Saturday, January 16, 2021

Visit these fascinating artist villages in India

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ahead of Independence Day, Indian Link brings you India that is off the usual tourist map, and away from the beaten track


Founded by Irish woman Norah Richards in 1935, Andretta, Andretta has remained a haven for theatre artists, potters and other creative types. Richards had invited master potter Gurucharan Singh from Delhi to shift to Andretta. Today, his son Mansimran ‘Mini’ Singh and his wife Mary run 3-week-long residential programs here for serious students. Its theatre scene has had a revival too.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: Throughout the year
STAY: The Andretta pottery centre offers homestays
GETTING THERE: Take an overnight Deluxe bus from ISBT Delhi to Palampur, 13 km from Andretta.
It is touted to be India’s largest self-supporting artist village and has been around for over four decades. It has over 20 resident painters and sculptors, who live as a community and pool their skills. Every single thing in the village – right from the kitchen walls to their art galleries – was built by the artists inhabiting it. It has a permanent exhibition which includes paintings, sketches, terra-cotta, stone, metal sculptures, batiks and handicraft.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: December to February
STAY: There is a guest house in the village, but a place is not guaranteed. A day trip from Chennai is recommended.
GETTING THERE: Chennai is the nearest airport, about 15 km away.
The terra-cotta Bankura horse is often used as shorthand for Indian handicraft, and the credit for that goes to Bishnupur. This village’s craft developed as much as it did because of the lack of stone in the area. The village is equally well-known for its handwoven Baluchari silk sarees with intricate designs.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to April
STAY: There are a few guest houses and hotels in the village
GETTING THERE: The nearest airport is Kolkata, 155km away. Buses and trains run from Kolkata to Bishnupur.
Apart from being one of the very few hill stations in the state of Gujarat, Saputara is committed to tribal art and all residents living there are taught how to draw, paint and craft. Visitors are encouraged to try their hand at some art or craft.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to February
STAY: There are many hotels and guest houses in the village
GETTING THERE: Railway is the best mode. The Waghai railway station at Billimora – well-connected to Mumbai and Ahmedabad – is the nearest railhead, about 50km away. From here, hire a taxi or hop on to a bus.
Even in today’s times, this village has kept the art of writing on scrolls, known as Patachitra, alive. But the villagers are experts in other art forms such as stone craft, cow dung toys, filigree, bell metal work, and terra cotta. They also write poetry and have their own dance troupe.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to February
STAY: Many hotels in Puri, 12km away
GETTING THERE: Nearest airport is Bhubaneswar (50km away). Nearest railway station and major town is Puri.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...

Latest News

lilly singh

WATCH: Lilly Singh’s rivalry with her overachieving ‘cousin’, Kamala Harris

  "Growing up I always got compared to my Indian cousins," shares Lilly Singh, reminding us of those unforgettable sibling rivalries we've all experiences at...
Udaya wentworthville

Reopening after being a COVID exposure site

  "We did not have a clue, because the customer was asymtopmatic." Since the news of popular spots Saravanaa Bhavan and Udaya supermarket being COVID exposure...
meeting op nayyar (1)

Why OP Nayyar continues to be this fan’s favourite musician

  I am an ardent admirer of O P Nayyar’s music. Anyone who knows me well, knows of my love for Indian film music from...

5 powerful poems by the brilliant Javed Akhtar

  A celebrated lyricist and the recipient of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for his poetry, Javed Akhtar's name is synonymous with soul-wrenching, evocative writing.  His...
dog swami video

WATCH: Dog ‘blesses’ devotees outside temple in India

  In a now viral video, a dog stationed outside the Siddhivinayak Temple in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra was spotted shaking hands and 'blessing' devotees as they...