DakshinaChitra is a non-profit, community service project of the Madras Craft Foundation(As described in their catalog) located on the East Coast Road, Chennai. It is a place where you learn all about the cultures and crafts from various parts of India with an emphasis given to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The main attractions are divided into four areas namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, each showcasing arts, crafts, antique items, etc. local to that culture.
Once we enter DakshinChitra, it feels like as if we have entered into a different era, but only in the backwards! Though we need to walk for long, we won’t get tired that easily, as this area is completely surrounded by different trees and plants. Altogether, it is a wonderful place for a day’s outing where kids can enjoy and learn so many things. Not to mention that it is equally entertaining for the grown-ups especially for those who have an eye for the old and forgotten crafts of South India.
Out of four areas, Tamil Nadu stands out from the rest with a beautifully constructed streets filled a typical Potter’s House, Weavers’s House, Basket Weaver’s house, Agriculturist’s House, Merchant’s House and an Agraharam Brahmin House of Ambur.
There is also a Textile Exhibition Hall displaying different textiles of Tamil Nadu and the various looms.
Tamil Nadu includes a Village Ayyanar (A Guardian Deity of Tamil Nadu) Shrine, complete with large statues of Horses, Elephants, and Cows (Vahanas or Transport of Ayyanar) made of mud and clay.
One of the interesting things in the Tamil Nadu area is that they have displayed the History of Tamil Language and its various transformation over several centuries.
Also displayed in there were, how Tamils recorded their language in the olden days. You can view some these below.
In Kerala, there were few houses from Thiruvanathapuram, Kozhikode Dt, Kottayam Dt etc. Karnataka area includes some traders houses and weavers houses. Andhra Pradesh area include Ikkat Weaver’s house, Chuttilu House, Cattleshed and a Granary.
Apart from the above, DakshinaChitra include other facilities like Art Galleries, Library/Archives, Crafts Bazaar, Artisan’s Quarters, Canteen and a Restaurant.
Included here are some of the pictures taken during my visit to DakshinaChitra:
There is also a small shopping area called Craft Bazaar where the visitors can buy their favorite crafts and jewelry!
East Coast Road, Muttukadu, Chennai -603118.
Tel: 044-27472783, 27472603
Timings: Wednesday to Monday from 10AM – 6PM
Ticket Rate(As of 4th October 2014) : Adults – 100 Rupees; Kids – 25 Rupees;