So where were we? Yeah, in the religious art gallery of Dakshina Chithra.
From there we further explored the Tamil Nadu houses. In one of these Tamil Nadu houses was the Tholu Bommalatta about which I had written earlier. Just behind it is a person who does marvelous glass blowing job. He makes cute things like little Lord Ganeshas and turtles etc. These could be bought and worn as pendants. On a plain black tee or kurta these would look absolutely divine! Oops. Sorry for this interlude. The Fashionista in me took over me. Now back to the traveler.
And yeah, he also makes some beautiful carts, sculptures of lord in bigger sizes that could be kept in showcases. And just don’t worry about the packaging. He wraps them up in bubble sheet then places the piece of art in cardboard box filled with newspaper scrapes, so you can bring it back home absolutely safe, even if you’re travelling in the footboard of a local bus!
We then spotted this gorgeous wooden chariot there.
From there our next venture was the textile museum. My favourite part was indeed this and why not for a textile design oriented person! Well, the range here was astonishing. A sample or 2 of every other south Indian traditional textile was seen there on display.
Right from woven silks of Kancheejavaram / Kanchipuram, Salem, Arani, to the painted & printed textiles of Machilipatnam, Kalahasthi, etc to the rich Kasavu Mundu to the woven cotton textiles like Narayanpet, Venkatagiri to the special display of the Real Madras Handkerchiefs of the Kalabari community. What not?
The wide range of display had everything complete with a weaver himself at a corner weaving yardages of silk saree. He is Mr.Kesavan who is a traditional Kumbakonam Silk Saree weaver.
Next to this we our final target was the Kerala section. But I was too tired to move any further. But no qualms, inhouse are a couple of restaurants and several kiosks that served the traditional snacks. Here beside Kerala section was a lady serving tender coconuts and steamed groundnuts. 2 tender coconuts and a pack of these boiled groundnuts made me human again to get to my feet and walk.
The Kerala section is divided into majorly 3 sections – typical Kerala Hindu household, the Syrian Christian household and Mapla Muslim household. This is an astonishing fact and a great speciality of Kerala. Though the whole of India has every other religion in it, some places have the strength of a single community and some places like the cosmopolitan metros where the religion does not play a role at all. Kerala is the only state where all the 3 major religions have a strong identity – The Iyyappa Pilgrimage Hindus, The Syrian Christians and the Mapla Muslims. Yet another proud proof of unity in diversity.
These houses also specially gave a clear picture of the Ayurveda that exists in Kerala. This cabinet with so many cute, small draws is for storing the several herbs in the Ayurveda specialist’s home.
Another important feature of Kerala is the Kerala Murals. Remember my Lokanarkavu post where I had mentioned about the Kerala Murals? It has a beautiful uniqueness to it when compared to their neighbours Tamil Nadu Murals found in Thanjavur Brahadeeshwara Temple, though most of the times the stories they depict are same – Mahabharata or Ramayana.
Finally, out of the Kerala House we sat down to try our hand in Palmyra product making. Did I mention anywhere that there are several such small workshops that happen all over Dakshina Chitra everyday. Not exactly workshops, there are small 10-15 mins trainings. This includes T-Shirt Painting, Mehendi, Palmyra product making etc. We tried out hand in making small bowls with handles and hand-held fans and of course the result was not bad!
Then finally we stopped over at a hotel at ECR itself for some junk-food and returned back home with our fans. We needed those badly that we used it to keep ourselves cool in the MTC bus!!!
P.S: Click here to know what I wore while roaming in Dakshina Chitra.
TO REACH THERE:
Dedicated to Vaishu.