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National Handicrafts And Handlooms Museum

Showcases The Diversity of Indian Handicrafts

The National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum more popularly known as the Crafts Museum can be a fascinating place to spend some time while you are in Delhi. It displays and promotes traditional arts and crafts from various parts of India. The amazing diversity of Indian handicrafts and handlooms can be seen in one place in absolute convenience and in a well-presented manner at this popular museum.


The Museum is situated near Pragati Maiden in New Delhi. It is opposite the famous landmark Old Fort or Purana Quila. The museum is managed by the Government of India and the Ministry of Textiles looks after the administrative aspects.


The Museum was created after India’s independence of the country because of the need to preserve the rapidly-fading traditional arts and craft works. Initially, works from the 1950s and 60s were accumulated and displayed in the museum. The size of collections and artifacts grew rapidly making it imperative for the Government to acquire more space. The collection of tribal and rural objects such as artwork and textiles has increased colossally over the past few decades.

What To Look For

The National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum is a sprawling complex. Visitors are treated to a visual delight of various attractive arts and craftwork encompassing the contemporary and modern. Some of the major attractions in the museum are the pottery work, wooden carvings, metal work, terracotta horses, folk painting, toys sculpturing, creative textile work by tribal from all over the country handmade jewelry from various states.

The Enchanting Entrance

The entrance of the museum has a beautiful creation by Charles Correa, the globally-acknowledged architect. It is a typical village style architecture created by using mud and haystacks complete with rumpled hay roofs to bring alive the settings of an Indian village. The entrance pathways are done with mud. To create a typical village-like scene, craftsmen show off their skills and art work sitting inside these huts.

The passage from the entrance has a covered tiled roof replete with row of mini windows, doors and punctured iron screens. There is a sprawling courtyard lined with pigeon huts and dome-shaped archaic roofs. To create the right ambiance, the architect has also created beautiful chariots generally seen in Indian temples.

Museum Details

The museum is separated into various galleries such as:

  • Tribal and Folk Arts Gallery
  • Courtly Craft and Textile Section
  • Bhuta Sculpture Section
  • Village Complex Section
  • Ritual Craft Section

There are over 22,000 unique items on display in these galleries which include items of daily use such as lamps, incense stick holders, stone and wood sculptures, utensils and accessories. There are separate sections for clay items such as pots, toys, puppets, tribal masks and craft work. One of the rare collections here is the 300 years old Bhuta sculpture made from wood. There is priceless work of art from every corner of India on display here. They all amount to a collection of over 15,000 rare items on display depicting almost every aspect of ancient living.

Information for Visitors

The National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum is open on all days except Mondays and National Holidays from 0930 hours to 1700 hours. There is an entry fee of INR 10 for Indians, INR 1 for Students and INR 150 for foreigners.

How To Reach

The museum is easily reachable from any part of the city by state transport buses, cabs and autos. The museum is 5 km from the New Delhi Railway Station. The nearest Metro station is Pragati Maidan. Indira Gandhi International Airport is 22 km from the museum.








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