National crafts museum in Delhi is one of the largest craft museums in India. It is located at Pragati Maidan facing the majestic old fort complex. I went there a few years back and recently visited again, since I get a lot of requests to write about Delhi I thought why not write about this. It can be reached through Pragati Maidan Delhi metro station. National Crafts Museum remains closed on Mondays are the days timings at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. The whole museum is set up like a village and the current building was set up by renowned architect Charles Correa.
Over the period of six decades it has emerged as a place which encases superlative collection of Indian craftsmanship. it has about 33000 rare artefacts and specimens of paintings, embroidery, textiles items made up of clay, stone and wood. Different articles have been placed under different galleries for the convenience of the visitors like textile gallery, rural craft gallery, gallery of popular culture etc. Some of
the articles are as old as three centuries, Bhoota collection from Karnataka, kashmiri “ dushalas “ are 300 year old, handkerchiefs from Chamba, rare brocade, precious metal jewellery and so on.
As every state of India has its own particular art and culture so each is novel in its own. Effort has been made to include work of every Indian state be it Jammu and Kashmir in North, Manipur in the East, Maharashtra in West or Kerala in the South. the handicrafts and handlooms are preserved without active of revival, reproduction and development of Indian craft.
National Crafts Museum comprises of a village complex representing village dwellings, courtyard where several craft persons can be seen busy in their respective crafts. National Crafts Museum also houses research and documentation facilities, a reference library, conservation a photo lab and an auditorium. You will see students busy in their research and it’s quite interesting to see artists indulge in some serious art work.
LOTA shop- This is a national crafts museum shop within the premises where visitors can buy items made by these artists like chandeliers, drapes, clay pots, embroidered pillow covers and bed covers, bamboo and
Café LOTA – This is the place where visitors can put up their feet and savour an assortment of diversified range of Indian cuisines. The vibrant décor will immediately elevate your mood and the delectable food will round up an already wonderful day.
All in all it is a wonderful place to visit to find a sprawling open tourist place in the middle of a city like Delhi is an absolute blessing. It takes us close to our rural India which we hardly find time to do in a busy
schedule. It was surprising to see this place quite empty on a Sunday. Full points to the Government of India for taking such an initiative to celebrate the rich and diverse crafts tradition of India.