly Crafts, etc. Few of its prized collection comprise of the rare Kashmiri 300-year-old ‘dushalas’, the 250 to 300-year-old Bhoota Collection from Karnataka, rare brocade and Baluchari saris, precious metal jewellery, handkerchiefs from Chamba known for their unique embroidery, Kutch embroidery, and some more. The museum is famous for a rigorous and an exhaustive textiles’ collection. Also, the museum houses a village complex dispersed over 5-acre (20,000 m2). Along with it is 15 structures depicting courtyards, shrines and village dwellings from distinct states of India, having items of day-to-day life at display. The whole village complex is a remnant of temporary exhibition based on the Rural India theme, held in 1972. Currently, many traditional craftsmen in house at the museum are witnessed working in a reputed area inside the museum complex. They are also the ones, who sell all the crafts they make. Apart from the collection, the museum also houses a reference library, a photo laboratory, Research and Documentation facilities, a conservation laboratory, and an auditorium.

On Exhibit

The Crafts Museum displays parts of its permanent collection through its galleries of Ritual Craft Gallery, Bhuta Sculpture Gallery, Courtly Craft Tribal & Folk Art, and Textiles Gallery. The Village Complex has open walls by the corridors and the passages that are used as the canvas to showcase the painted traditions of several tribes of the folk artisans. Fresh folk artists are welcomed in the house every month from various parts of the country to paint on the walls of the museum. The paintings include Woman with Sitar, Woman breastfeeding a boy, and a Woman with Child. The Ritual Craft Gallery includes Jain Shrine and Temple Gallery while Courtly Gallery includes Haveli and Courtly Crafts. The textile gallery has the display of looms.

Information for Visitors

  • Timings: July to September: 0930 am- 5 pm; October to June: 09:30 am to 06:00 pm Daily; Closed on Mondays and National Holidays.
  • Location: Bhairon Road, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
  • Attractions: Wooden Carvings, Paintings, Courtyards, Indian crafts, Mud huts with Painted walls and Thatched roofs, Metal ware, Terracotta horses recreating village shrines, Craftsmen at work are few of the elements contributing to the rural ambience of the place.

How to Reach

By Road

Roads are properly connected to this place and visitors can reach out to the Crafts Museum by local transport like cabs, rickshaws or taxis. Hence, the flexibility of commute to and from this place is quite good by road.

By Air

Delhi is one of those places in India, which is well connected to most of the major airports across the globe through Airways. Flights are available at regular intervals to all the European capitals and cities of significance. Apart from international flights, there are also many flights flying and landing to and from the rest of the parts of India. It is easy to reach to this place by air.

By Train

Delhi metro railway is considered to be the most efficient commutation system in the capital city. These are the fast running trains covering all prominent areas throughout the city. Reaching out to this place through metro train is the most opted option. The nearest railway station from the Crafts Museum, Delhi is the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station and the Nearest Metro Station is Pragati Maidan Metro Station.

By Bus

Visitors can reach to Crafts Museum, Delhi using the available DTC bus service. The DTC itself provides bus routes to Crafts Museum.

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