Shilpgram Art and Craft Fair Date 2015
December 21 to 30
The arts and crafts culture in India is quite vibrant, massive, intricate and versatile. Each part of India has a rich heritage with respect to tradition, cultural practices, exclusive cuisines, art and crafts! There are quite a few cities in India that carry the essence of arts, crafts, music and cultural practices for generations.
Arts and Crafts Fair – The Colorful Face of Indian Carnivals
Arts and crafts fairs are celebrated lavishly across different parts of India. The core concept of the arts and craft festivals is to depict the pride of Indian arts, honor the artisans and spread the knowledge about the arts and crafts of the region and of India as a whole. Beyond the religious and spiritual festivals, arts and crafts fairs share a fair place among the Indian festivals and celebrations. One of those lavish cultural carnivals is Shilpgram Art and Craft Fair, celebrated at the Shilpgram Village, Udaipur in the mesmerizing Rajasthan.
Shilpgram is the Platform of Arts and Crafts
When you think about Udaipur, most of you just imagine the luxurious palace surrounded by mesmeric lake offering you some breathtaking views. Known for the opulence, importance in history, scenic spots and a cultural outlook, Udaipur is a very popular tourist destination in Rajasthan. While Udaipur is one of the special attractions of Rajasthan, Shilpgram village and the cultural arts and crafts fair of Shilpgram is one of the not-to-miss attractions, rather something to be relished at Udaipur.
The well-known handicrafts of Udaipur have their base set in Shilpgram. Shilpgram is the major platform where the handloom products, marble crafts, paintings, silver articles, terracotta products and other handicrafts are developed.
Shilpgram – The Rural Arts and Crafts Village
There are many villages and small towns in India specialized in exclusive arts and handicrafts. Shilpgram is one of the villages, located at a distance of 3 kilometers away from the beautiful Udaipur city. Although it is called a craft village, it is more of an arts and crafts complex. The complex is spread across 70 acres of land, which is surrounded blissfully by the picturesque Aravali mountains.
Having a better insight about this crafts village can help understanding the arts and crafts fiesta celebrated at Shilpgram.
The cultural complex is considered as a live ethnographic museum. Ethnography refers to study of the people and their associated culture. The museum displays and creates an insight about the life of the tribal groups, lifestyle, ancient practices, and traditions of the people belonging to the region. Since handicrafts form a major part of life in many villages, Shilpgram depicts the life of the people nestled with the intriguing crafts work.
Lately, both at national and international levels, artisans and craftsmen are encouraged to exhibit their talent and skill to a whole new level. In order to showcase the arts and crafts work as well as to extend the opportunities to the budding artisans, Shilpgram serves as a base. Shlipgram crafts complex provide opportunities to innumerable artists and let them communicate, interact, share, learn and gain knowledge about various arts and crafts through different workshops and camps.
Although many craft bazaars and exhibitions are organized in Shlipgram and across many parts of the country, Shilpgram arts and crafts fair at Udaipur is very special. It is organized as a 10 day long fair at the end of every year, particularly in the last few days of December.
Shilpgram Art and Craft Fair
This year, the festival begins with a bang on 21st December and ends on 30th December, on the eve of new year eve!
The Fiesta of the West Zone
Shilpgram is located to the west of Udaipur City. So, the fair is very popular and important in the Western Part of India. The Federal States of India from the West takes part in the fair as the members of the arts and crafts festival. The members from each state represent and feature the various ethnic groups of respective region and geographic location. In the Shilpgram complex, huts are constructed to depict the ancient architecture features of the ethnic groups of the member states.
In addition to the basic huts representing each state, the state constructs different huts to showcase the jobs, lifestyle, habits, traditions, art work, etc.
Huts at Shilpgram from Various Indian States
There are beautiful huts built inside the Shilpgram at Udaipur. Each hut showcases the basic elements, occupations, special arts, crafts work, etc. of the respective group from a state. Tribal farmers are covered by almost all states. However, the lifestyle, crops cultivated, elements used, etc. vary extensively. Potter’s huts from other states are also built here. You can see the diversity that lies in the craft of each state. This diversity among the united artisans forms the core of this fair.
Rajasthan – 5 Huts
- 2 huts depict the lifestyle of the people in the desert region of Rajasthan
- 1 potter’s hut showcases the life of the people in Mewar, the west of Rajasthan
- 2 huts showcase the life of the tribal communities in the Southern Rajasthan
Gujarat – 7 Huts
- 2 huts represent the intricate weaving, bead and mirror work, embroidery, woodwork, etc. belonging to various communities in Gujarat
- A potter’s hut represent the life of people in North Gujarat
- A weaver’s hut depicts the life of people in Western Gujarat
- 2 huts showcase the life of the tribal farmer communities belonging to South Gujarat
- The last hut includes a beautifully carved wooden house replicating a small town, Pethapur in Gujarat.
Maharashtra – 5 huts
- One hut represents the seashore hamlet inspired from the Konkan coast of Maharashtra
- One hut depicts the world famous Kolhapur slippers
- One hut showcases the wall paintings representing Thane
- Two huts represent the tribal farmer communities
Goa – 5 Huts
- A potter’s hut
- 2 huts representing Hinduism and Christianity
- One hut represents the tribal farmers
- One hut represent the traditional life of fishermen
This fair helps sharing and learning the heritage of the crafts to various parts of the country and the world.
Shilpgram – A business platform for the artisans
When it comes to any arts and crafts fair, it is like a big opportunity for artisans. Since many artisans couldn’t find a right platform to showcase their talent, Shilpgram seems to be the right platform that promotes these artisans. Shilpgram Art and Craft Fair promotes the rural and urban artists, which includes but is not limited to potters, weavers, designers (traditional as well as fusion) visual artists, ceramic artists, etc. Traditional as well as fusion and modern artisans not only put up their crafts at exhibition but for sale to the visitors as well.
The wonder of the museums
Shilpgram village also has two museums that showcase daily objects used in life by people of the region. The specialty is, the museums display the life of tribes and rural population.
The art and crafts mela is incomplete without a ‘SALE!’ Since creating business opportunities to the artisans from rural parts is one of the objectives of the Shilpgram Art and Craft Fair, crafts bazaar is set in the form of a traditional haat (market), where the local artisans sell their crafts work.
This is a part of the Shilpgram Art and Craft Fair. A special program is arranged to showcase the skills of the artisans. The expert and skilled budding artists from the interiors and villages of the member states of the fair are drawn to the fair. The artisans demonstrate their skills by creating an artwork before the visitors. While you simply stroll across the crafts bazaar, this program helps you learn about how the crafts are given shape.
Shilpgram Utsav and an open air Amphitheatre
The open air amphitheatre in Shilpgram complex is very famous as many theatre festivals are conducted here . The theatre also becomes a part of this arts and crafts fair in Shilpgram. Folk artists, dancers, and musicians perform various programs for the visitors. Traditional dancers from various states, namely Rajasthan, Gujarat, Manipur, Goa, Punjab, Assam, etc. perform the native dances of their respective states.
The auditorium is a big one that can occupy about 8000 individuals. Yet, it remains jam packed even during the freezing nights of December when the cultural dances are performed!
Food Fair is also a part of Shilpgram Art and Crafts Fair
A cultural art and craft fair in India is incomplete without lavish delicacies. After all, cooking is also a form of art! Similar to the various handicrafts showcased in various stalls, you can dive into innumerable luscious foods at the Fair. There are many authentic traditional recipes displayed at the fair. Don’t miss it! You can even learn to cook a few authentic and native dishes.
Shilpgram Art and Craft Fair – Importance in India
Rajasthan is a dry place with almost no opportunities for agriculture. Tourism and handicrafts are the major sources of the income here. While the ways for money-making are limited, Rajasthan is flooded with some rustic arts and crafts throughout the state, especially in interiors. In order to create a platform for the skilled artisans and develop them on a global level (which also includes extending an opportunity to enhance their income) the fair was conceived and takes place regularly every year.
Don’t underestimate the power of this fair! Lately, Government of India has recognized Shilpgram Art and Craft Fair as one of the important art and craft carnival of India. Many international tourists are flying down to Udaipur to take part in the fair and buy exquisite handicrafts there.
Winter is the best season to visit Udaipur. In addition, the festive month of December ensures a lot of holidays due to Christmas and new year celebrations. Considering these facts, the fair is arranged during this time of the year.
As mentioned earlier also, the core objective of the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Fair is creating and increasing awareness about the rural life of people, crafts and arts among the younger generation. Group tours are also arranged by many tour service providers to visit and take part in the fair.
So, are you planning to visit the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Fair at Udaipur this year!