Chennai

Dakshina Chitra and Madras Week Painting Exhibition

சென்னையின் வண்ணங்கள் - தக்ஷின சித்ரா, கிழக்கு கடற்கரைச் சாலை
சென்னையின் வண்ணங்கள் - தக்ஷின சித்ரா, கிழக்கு கடற்கரைச் சாலை

I have been to Dakshina Chitra a few times, mostly accompanying my clients  (Yes, I know, it sounds like a cliché) who visit from abroad as a pit stop on the way to Mahabalipuram. It is a living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India, presented in an enjoyable way – They certainly have succeeded in that mission. The place is convenient to visit from the city, well maintained – even the toilets here are super clean (Swachh Bharat!), a rarity in tourist places in India. It takes about an hour to reach from the city to Muttukadu, where the museum is present. You need about 2 – 4 hours to see all the exhibits and you can even have lunch in their traditional restaurant. The museum is open 6 days a week (Tuesday being a holiday), from 10 AM to 6 PM. Indian Citizens have to buy an entry ticket for ₹110, Foreigners for ₹250 apart from the car parking charges of ₹25 – I will say it is most every paisa!

Dakshina Chitra Museum has numerous hands-on activities for kids to learn

Dakshina Chitra Museum has numerous hands-on activities for kids to learn

Shops manned by craftsmen sell beautiful jewellery, pottery and textile

Shops manned by craftsmen sell beautiful jewellery, pottery and textile

Normally in most museums or art exhibitions in India, they don’t like you taking photographs. Surprisingly here they were cool about it, none of the staff blinked an eye. They have a charge if you bringing in, your DSLR/Photo Camera or a Video Camera, but there is no charge for taking in your Smartphone. And I was having my Google Pixel 2 which is ideal for these scenarios.

Woodwork - Bottom is a full set of Surya Namaskar, Yoga Poses. Right top is life-like model of Tribals

Woodwork – Bottom is a full set of Surya Namaskar, Yoga Poses. Right top is life-like models of Tribals

The reason for today’s visit was to see the Art Exhibition of paintings on the theme of Colours of Chennai (சென்னையின் வண்ணங்கள்), in celebration of Madras Week 2018. The works by the artist were stunning, they were on sale too – the price starting from ₹15,000 to ₹100,000 was beyond my reach, so all I could do was capture them with admiration in my camera.

Paintings on Chennai - it's Gods, People, Life, Culture, Dance and Commerce

Paintings on Chennai – it’s Gods, People, Life, Culture, Dance and Commerce

Paintings on Chennai - the ladies in the city are smart, hard-working and stunning

Paintings on Chennai – the ladies in the city are smart, hard-working and stunning

Look at the minute details of Konark Sun Temple by N.Bhagavathi Sundaram - Colour Ball Point Pen Drawing ₹50,000

Look at the minute details of Konark Sun Temple by N.Bhagavathi Sundaram – Colour Ball Point Pen Drawing, priced at ₹50,000

Dakshina Chitra is famous for its reconstructed model houses from various regions of South India – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Many of these houses are built from the materials discarded/disassembled from the original houses. They give you a quick glimpse into how people of each region lived in earlier centuries.

Andhra Pradesh - Ikkat House with their weaving machinery, Goddess & Backyard

Andhra Pradesh – Ikkat House with their weaving machinery, Goddess & Backyard

Kerala – Koothakulam House

Karnataka House - Left centre is Bhuta Mask by Artist Rajesh T. Acharya

Karnataka House – Left centre is Bhuta Mask by Artist Rajesh T. Acharya

A village street in Tamil Nadu - Inlet is a Tamil Nadu House

A village street in Tamil Nadu – Inlet is a Tamil Nadu House

(From Top Left) - Chettinad House in Tamil Nadu, Thinnai (திண்ணை), Kalamkari Dress, Intricately detailed entrance door frame, Metal Suitcase (ட்ரங்க் பெட்டி)

(From Top Left) – Chettinad House in Tamil Nadu, Thinnai (திண்ணை), Kalamkari Dress, Intricately detailed entrance door frame, Metal Suitcase (ட்ரங்க் பெட்டி)

Beautifully displayed by suspending from the ceiling are the numerous items typically brought in to her new house as dowry by a newlywed bride

Beautifully displayed by suspending from the ceiling are the numerous items typically brought in to her new house as dowry by a newlywed bride

The Natural Landscapes of Tamil Nadu and poems in praise of them (தமிழ்நாட்டின் இயற்கை காட்சிகள் - நெய்தல், மருதம், முல்லை, குறிஞ்சி, பாலை)

The Natural Landscapes of Tamil Nadu and poems in praise of them (தமிழ்நாட்டின் இயற்கை காட்சிகள் – நெய்தல், மருதம், முல்லை, குறிஞ்சி, பாலை)

One of the model houses - Looks beautiful

One of the model houses – Looks beautiful

If you are in Chennai (Madras) or simply visiting my hometown, it will be worth your time to visit Dakshina Chitra in ECR, Chennai.


Also published on Medium.

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