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Crafts Museum: Discovering the Cultural Tapestry of India

India has harbored, nurtured and preserved rich cultural and traditional arts and crafts for over many centuries. Crafts Museum located in Delhi is one of the finest institutions to showcase a plethora of Indian crafts and art, in its best and living form.

An Indian tour is incomplete without handpicking some famous regional and local handicrafts. Let’s explore a unique and contemporary style, of handmade art at the Crafts Museum Delhi.

Let’s first understand the history of the Crafts Museum

Popularly known as the National Crafts Museum, the National Handicrafts and Hastkala Academy is India’s largest arts and handicrafts museum. It is located near the Pragati Maidan and Purana Quila, among the famous places to visit in Delhi.

The building was designed by the renowned architect Charles Correa who amalgamated modern architecture and traditional Indian design in creating this masterpiece of a museum. 

The Crafts Museum was set up in 1956 and was founded by the brave freedom fighter Smt. Kamaladevi Chandrasekopadhyay. Her unwavering efforts to bring together numerous artisans from every corner of India to promote the preservation of India’s traditional handicrafts can be seen in this building even now.

A few glimpses of the architecture of Crafts Museum and what’s so unique about it.

Some of the Salient features of Crafts Museum’s Architecture are:

  1. Maze like structures, creating a sense of excitement and adding a mystery factor to the whole experience. 
  2. Othogonoal planning or square spaces, most of the building is divided and designed in squares, a feature depicting the earth element.
  3. Earthy and traditional feels, usage of tiled roofs, ballis and mud, giving a humble feel of the Indian village homes.
  4. Ample tree plantations, for passive cooling, natural shade and outdoor space for sitting.
  5. Courtyard around the whole building of the Crafts Museum, another striking feature of the Indian rural homes.
  6. Regional and folk paintings and carvings used for decorating the walls.
Here are some of the noteworthy Things to do in Crafts Museum:

If you feel that art museums are monotonous and only for nerds then you are very wrong. This place is anything but monotonous and there is so much to explore in this complex, it is one of the most offbeat tourist destinations as well:

Admire the Architecture: Before you explore the pool of artsitic and cultural masterpieces, nestled in the Crafts Museum, you will be awe-inspired by the unique display of architectural expertise in designing this place. 

From tiles roofs, open courtyards, gigantic champa trees to intricately hand painted walls. Spend some time here and appreciate the architectural marvel 

Explore Traditional Arts and Crafts: The Crafts Museum Delhi or National Handloon and Handicrafts Museum is famed for housing approximately over 35,000 artifacts, curated and acquired from various parts of the country. 

For an immersive and holistic experience, walk through the numerous galleries, with displays and exhibits from various categories like Metalware, Pottery, Paintings, Terracotta, Wood Carvings, Textile, Sculptures and much more. 

Apart from viewing exhibits, one can even delve deeper into the craft and take up a live workshop. Several workshops, conducted by expert artisans are held on regular basis at the Crafts Museum.

Take up a Pottery Wheel Workshop:These are special workshops organized by the Museum authorities for public and art enthusiasts. 

You can learn the craft of handling and moulding clay and how pottery is made on a pottery wheel, under the guidance of a professional and seasoned pottery artist.  

Walk through the Textile Gallery of the Crafts Museum: There is no better way to indulge and delve into the rich and luxurious textile industry of India, than visiting a place, where you can see a systematical arrangement of various textiles from ancient India.

Observe the intricate gold and silver zari work on Banarsi and Kanjeevaram silk sarees from south India, admire the beauty of the Kantha embroidery from Bengal and mekhola chadors from Assam and much more.

Shop Authentic Handicrafts at give-away prices: At the Crafts Museum, various stalls and displays are organized, where you can shop original and authentic handcrafted goods like, embroiders bags, accessories, clothes, showpieces, home decor and much more, at throw-away prices. 

Explore Places Nearby: The musueum has many famous places in its neighborhood, such as the Old Fort, Pragati Maidan, India Gate, Connaught Place, Delhi Zoo, Khan Market, Supreme court etc. There are many other historic places to visit in Delhi, just at a stone’s throw distance from here.

Enjoy the Live Cultural Shows: Another astounding feature of this museum is the live cultural dances and performances which will transcend you to that particualr region of India. 

Every now and then, you can see artists from different states performing folk dances, classical dances, folk music, plays and much more in the open display areas of the Crafts museum. 

Attend the Textile Printing Workshop: If you want to learn and explore the textile printing domain, then taking up a workshop under the leadership of a textile expert is a great option. 

You will learn how to use hand-carved wooden blocks on various type of fabrics and how dye and colors behave on different materials.

Enjoy a Fresh Meal: Grab a cup of hot chai or coffee and a sumptuous veg or non veg meal at Cafe Lota, situated within the premises of the museum. 

There are many other great restaurants near Crafts Museum like Gulati Restaurant, Pandora road, United Coffee House, The Spice Route and Matka Peer Mughlai Foods, The Big Chill Cafe and many more. 

Suggested Read: Ultimate Handpicked restaurants in Delhi

Craft Demonstarations: Throughout the year, several craft demonstration events are organized at the museum. During this time, artists from all over India, come and demonstrate their skills. It is a golden opportunity for public to witness such an invaluable spectale.  

Where is the Crafts Museum in Delhi and what’s the best time to visit this place?

A hub of art and culture, the crafts museum in Delhi location is quite central and accessible to all. It is situated in Pragati Maidan, Bhairo Marg. 

The best time to visit Crafts Museum is on a weekend, as there is so much to explore in the museum and many places to visit nearby. 

Although, you can visit this place any time in the year, but visiting during the autumn months from October to January is the best time to visit this place. Because there are many open areas and this cool weather will let you enjoy to the fullest. 

The operating hours and Crafts Museum Delhi timings are from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Tuesday to Sunday

Suggested read : Best Places for weekend getaways from Delhi

You must wonder if there are any tickets for visiting the museum?

Yes, you’re right, there is a price you must pay to visit this place. The Crafts Museum Delhi Ticket Prices are quite nominal and affordable. For Indian citizens it is around 20 INR and 200 INR for foreign citizens (Note: These prices are subject to change)

How to reach the Crafts Museum?

You can either take a bus and get off at Pragati Maidan bus stop, the museum is at a 5 min drive from here, or you can catch a metro on the blue line and get off at Pragati Maidan Metro Station , which is the nearest metro station to the crafts museum. 

Tips For Visiting Crafts Museum Delhi
  1. Maintain silence and decorum, the museum is a space for research and admiration of arts and crafts, be mindful and respectful towards it. 
  2. There can be parking issues, therefore it is better to take public transport to reach the crafts museum. 
  3. Gather information about any art festivals in advance.
  4. Avoid touching the displayed items, these are rare pieces of art and have major cultural relevance. 
  5. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear, as there is a lot of walking involved. 
  6. Plan and time your visit, as there are many other things to do in Delhi, around this area. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Q:What can I expect to see at Crafts Museum Delhi?

Q:Are there any special events or workshops held at Crafts Museum Delhi?

Q:How can I support the artisans and craftspeople showcased at Crafts Museum Delhi?

Q:Is there a cafe or restaurant at Crafts Museum Delhi?

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