Roaming around Chennai is kinda my fav. hobby of late. That too with my bike, nothing better than that!!! And anyone in Chennai, esp. guys, would definitely accept that, a drive in ECR in bike, is the best riding experience - with the scenic beach & sea on one side and the salty sea breeze hitting the face, with very less traffic, - Awesome. Just Awesome!!!
While driving in ECR, I spotted this place called Cholamandal Artists Village and suddenly I got reminded of some sweet memories. I had already been there with my college friends during the 1st yr, 1st week as a part of the orientation programme. Suddenly, I realized I has never been to this place, with due respect to the place!!! So soon again, I drove to Cholamandal Artists Village. This was a couple of daya before my exam and my mom was like 'You really wanna go???'. But I had made up my mind and there was no re-consideration.
Once I turned into the road that leads to Cholamandal, the scene was totally different. It was beautiful. Essentially Cholamandal Village, as the name suggests, is an artists community of about 30 artists who live together, started in 1965 under the guidance of K.C.S.Panikker. They have individual small homes or cottages which functions as their homes & studio combined.
I was asked to park my vehicle outside. As soon as I went inside, I got to the reception desk, and with almost a 'lost' reaction, I enquired the reception, that I wanted to see the gallery. The entry ticket was for 20 bucks. There are a couple of studios named Labernum & Indigo, which serve as a gallery which exhibits their works once in a while. Also there is a museum sort of permanent modern art gallery, called the K.C.S.Paniker Museum of Madras Movement, which houses some of the gorgeous art works of some of the splended modern artists who lived here including K.C.S.Panikkar, Thotta Tharani, Adhimoolam etc. The artists here are independent artists - painters or sculptors.
The lady at the reception gave me this printout that had the prices of the artworks that was nothing less than 50K bucks. No, I am not for it!!! But well, I am an admirer and I took my own time to stand in front of each work and admire them.
Good news, there is something that people like me can also afford. Some jewellery pieces and home decor pieces by these artists are available at a few hundred bucks. I got myself a pendant at 250 bucks - I'll show that to you soon in Fashion Panache!!!
I loved this sculpture of Owl, by Vijayavelu, made of Granite.
Some more sculptures there...
Isn't that lovely. Need more. Yeah, there's a cafe in there as well!!! More of a Garden Restaurant than a Cafe called Shiraz.
TO GET THERE:
Located in East Coast Road Chennai.
From Thiruvanmiyur: 7.5 km
From Medavakkam via ECR Link Road: 10 km
From Mahabalipuram: 35km
Two guest houses of 400 sq. feet are available inhouse for rent.
The galleries Indigo & Labernum are available for rent as well.
Artists can apply for studio cum residence facilities for a period of 11 months.
Cholamandal Artists' Village
Injambakkam, Chennai - 600041
Ph: +91 44 2449 0092 / 4053