2020 was a tough year for all of us. However, with the new hopes this year, it is time to give yourself a break from all the perplexities. We have thus curated a list of offbeat destinations for art lovers to help you beat the blues while ensuring you are safe!
People with art in their hearts look for beauty in every nook and corner of a place. Travelling to places with reflections of history and connection to our roots is nothing less than therapeutic. It gives a chance to understand the past and appreciate the subtle beauty of art.
India is home to various forms of art. Almost every state has its speciality that will instantly connect you to the culture of the people living there. A break from the daily mundane lives is all it takes to witness how traditions are passed on through generations.
As we reboot our travel plans this year, it becomes our responsibility to support the local artisans and their work. We have found you places to satiate your wanderlust while being and feeling at home.
Travel back in time – Khurja
Khurja is situated in Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh. Also Known as the ‘Ceramic Town’, it is said to be one of India’s oldest centres for glazed pottery in India. There are several origin stories of the legendary potters that connect them to the Mughal Empire. Potters here are often called Multani Kumhars.[Also read: Famous arts and handicrafts from Uttar Pradesh]
Derived from the Urdu word, Kharija, Khurja means ‘condemned’ or ‘cancelled’. Long before the pottery industry flourished, Khurja was considered a wasteland where agriculture was considered impossible.
Today, the streets of Khurja will immediately take you back in time. You will find old houses on either side – some as old as 100 years! Visit some of these old buildings while you are here. Lala Mewaram ka Kamra, Seth Gangaram Bhawan, Diwan Ji Ka Mandir are some of the oldest attractions.
A Potter’s Paradise – Pachdhar
Witness the making of Matkis, Kulhars, Gamla, Gullak, Diyaas right from the soil at Pachdhar. An 80km drive from Nagpur, Pachdhar is the land of traditional potters. The drive is as scenic as it can get. You can watch the thick canopy of deciduous teak and paddy fields on either side of the road.
Get to know about the lives of traditional potters and their ways of making pottery. You will get to see the traditional kilns and other methods that are used to date. While you would be amazed by the talents of the artists of Pachdhar, you can also immerse yourself into the wildlife by visiting the famous Pench National Park nearby.
Udaipur’s best-kept secret – Shilpgram
Just 3kms from the city of lakes, Udaipur, Shilpgram is a rural arts and crafts complex. Witness the traditional huts and handicrafts while being surrounded by the Aravalli mountains.
Bring out the art enthusiast in you by attending the programs and workshops conducted here. An annual Shilpgram Mela or fair is conducted between 20th to 31st December. You can attend cultural programs, food stalls and traditional art pieces from various parts of the country during the festival.
The land of art – Raghurajpur
Just 14km from the land of the famous Jagannath Temple, Puri in Odissa, you will find a heritage crafts village with art forms that date back to 5 BC. Raghurajpur is widely known for the famous Pattachitra painters.
Raghurajpur is also known for being the only place where “Patas” or traditional decoration for Lord Jagannath is made. There is an annual Basant Utsav or Spring Festival held between the months of February and March that attracts a lot of tourists. Other popular art pieces that you will find here include palm leaves and wood engravings, Tussar paintings, eco-friendly masks made of paper and cow dung.
Immerse yourself in art at Raghurajpur and relax while enjoying the ocean waves touching your feet in Puri.
Heritage Village in the Hills – Pragpur
Situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Pragpur was founded in the 16th century. Pragpur is known for its unchanged beauty. Cobblestone streets, old shops, water tanks from the past, havelis and slate-roofed houses, Pragpur was named the first heritage village of the country.
Visit the markets of Garli, Dhalihara and take a spiritual visit to famous temples like Sidh Chaano Temple, Chhinmastika Dham and Jwalaji Mata Temple.
What is a better escape than art? Make sure to include these offbeat destinations for art lovers when planning your next trip. Know more such places? Let us know in the comments!