Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum

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Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum, Udaipur Overview

there is a large number of museums spread all around, and one of the best among them is Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum in Udaipur. It is among the most culturally important establishments of the City of Lakes and home to numerous cultural objects and artefacts that bear testament to the rich heritage of the Mewari region. It is part of the Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal, which a comprehensive establishment involving a performance centre, an academic centre for research and documentation and a craft training centre. The training centre works towards providing better technical knowledge to the local artisans as well as the general learners so that they can increase their productivity without having to compromise with their artistic skills.

The puppetry unit of Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal certainly deserves a mention in this regard, as it has done an exemplary job of keeping this 2000-year old art alive in people’s minds. There is not only a puppet performance centre staging regular shows but there are also puppetry training courses for children and adults.

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Established by Padma Shri Devi Lal Samar in 1952, the main objective of Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal is to promote and uphold the many traditional art forms, both applied and performing, and constantly reach it to the future generations of the country. The museum plays a huge role in achieving that aim. Tribal and folk art is something that is almost disappearing in the world of consumerism, and Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum strives every day to keep it alive via its varied expositions. It is one of the most visited attractions of Udaipur for the very reason.

The museum is home to a rare compilation of rural Rajasthani attires, weapons, ornaments, toys, musical instruments, utensils, paintings, handicraft items, handmade items of everyday use and so on and so forth. As you enter the museum premise, the first hall is a lovely display of theatre objects, while the next one is for tribal folk musical instruments and ornaments.

Next comes up a delightful display of henna handprints, decorated cow dung floors and devras or small shrines made of terracotta which are popular in the village of Molela near Nathdwara. All these pieces have been collected and curated carefully with precision by the art experts of the museum over the last 44 years to bring the best of Udaipur’s rich culture to the visitors.

When you are done with the artefacts, you can sit down at the Govind Puppet Performance Centre and enjoy a puppet show. Puppetry is one of Rajasthan’s premier art forms and the Rajasthani style of puppetry has been around for centuries. In fact, the first Indian puppet play, called ‘Sinhasan Battisi’, which is a story about the gallantries of Emperor Vikramaditya, was created in this style.

You can also catch a mind-blowing performance of the folk dance repertory at the studio theatre of the institute. Their performances are not only limited to Rajasthani folk dances but involves Maharashtrian and Gujarati styles as well, like Dandia, Garba and Lavani.

Cost of entry to the Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum is INR 20 for Indians and INR 35 for foreigners. For photography and videography you have to pay INR 20 and INR 50 more. The museum is open from 9 AM in the morning to 5:30 PM in the afternoon everyday of the week. It is only closed on any public holiday. 

Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum is located right in the heart of the city near Chetak Circle. It can be easily reached from any part of the city by local buses, tongas, auto-rickshaws, taxis or car rentals.

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