Designed by the Indian architect Charles Correa, this charming museum near the Purana Qila houses thousands of artifacts and handicrafts. You're greeted outside by playful terra-cotta sculptures from Tamil Nadu. Inside, the annotations are sketchy, but the collection is fascinating. Items in the Folk and Tribal Art Gallery, including some charming toys, illustrate village life throughout India. In one courtyard you'll see a giant wooden temple car (cart), built to carry
deities in festive processions; one of the adjacent buildings contains a lavishly decorated Gujarati haveli. The Courtly Crafts section suggests the luxurious lives of India's former royalty, and the entire upper floor is a spectacular showcase of saris and textiles. In the village complex out back, craftspeople demonstrate their skills and sell their creations in replicas of village homes. The museum shop is one of the best in Delhi, with high-quality art books and crafts. The in-house restaurant, Café Lota, serves regional highlights from all over the country.
Nov 30, 2009
This is a charming and restful visit in busy Delhi, but do be aware that during the rainy monsoon season the crafts village may not be open due to slippery conditions. Still, there is a lot to see in the museum itself and nice options for shopping as well.