Dakshinachitra Museum

Weather :

Timings : 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Closed on Tuesday and Diwali)

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : Indians
Adult - INR 100 - INR 120
Student (13-18yrs) - INR 50

Overseas visitors
Adult - INR 250
Students - INR 70

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Dakshinachitra Museum, Chennai Overview

Dakshinachitra Museum, located in Chennai, is one of the living-history museums in India. It stores in itself great works of architecture, crafts, performing arts, and lifestyles that belong to South India. The museum has its vision and mission to promote the cultures of South Indian states by making them more engaging and enjoyable for its viewers. It is a project of Madras Craft Foundation which is an NGO that was opened to the public on 14th December 1996. The heritage museum is home to 4,220 artefacts and 1,000,000 pictures. Visiting here will give you an in-depth knowledge of south Indian heritage. You are going to leave with the most magnificent treasures of learning.

Developed in the form of a village, it showcases the traditional lifestyle of South Indians. It is a collection of 18 authentic houses, each having its own contextual exhibition. These homes are purchased, broken down, transported and lastly reconstructed by professional artisans or Stapathis who belong to the places from where the houses are bought. Moreover, Dakshina Chitra itself means the 'house of south'. So, if you are a person of history, and a person of culture who is deeply attached to its roots this place is for you. Visit Dakshinachitra Museum to explore and learn about the life and history of South India.

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History of Dakshinachitra Museum

The museum was started by MCF which was founded by Deborah Thiagarajan in 1984. It is a heritage lifestyle village that displays lives of people in different South Indian states. Thiagarajan visited Chennai (then Madras) in 1970 and sowed the sapling of MCf only to preserve the culture of South. In July 1991, she managed to receive 10 acres of land for this project on 33 years of a lease. Finally, after the collaborative efforts of MCF, government, various industrialists, the Dakshinachitra Museum came into existence. It managed to find long-term donors such as National Folklore Support Centre, Prakriti Foundation, the Crafts Council of India, Office of the Development Commissioner for Handicrafts, Ford Foundation, and Amethyst.

Architecture of Dakshinachitra Museum

The museum is built with 18 heritage houses representing the living style of people from south Indian states - Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Karnataka. These homes are the actual houses which were demolished with the permission of original owners and later were brought here only to be built by the architectural students, workers, and carpenters. The Madras crafts Foundation purchased the vernacular styled houses. These ranged between INR 50,000 to INR 1.5 million.

After they were correctly dismantled under the guidance of Stapathis, they were recreated at the given space in their very original form. The roads and other things that existed in the old village went under recreation too. Every good thing faces a lot of criticism, so did the Dakshina Chitra Museum. Many critics say that the old village is stamped with American Consumerism.

Ticket prices for the Dakshinachitra Museum

Adult - INR 100 and During Festivals and Weekends - INR 120
Children (5-12 years) - INR 30
Student (13-18 years) - INR 50
Teachers - INR 75  
School Student package - INR 120

Overseas visitors:
Adult - INR 250
Students - INR 70

Collections at Dakshinachitra Museum

The artefacts at the museum are a reflection of daily lives of people living in southern India. By 2014, there were 4,220 of them out of which 3200 are related to art, and 70 belong to contemporary subjects. It also has around 950 objects of clothing showcasing the typical South Indian attire of both men and women. These include clothes made of cotton and silk. 

Dakshinachitra Museum also has a selection of journals and books about arts, crafts, anthropology, folklore, and performances of south India. Around 1,000,000 pictures are also displayed in the living-history museum.The information here is imparted in the English language. It highlights the cultural and regional aspects of Brahminical people. You might also learn about the craft traditions that existed in the south Indian heritage homes.

Programmes and Workshops at Dakshinachitra Museum

The museum, as we now know, is a centre of living arts and crafts set up with the sole objective of promoting the preserved heritage of Southern India. Walking on its way to delivering excellent knowledge, it hosts dance performances, workshops for training in crafts such as indigo dying, puppet shows, necklace crafting, and basket weaving.

Not only this, the people trained here get individual certificates for their skills by the Department of the Development Commissioner. Moreover, events of classical dances such as Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi, and Bharatnatyam, and music also takes place at the centre. Each month comes with new workshops. Every year, at least 15000 students visit the site and leave with fantastic knowledge.

Tips For Visiting Dakshinachitra Museum

  • Do not take eatables inside as they are not permitted. Beside the parking lot, a separate space has been provided for having food.
  • An additional charge of INR 20 is levied for use of still cameras, and INR 70 for video cameras.

How To Reach Dakshinachitra Museum

It is situated 25 km from the South of Chennai. You can take a cab or a bus to reach the very place. The landmarks for the museum are MGM Dizee World and Sangeetha Hotel. Buses 109, 588, and 599 operate till MGM Dizzee world bus stop. It is at a distance of 200m from the stop.

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Dakshinachitra Museum Reviews

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Saran Raj

on Dakshinachitra Museum 4 years ago
Awesome spot for people who loves culture and history and have great interest on lifestyle of people.
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