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Shilp Gram, Udaipur Overview

Among all the Indian states, Rajasthan is one of those which are known extensively for their contribution towards indigenous art and crafts. Across several regions and ethnicities, the state has nurtured and nourished exquisite instances across multiple art forms - art, handicraft, music, dance, theatrics, puppetry and more.

Located near the Havala village, only 3 kilometres west on the outskirts of Udaipur, Shilpgram is a one-of-its-kind living ethnographic museum that reflects that same culture and heritage, not only of Rajasthan but of entire West Zone. Inaugurated by Rajiv Gandhi way back in 1989, Shilpgram is a collaborative effort dedicated towards upholding and promoting the lifestyle, art and culture born in the nooks and crannies of rural and suburban parts of western India. The main objective is to not only endorse the culture and way of living of ethnic minorities and tribal communities, but also keeping them alive for the next generations to know and appreciate.

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Set up over an area of 70 acres of undulating plain, the Rural Art and Craft Complex hosts a number of huts representing the four West Zone states of India. There are five huts from Maharashtra, Goa and Rajasthan each and seven huts representing Gujarat in the complex.

Each of these huts are built incorporating the traditional architectural features that you can see in the rural areas of the respective states. Inside the huts, everyday household articles made of wood, metal, textile, terracotta and other substances, and used by the native residents of the representative states, are displayed with accurate and detailed explanations.

The complex also houses an amphitheatre with 8000+ capacity, which becomes the stage for major craft festivals that the city hosts, thereby promoting traditional folk performing arts.

When in Shilpgram, do not forget to take part in Shilpdarshan, which is basically an ongoing programme where artisans and craftsmen from the deepest of rural corners of the four western states are invited to exhibit their mastery and skills and put their creations on display for the visitors. You can not only watch and learn, but also purchase their creations establishing a direct maker-buyer relation.

You can also enjoy a short camel ride, which is a popular attraction here as a hat-tip to Rajasthan’s favourite cattle.

Shilpgram hosts its annual cultural festival every year from December 21 to 31st December. The festival is held to encourage local artists, craftsmen, designers and other traders of the cottage industry of Rajasthan. Here you will find exquisite handwoven clothes, embroidered textiles, bags and accessories, mirror works, pottery, terracotta handicrafts and many other forms of tribal products. Other than that, you can also enjoy different cultural events that are staged in the amphitheatre in the evening once your exploring and shopping is done. There are food stalls to cater to your hungry stomachs as well. If you are willing to learn more about the traditional art forms present in the festival, there are opportunities for that as well. Shilpgram conducts camps and workshops too, for assimilation of rural and urban art styles and further enriching the skills of the artists, as well as to provide the visitors with a chance to learn.

Shilpgram is open for the public from 11 AM in the morning to 7 PM in the evening. During the days of the festival, the timings are from 12 noon to 10 PM at night.

The cost of entry for Indian individuals is INR 30. The same for foreign individuals is INR 50. Photography and videography is allowed free of cost here.

Shilpgram is located only a few minutes’ drive away from the main city of Udaipur, so getting transportation will not be a problem. The easiest way is to hire a cab or rent a car which will take you right to the gates of the complex.

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