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Tags : Museum

Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Closed on Mondays

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : Indians - INR 20, Foreigners - INR 200

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Crafts Museum, Delhi Overview

Popularly known as the Crafts Museum, the National Handicrafts Museum is a centre to exhibit varied specimens of handicrafts, textile and local decor and to preserve, protect and revive the tradition of local handicrafts. Located in the far corner of Pragati Maidan in Delhi, the museum is designed by the prominent architect Charles Correa and is currently under the management of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. People often go here for the famous Lota Cafe serving the best of regional Indian cuisine. The Crafts Museum Shop is a souvenir shop for you to take back little knick-knack home.

At present, the museum houses over thirty-three thousand assorted collections of various crafts collected over the last 60 years from different states of India. The diverse collection inside the museum includes exhaustive textiles and fabrics, bronze and metal lamps, sculptures, wood carvings, bamboo crafts, terracotta figurines, tribal paintings etc. Among the multiple galleries housed in the complex, the popular ones include Tribal and Rural Craft Gallery, Gallery of Courtly Crafts, Textile Gallery, Gallery of Popular Culture etc. A mini model of a village spread over 5 acres of land is located in the premise. The village complex displays actual generic exhibits depicting the life of rural India. Besides, the museum also has a library, an auditorium, a research centre, and a laboratory.

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Collection at Crafts Museum

1. Jewellery and Valuables
The section flaunts a beautiful collection of Indian antiques and vintage jewellery. It showcases a metal plate called Theva plate with historical scenes depicted on it, a skull neckpiece dating back to the early 20th century, a metal neckband worn by Naga warriors, a ruby-studded Mangamalai (mango necklace) popular especially in Tamil Nadu and Hansli (popular in Rajasthan) from the late 18th century.
2. Metal Objects
The gallery has a copper pot from the early 19th century, a brass figurine of Radha from the 18th century, a peacock casket (popularly known as Mayur Phorua), head of Goddess Gauri- an incarnation of Goddess Parvathy, Bidriware utensils from the late 18th century, and other deities in metal etc.
3. Matting and Weaving
The products include hukkas made in bamboo stalks, floor matting called Sheetalpatti, cane and bamboo grain baskets etc.
4. Textiles
It has different textile products like temple hangings, sarees with hunting scenes called ‘Shikargah’, loom-woven vintage shawls, patched clothes, a story depicting kerchiefs, block prints and the like.

In addition to these, the museum boasts of a vast and varied collection of terracotta figurines, glazed pottery, wooden Krishna panels, ‘Jali’ latticework, wood carvings, toys and masks, Indian folk-paintings like Madhubani and Chitrakathi etc., ancient opium containers, gunpowder cases and other antique stuff.

Galleries at Crafts Museum

1. Bhuta Sculpture Gallery
Bhuta Cult refers to the worship of spirits which was synonymous with the coastal region of Karnataka. This gallery is a visual representation of the Bhuta Cult with the help of sculptures.
2. Folk and Tribal Crafts Gift Gallery
Showcasing the folk and tribal traditions of India, this gallery has a collection of folk paintings and frescos and different daily objects from across the nation.
3. Cultic Crafts Gallery
This gallery displays sculptures, accessories, products and objects of rituals from different religious practices of India.
4. Court Craft Gallery
Court Craft Gallery has a collection of home decor and valuable products made to adorn the ancient palaces and royal homes.
5. Textile Gallery
This gallery has a plethora of textile and handloom products, hand- woven or machine made from different states across India.

Cafe Lota at Crafts Museum

Crafts Museum houses a contemporary restaurant which serves sumptuous and healthy regional Indian dishes. The restaurant is decorated with beautiful terracotta figurines, and soft music is played live from All-India radio. A visit to the restaurant is nothing but a sheer retro delight. The cafe is opened from 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM every day of the week except on Mondays.

How To Reach Crafts Museum

The nearest metro station to the Crafts Museum is Pragati Maidan Metro, situated on the blue line. The museum is very near from the metro; you can either walk down or hire a local or a battery run rickshaw. The nearest bus stop is also the Pragati Maidan bus station, you can also easily walk to the museum from there. The museum is a 5 minute walk from the Delhi Zoo and is adjacent to the Purana Qila monument. It has two entrances- one towards Bhairon Marg and the other towards Pragati Maidan.

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