Attend A Workshop Or Visit Traditional Homes At This Open Air Museum
If you’ve been putting off a visit to DakshinaChitra in Muttukadu because of the distance, you are truly missing out on a cultural experience unlike any other. And we’ll tell you why.
What Makes It Awesome
Almost twenty years ago, DakshinaChitra (which means “a picture of the South”) was first opened to the public. The living-history museum (better known as an open-air museum), outside of the city limits, was founded by the Madras Craft Foundation. DakishinaChitra purchased traditional homes from different parts of South India and relocated them to the land where the museum is now established.
These homes then became a part of the experience, where visitors get to see the traditional lifestyle of those communities as they walk through each home. For example, they have a Syrian Christian home which still has the furniture and kitchen utensils used by the community, so you get a feel of the culture by walking through the house. Madras Craft Foundation (MCF) was set up in 1984 by Dr. Deborah Thiagarajan as a means to promote and support the work done by artisans and folk artists in villages around South India. And through MCF and the setting up of DakshinaChitra, these artisans have not only been able to showcase their work, but also teach and participate in workshops.
Filled with so much history, culture and heritage, it’s obvious that DakshinaChitra wants to do more than just be a museum. They host workshops, art exhibitions, and all kinds of events that relate to promoting the culture of the South, some activities for children too. Arts and crafts workshops, textile workshops as well as guided tours through the museum are just a few of the things DakshinaChitra offers. They have 18 relocated homes set up in the museum to tour through.While they do have a craft shop where visitors can purchase everything from jewellery to toys and décor, DakshinaChitra also works with NGOs to organise craft bazaars, where products made by craftspeople in villages around the South are displayed and sold. What’s even better is that visitors get to interact with the craftspeople themselves when they stop by their stall, to get a better understanding of what they’re selling.
Every month, DakshinaChitra has different events and workshops that are open to the public. DakshinaChitra is open every day, except Tuesdays, from 10 am to 6 pm. To enter and explore the museum, the fee is INR 100 (for Indian residents) and INR 250 (for International visitors).