Dakshinachitra is located 25 km from Chennai on the East Coast Road. It’s open every day except on Tuesdays from 10am to 6pm. A project of the Madras Craft Foundation (MCF), it is a non-profit organization. There is an entry fee of Rs150 for adults and Rs175 for foreigners. There’s also an excellent orientation film that is included and a tour of the centre, which can be organized on request. A shop with hand-picked crafts and textiles from the South, a bazaar where craftspeople from all over the country make their wares and sell them, and a vegetarian restaurant are some of the other attractions in Dakshinachitra. There is some accommodation available for artists, scholars and craftspersons in the guesthouse, though this is spartan.
There are also some interesting events scheduled in the weeks ahead. For Ugadi, the new year in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, there will be a display of crafts along with some Telugu delicacies from March 18-26. To get more information log on to www.dakshinachitra.net
Chennai Sangamam, a major festival of folk forms and arts is being celebrated during the last half of February at Chennai in collaboration with an NGO-Tamil Maiyam and Tamil Nadu Tourism and the Culture Department. Around 400 cultural performances will be held at various outdoor venues, in schools and colleges. With the opening event having been kicked off at the IIT open air stadium on 20 Februrary, under the patronage of chief minister M.K. Karunanidhi, whose daughter, the poet Kanimozhi, was responsible for co-ordinating the spectacular parade of dance, music, poetry and of course flowery speeches underlining the glories of Tamil culture, the festival is already being billed as a great success.