I always believed that we have one life and we should live it every day, with a difference. It's been one and half years since I am in Hyderabad and I had not visited many places in the city because of the hectic shifts in office. But I always wanted to go somewhere to relax and cure my mind from unwanted thoughts. Shilparamam caught my attention last month when my roommate told me the experience of her visit. That’s how the name of Shilparamam was carved in my mind.
The last days of March I was yearning to take a break from the hectic life at work and want to relax and go somewhere on the earth. Being an art lover, my journey ended at Shilparamam. On the eve of March 30th I stepped into Shilparamam with my friend and colleague Prajith Mohanan.
I had no clue about the root of the place, but by God’s grace we get the direct bus of Shilparamam from LB Nagar, and we started our journey towards the cultural village of Hyderabad. Carefully reserving the window seat from Prajith, I made sure to catch the best of this picturesque of the place. A naughty breeze wandered up and trailed along my curls, and the rhythmic motion of the bus soon put me to sleep but suddenly I wake up when Prajith shake me. I rubbed my eyes and my attention gradually drifted to the scenery of traffics, broken buildings whizzing by outside the bus window. Then I tried maximum to put my eyes to good use and absorb rush of the city life.
When I was a PG student I used to read many travel magazines and blogs voraciously. I would read page after page and curiously obsess over faraway places in India and world. Only when I started travelling did I realize the quote ‘it’s better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times’. These are the thoughts that have been circulating in my mind for some time.
Shilparamam in Madhapur, very close to the IT hub of the city, is an arts, crafts and cultural village located in Hyderabad. In the recent times, it has become one of the very popular tourist spots of the Telangana. There is an entry ticket for adults. When I entered through the beautiful terracotta gate after paying tickets, it felt like a whole new world of creativity with vendors from all over India selling indigenous handmade products of their respective states. From Bandhini to Pashmina, paper mache to dokra, bidri to metal art, madhubani to pottery… the flair of handicraft is mind blowing. This crafts village is a tribute to the cultural legacy of India. The primary aim of this establishment is to foster, restore and help flourish the culture of India's glorious past. It provides a common platform for artisans to showcase their talents. Nestling amidst rocks, rippling waterfalls and gorgeous lawns, Shilparamam is a melting pot of traditions and cultures. Shilparamam hosts a multitude of ethnic art, crafts and culture from all over the country.
This is a ''must visit'' place for those who love artistic works of rural artisans of India particularly from Telangana state. They have beautifully created a mini Indian village. You will find more than 100 shops selling art works of various types, made from wood, metals etc and also variety of clothes. You will have to drive a hard bargain as the typical prices quoted are more than what the person will actually sell for. Just at the entrance you will find many street artists sketching portraits, and they will charge you only Rs 200 to 500 for quickly making your sketch. You have the option to pick black and white or color sketch.
This is a place to be visited by tourists, particularly foreigners, who wish to take gifts for their friends, lovers, and relatives in their native country. Some of the artwork pieces are really impressive and will enthral our mind. This place also offers boat ride for recreation and eateries to take snacks. Clay jumkkas, Madhubani paintings, Kalamkari prints, wood crafts, Kashmiri woollen items, Gujarati Katha work sling bags and more… Artists offering to draw portraits, Mehendi artists, eateries including the famous Gokul Chats are some noteworthy attractions here.
It takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete a full visit. We need at least 1 hour to browse through and more if you are keen to buy stuff. Another attraction there are the huts made out of the natural materials like clay, bamboo, and hay. Life size statues are created depicting the different art and culture heritage of Indian villages. It takes the urban population through a glimpse of the rich rural heritage of India. Life sized models and sculptures share an almost real experience to viewers. At the far end, there is a children play area with slides, swings, and monkey-bar. Children were having fun here while the adults took some rest. There are traditional wooden swings here. The experience was thrilling for children as well as adults. The pleasure of walking amidst in the creatures is very beautiful experience. The happiness of the fresh breeze in air embracing us is unparalleled. Another attraction of craft village is Rock Museum. A distinct delineated rock assembly is found here. The rock garden adds an almost mystical and more ecological touch to Shilparamam.
Suppose if you are tired after wandering, you can get some mouthwatering street food in Shilparamam like Kulfi, Chole, Pao Baji, Biryani, Chaat etc. Shilparamam is a unique space that has not only a vast dimensional span, but houses an array of cultural assets that Hyderabad has to offer, and also gives visitors a glance into the more mystical side of Indian Culture.
No doubt that the striking attraction of Shipramam never fails to surprise me. Honestly, Shilparamam is a jewel for art lovers for the place is only about relaxation and calming your mind. After catching all the scenic beauty of craft village I purchased one Rajasthan Sling bag and a Kolhapuri chappal for the remembrance of a wonderful evening. I can assure you that if you are a craft lover Shilparamam won’t ever disappoint you because there’s history and heritage at almost every corner. While returning from there I thought of one famous saying that ‘because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain’………………..