Dakshinchitra is an attempt to preserve some of the traditional south Indian ways of life by constructing a "living" village containing some of the various traditional homes of south India.
Situated on the eastern shore, quietly resonating with the gentle thumps of the blue water at its back door, DakshinaChitra epitomises the
South Indian cultural heritage. A breeze away from Mamallapuram, Dakshina Chitra [a vision of the South ] is a time machine taking you back 150 years to give you a portrayal of the art, folk and craft of a bygone era.
Dakshinchitra, which means "picture of the South", was established in 1996 on a 10-acre (40,000 m2) campus at Muttukadu by Madras Craft Foundation (MCF). It was meant to promote art, craft and architecture of ancient Southern Indian states. It is within driving distance from Chennai city, situated along the ECR highway en route to Mamallapuram and Pondicherry.
There are accurate reconstructions of houses & streets from the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Visitors may enter any of 17 historically accurate houses which have been furnished appropriately. Some houses have special showrooms which also exhibit certain artifacts and give details about those times from that region.
In addition to the heritage houses, traditional artisans have been invited to set up demo booths. Visitors are in this way introduced to traditional handicrafts like kalamkari, pottery and even silk weaving. The demonstraters are very friendly and passionate in explaining the intricacies of their art. Also visitors can catch exciting puppet plays, consult palmists and parrot astrologers, try their hand at spinning traditional tops.
For those interested in purchasing souvenirs, Dakshinchitra also has a well-stocked gift-shop and an arts & crafts marketplace. An alfresco restaurant on the premises ensures visitors won't go hungry.
Dhakshin chitra, open to public from December 1996, is a heritage village where the unique lifestyle of Indians is revived based on their states.It has various sections for each state, depicting the most important occupations of the people of that region, the typical houses and life style. there are separate sections for Tamil Nadu, karnataka, andhra pradhesh, kerala. there is also a crft bazaar section where visitors can purchase crafts of various types from artisans and NGO at a fair price.
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