On October 2nd, 2022, I had planned a solo bike trip to Janapada Loka at Ramanagara. I began my journey by taking Hosur Road from my place and reached Electronic City. Then traveling via the NICE ring road and Mysore Road, before continuing onto the Bangalore-Mysore Highway. This was my first time traveling this highway, and I found it to be one of the best, with no deserted stretches in sight. Along the way, I passed many good family restaurants and had my delicious breakfast from a street food stall at 8.00 AM. I reached Janapada Loka before 09 AM, immediately took a ticket and entered Janapada Loka, which opens at 9 AM.
Introduction to Janapada Loka
Have you ever wanted to explore south Indian culture and discover its hidden treasures? Located in Karnataka, 53 km from Bangalore. Janapada Loka is a museum dedicated to preserving the rural culture and heritage of south India. It is a great way to immerse yourself in the folkloric and traditional customs that have existed for centuries. From folk dances to traditional crafts and artwork, Janapada Loka is a hub for cultural knowledge and appreciation. It is an excellent destination for an educational day trip for children, particularly following the release of the movie ‘Kantara‘. In this blog, we will take a journey through Janapada Loka, exploring the history, folklore, traditional dances, crafts, and vibrant place.
About Janapada Loka
Janapada Loka, meaning Folk cosmos or Folk-culture World or Folklore. It is approx 15-acre folk art museum that displays vibrant folk art from the various regions of Karnataka. Janapada Loka was founded by H. L. Nage Gowda. Work on this project began in 1986 and was completed in 1994. This museum provides an excellent platform for rural artisans, musicians and craftspeople to showcase and market their creative works.
It is a fascinating place for anyone interested in history and culture. It serves as a living museum that provides visitors with an insight into the roots of traditional south Indian culture. Janapada Loka is a repository of cultural and historic artifacts from the ancient Janapada period, which date back to at least the 5th century BC. As one of the most important archaeological sites in India, it provides a remarkable glimpse into history.
Janapada Diploma and Certificate courses
Bangalore University has officially recognized Janapada Loka as a research center for the study of folk arts. As a result, Janapada Loka will now offer Janapada Diploma and Certificate courses for students interested in furthering their understanding of this field.
About the Museum
Janapada Loka, as the name implies, boasts an impressive collection of over 5K artifacts related to Karnataka folk art. The museum has been divided into distinct wings, including Lokamatha Mandir, Loka Mahal, Chitra Kuteera, Doddamane, Shilamala and Arghyamala. Upon arrival, I first visited the Folk art museum (Lokamatha Mandir). Inside, I found a huge array of items that our ancestors used in household activities. As I come from a small village, many of these items Ire familiar to us from our childhoods and the memories that came with them Ire especially pleasant. The experience was enriched even further by a tour guide who took the time to explain the significance of each item and how it was used in the past.
It is a place for visitors to explore the unique and traditional lifestyles of different tribes and communities of Karnataka. It provides an opportunity to explore the cultural richness of the Karnataka region and learn about the diverse folklore and handicrafts of the people. Visitors to the museum can gain insights into the traditional and rural life of the Janapada people and experience the cultural heritage of Karnataka.
The Janapada people are traditional agriculturists, living in small villages and practicing the ancient practices related to the art of farming and other occupations related to food production, such as basket weaving and pottery, etc. Visitors to the museum can explore the traditional way of life of the Janapada people by visiting the ‘Janapada Grama’, an open-air lifestyle museum that gives visitors a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the Janapada people.
The traditional dance culture of the Janapada people is also very popular in Janapada Loka, with performances of folk dances, such as the Dandiya, Jambak and Jodhi. Visitors can also explore the different forms of art in the Janapada, such as traditional paintings, sculptures, carvings and other decorative art objects. Janapada Loka is a must-visit destination for those who want to experience the unique culture and heritage of the Janapada people in Karnataka.
Pottery is an important part of the cultural heritage of Janapada Loka. This stunning open-air museum not only showcases traditional pottery-making but also demonstrates its relevance and importance to the local people. The museum features a variety of clay pots, vases, and other pottery forms, each of which has its own unique story to tell.
The clay pots at Janapada Loka are made using a traditional hand-modeling method. As visitors explore the museum, they can observe the traditional potters at work to get a firsthand understanding of the process. The clay is molded and shaped by hand, before being placed in an oven and fired so that it becomes ready for use. Visitors can also take a closer look at the patterns and designs that are used in the pottery, with many mixing motifs from nature into their creations.
It is located adjacent to the Open Air Theatre, provides guests with a cinematic experience featuring videos and documentaries on folk art. Guests can enjoy a big screen and comfortable seating while taking in the sights and sounds of this unique form of art.
Next, I had the pleasure of visiting Chitra Kuteera, a remarkable collection of photographs depicting the traditional dance forms, art and culture of many parts of Karnataka. These impressive images were captured while the founder, HL Nagegowda, was conducting his research on these folk forms. In addition to the photographs, there were also copies of books authored by him, photographs depicting his interactions with the tribal people and awards he has received. Overall, the collection provided an encompassing view of the art forms of Karnataka.
The Loka Mahal is a two-story museum that showcases the culture and history of Dakshina Kannada (South Canara) and Udupi through dynamic displays of Yakshagana artists, Coorgi couples, ancient weaponry, utensils, local musical instruments, and masks. This museum offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the past, as well as a comprehensive overview of the region’s noteworthy artifacts.
The traditional dances of Janapada Loka are immensely popular and are unique to the region. The different types of dances include Bhootha Aradhane, Nandi Koothu, Valaga Naacho, and Bhavageethe. Bhootha Aradhane is a folk dance that is dedicated to local deities, where dancers dressed up as deities perform a frenetic dance to the beat of traditional drums and chants. Nandi Koothu is a popular dance-drama style, which involves dancers enacting stories from Hindu mythology. Valaga Naacho is an energetic dance form that is usually performed in festivals and other events, and involves dancers performing rhythmic movements with sticks. Bhavageethe is a style of light singing accompanied by musical instruments such as flutes and drums.
Types of Crafts and Artwork
Janapada Loka is a treasure trove of ancient and traditional crafts and artworks that showcases the history and culture of the region. The museum contains a range of varied crafts, sculptures and other artwork made by craftsmen of the past and present.
One of the most prominent crafts at Janapada Loka is woodworking and carving. A variety of intricately designed and finely detailed wooden sculptures, carvings and statues can be found in the museum, including figures of gods and goddesses, animals, and other forms. These sculptures are made from local woods like sandalwood and neem.
Other crafts found at Janapada Loka are pottery and terracotta art. Pottery was introduced in the region thousands of years ago, and a wide range of artifacts, such as vessels, figurines, decorations and jewellery, can be found in the museum. These pieces are still made using traditional methods and depict the craftsmanship of the artisans of the past.
Janapada Loka is a fascinating museum that showcases the rich tradition and culture of the region. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the various crafts and artworks of the past and present. From woodworking to painting, the museum offers a unique experience for visitors to appreciate and admire the craftsmanship of the artisans of the past.
Janapada Loka proudly displays the diverse lifestyles of Karnataka. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I was unable to explore all the attractions. However, I did notice the impressive Alasur chariot, which had previously been part of the Someshwara temple in Bangalore. The chariot incurred damage from a fire accident at the temple and consequently became inauspicious. Subsequently, it was brought to Janapada Loka in its entirety and displayed as a testament to the architectural prowess of the region. The chariot features intricate carvings on every inch of its surface. In addition, there is a sculpture yard nearby, where ancient stone sculptures are on display.
It is an incredible artificial lake, featuring sand beaches and lined with casuarina plants at the corners. It offers a stunning backdrop for those wishing to capture special photos. Pedal boats are currently available; the impressive scenery of this lake remains a sight not to be missed.
While the end of the tour besides the exit place of the museum, visitors can find a few small handicraft shops where wooden toys are sold. Visitors can purchase souvenirs and take them home with them as a reminder of their visit. The souvenirs can range from handicrafts to wooden toys and keychains. There is something for everyone, no matter their age or interests. The souvenir shop is also a great place to find unique gifts for friends and family back home. Not only will they appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gift, but they will also be able to remember the trip and the memories made by it. Plus, the prices are reasonable and the variety is impressive, so you are sure to find something for everyone in your life. So the next time you visit, be sure to stop by the souvenir shop and find the perfect item!
Every year, the authorities of this place organize captivating cultural events related to folk culture and celebrate several culturally-rich festivals like Lokotsava, Dassera and Kite Festival. What brings even more value to this place are the knowledgeable guides who explain the artifacts with such enthusiasm and passion. It is highly admirable how they are so deeply committed to their profession and to Janapada Loka, which is a true treasure for Karnataka. It is no wonder that this place has been so successful in its development and growth, as it is a testament to the hard work of every individual involved.
Ticket and Timing
From Monday to Sunday (except Tuesdays) from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, adults can access the museum for an entry fee of INR 50/-, and children (over 5 years of age) for INR 25/-.
For a nominal fee of Rs.5,500/-, pre and post-wedding photoshoots are available. The fee includes Rs.5,000/- for the day and an additional Rs.500/- for camera charges. I would not recommend carrying a DSLR for normal personal photography if you are commuting via bike or public transport, as it is typically not allowed. An iPhone costing around 150000 rupees could be used for photography and videography, whereas a DSLR costing around 4000 rupees would not be allowed.
Point to be noted
Visitors to the Janapada Loka will not find any specific parking inside the premises. They are however, able to park their vehicles on either side of the entrance. This will allow them to have easy access to the premises without worrying about finding a spot. The parking slots are clearly marked so that visitors can find their way around the place easily. Additionally, the area is well-lit and guarded by security personnel, so they can be sure of their peace of mind while visiting the premises. Parking is also free and no payment needs to be made in order to use the space.
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