Janapada Loka, Srirangapatna, and Melukote – Part 1
We had planned a family trip to Srirangapatna and Melukote with my parents and my brother’s family. Since we were 6 of us, we had to book a Zoom car. We opted for Mahindra Scorpio. It arrived at our home exactly at 6.30 AM and all of us were ready by that time. Thilak took the driver seat and our trip started at 6.45 AM.
We took the Bangalore-Mysore highway. Whenever I travel in this highway, I always feel that this is one of the best highways. There is not even a single stretch where it looks deserted. One after another, you will come across different places. Even for a moment, you do not have to worry about food. There are many good family restaurants en route. One among these good restaurants is Kamat Loka Ruchi in Ramanagara district and we chose to have breakfast at this hotel. By the time, we finished our delicious breakfast, the time was 8.50 AM. The opening hours of Janapada Loka (the building next to Kamat Loka Ruchi) is 9AM. So, immediately we decided to visit Janapada Loka before proceeding towards Srirangapatna.
- Timings – 9 AM to 5.30 PM (closed on Tuesdays), lunch time – 1.30 PM to 2.30 PM
- Entrance fee – 20 Rs/person, 10 Rs for kids, 100 Rs for forigners
- Camera fee – 100 Rs for taking photos inside the campus and 500 Rs for videography
If you have love towards folk culture, you will definitely fall in love with this place. Janapada Loka is a Kannada word which has the meaning “folk-culture world”. This 15 acre of beautiful place is a perfect weekend getaway for those who are interested in folk art. The person behind this place is H L Nagegowda who was an Indian civil servant and who had extraordinary love for traditional culture. This love made him construct this beautiful museum and the museum shows the kind of research he had done on Karnataka folk culture.
As the name suggests, Janapada Loka has amazing collection of more than 5,000 artifacts related to Karnataka folk art. The museum has been divided into separate wings – Lokamatha Mandir, Loka Mahal, Chitra Kuteera, Doddamane, Shilamala, Arghyamala etc. The first wing that we went to was Folk arts museum (Lokamatha Mandir). There are huge collections of items which our ancestors used in their household activities. As we hail from a small village of Udupi, we had seen few of these items in our house during childhood days, whereas my parents had used them before. All these things refreshed our memories and gave us a pleasant experience. What made the experience more beautiful was the guide who explained about each and every item and how they were used in olden days.
Next, we visited Chitra Kuteera which has extraordinary collection of photographs of tribal dance forms, art, and culture of various parts of Karnataka. Most of these photographs were taken when the founder H L Nagegowda was doing research of these folk forms. It also displays H L Nagegowda’s works, copy of books written by him, his photographs interacting with the tribal people, and awards that he has received. The photographs had covered almost all art forms of Karnataka.
The other wing is called Loka Mahal. This is a two storied building and is the biggest of all the wings. This building has beautiful dolls representing the diverse culture and art forms of Karnataka. It has life size dolls of Yakshagana artist, Kodava couples, Dasayya Goravayya, etc. It also has a display of various weapons, the items used in olden days’ wedding rituals, pooja materials, and the materials used in kitchens. The first floor exhibits various folk instruments. The display of leather puppets, string puppets, rod puppets, Badaguthittu and Thenkathittu yakshagana artists, etc showed us the kind of extensive research that had gone behind the construction of this museum.
There are many other sections which proudly showcase the lifestyles of various parts of Karnataka. But, since we were running short of time, we could not visit all the attractions. Next thing that we noticed was the huge chariot placed in open area. Name of this chariot is Alasur chariot which belonged to the popular Someshwara temple in Bangalore. The chariot got damaged due to a fire accident at the temple and became inauspicious. The chariot was then brought to Janapada Loka in full form and kept to show the intellects of architects. The chariot has spell binding minute carvings in every inch. Near this chariot there is a sculpture yard where many ancient stone sculptures are placed.
There is a huge artificial lake also inside the campus, but unfortunately, this lake was completely dried during the time of our visit. There was not even a drop of water. At the end, we visited a small model house called Malnadu Mane which was simply amazing. The house depicted a typical Malnadu home and the artifacts that were used by the Malnadu people in their household activities. After taking few clicks here, we came out of this very special place and started our journey towards Srirangapatna.
Every year, the the authorities of this place organize cultural events related to folk culture and celebrate few festivals (some of them being Lokotsava (Feb-Mar), Dassera (October), Kite festival (July), etc). What adds more value to this place are the guides who explain about the artifacts. They have amazing interest in folk arts and have love towards their profession and towards this museum. The detail explanation that they provide us about each and every artifact is highly appreciable. Janapada Loka is undoubtedly a treasure Karnataka has. Hats off to the effort that every person has put for the construction of this wonderful place.
- Route Travelled: BTM Layout > Mysore Road > Kengeri > Ramanagara > Janapada Loka > Srirangapatna > Melukote
- Total distance (To & Fro): 350 km
- Total expense: 7517 Rs
- Photos: Janapada Loka Photos