Shilparamam Arts and Crafts Village in Hyderabad

Shilparamam Arts and Crafts Village in Hyderabad

Located in the happening and busy IT hub of Hyderabad is an oasis of calm called Shilparamam. Minutes away from the HITEC city metro station is this arts and crafts village that was started sometime in the late 1990s with an aim to create a place where traditional Indian arts and crafts thrived. Set in several acres of land, the village attracts visitors from all over the world. The open-air setup with several stalls, museums, seasonal events and programmes and other recreational facilities allows visitors to experience the beauty of Indian arts and crafts in many forms.

Ganesha Sculpture at Shilparamam

Shopping at Shilparamam

Shilparamam Shopping

Undoubtedly the main reason for people visiting Shilparamam is the shopping scene. There are a multitude of stalls at Shilparamam showcasing handicrafts from different states of India. The handicrafts range from textiles to toys, from jewellery to carpets and from furniture to artwork. Some of the popular items that you can find are:

Terracotta and pottery: Walk into any Indian home and you are sure to find a few pieces of Terracotta items; either pots for plants, sculptures or other decor items like Terracotta bells etc. It is popular all over India and so it is no surprise to see a number of stalls selling Terracotta and other pottery items at Shilparamam. We spoke to one of the stall owners and he mentioned that the pottery in his stall comes from Khurja, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Khurja is also sometimes referred to as 'the Ceramics City' because it has hundreds of small factories producing these ceramic items.

Terracotta and pottery at Shilparamam

Clothing & accessories: A quick stroll through Shilparamam and you will find stalls selling Indian wear from most states of the country. Featuring both contemporary and traditional designs, the garments mainly utilise traditional techniques of printing, dyeing or embroidery. So, you will find beautiful Tanti weaves of West Bengal, Phulkari textile from Punjab, tie & dye (Bandhani) garments like sarees, dupattas, scarves etc. from the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, silk & cotton sarees from the southern states (Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), gorgeous shawls from Nagaland and garments featuring Kutch mirror embroidery to name a few. You will be really spoilt for choice.

Clothing & accessories at Shilparamam

Clothing & accessories at Shilparamam

Jewellery: If you are looking to add more colours and dazzle to your wardrobe, then you mustn't miss the fashion jewellery stalls at Shilparamam. From gorgeous Kundan jewellery to lac bangles and from pearls to wooden bangles and even the latest Bollywood style jewellery, you will find an amazing collection of handcrafted pieces at Shilparamam.

Jewellery stalls at Shilparamam

Bidriware: This beautiful metal handicraft originated in the town of Bidar in Karnataka in the 14th century but Hyderabad soon became one of the other most popular Bidriware centres of the country. Made from an alloy of zinc and copper Bidriware art involves moulding, engraving, smoothening/buffing and silver inlaying among other things. There are a number of stalls selling Bidriware items (flower vases, ornamental boxes, bowls & trays, jewellery etc.) in Shilparamam. These would make lovely souvenirs from Hyderabad; something to remember your visit to the city.

Paintings: India has a long history of art, dating back to the Stone Age times. It has evolved over the years which each state/region assimilating its culture and traditions into their artworks and paintings. Some of the popular forms of paintings from India include: Mysore paintings, Kalighat paintings (from West Bengal), Kalamkari (where the paintings are drawn with a 'kalam' or a thin bamboo reed onto cloth using naturally available dyes), Tanjore glass paintings (decorated with stones and pearls), Nirmal paintings (from Telangana) and Madhubani paintings (from the state of Bihar). There are many more unique and distinctive forms of paintings in India but these are some of the ones that I spotted at Shilparamam.

Stall selling Paintings at Shilparamam

Embroidery and Applique Work: If you are looking to buy embroidered stuff, be it boho handbags, totes or 'potlis', you will find an amazing variety at Shilparamam - from woven jacquard ones to hand-embroidered silk ones with sequins and beads. These colourful bags are sure to add a splash of vibrancy to your everyday outfits. And they make lovely gifts too!

Colourful bags at Shilparamam Arts and Crafts Village

Brass Idols: I love brassware and was very pleased to see a number of stalls selling brass items at Shilparamam. In most Indian homes, these brass idols of deities are used for worshipping or simply as decorative pieces. The idols, mostly include Hindu gods and goddesses and feature intricate and fine detailing.

Brass idols at Shilparamam Arts and Crafts Village

I spoke to the owner of Stall no 435, Raju Soni, who mentioned that they own a factory in Madhya Pradesh where the idols sold at his stall are made. It is a family run business and they have had a stall at Shilparamam from the very beginning.

Shivam Raju Soni in his Brass Idols shop at Shilparamam

Woodcraft: Just as every India state has its own unique style of paintings, they also have their own style of wooden artwork. For e.g., Uttar Pradesh makes use of ebony wood to create beautiful wooden articles like trays and bowls while Rajasthan is famous for its latticed wood figurines created from sandalwood and rosewood. Kashmir, which is known for its walnut wood, is famous for its wooden furniture and other utilitarian items.

Woodcraft at Shilparamam

Woodcraft at Shilparamam

Woodcraft at Shilparamam

Among the southern states of India, Tamil Nadu is popular for wooden shrines for deities as well as wooden panels depicting scenes from mythology while the Andhra Pradesh/Telangana are known for their traditional dolls and toys.

Other stalls: In addition to the stalls mentioned above, you will also find the following at Shilparamam - metal embossing, sandalwood carving, lac work, jute and bamboo crafts, rosewood inlay, bronze casting and much more.

Woodcraft at Shilparamam

Woodcraft at Shilparamam

As with anywhere in India, bargaining is a part and parcel of the shopping experience. So, be prepared to negotiate. Visit a few stalls, check out the products and once you have decided which stall you want to purchase from, its time to put on your bargaining hat. Ask questions, and let the seller make a quote or you could state the best price you can offer. Be tactful but also be respectful and both you and the seller can agree on a price that works for both.

Shilparamam is not just about shopping though, there are many other things to see and do as well.

Handicraft Museum: A small but informative museum which displays and provides information about various Indian handicrafts. I liked this. It has some really interesting snippets about various arts and I walked out of the museum a little more knowledgeable than I was when I entered it. For e.g. I learnt that the bronze casting of Karnataka is one of the oldest forms still carried on in the traditional method using the lost wax method and that Kasuti embroidery is done by counting the warp and weft threads (the two basic elements used in weaving that turn the yarn into the finished fabric) and not by a traced design.

It is a small museum and half an hour or so would suffice to explore it.

Handicraft museum at Shilparamam

Leather puppet museum: A small museum that throws light on the dying art form of leather puppetry. You get a chance to learn more about this art form while admiring various styles and characters used in the puppet shows.

Village museum: This seemed to be a major draw for most visitors to Shilparamam. The village museum or the rural museum is a depiction of how a typical Indian village looks like and what goes on there. With life-sized huts featuring life-sized models of villagers and artisans carrying on various tasks, the museum offers a lovely insight into rural life especially that of the artisans.

Village Museum at Shilparamam

Village Museum at Shilparamam

Village Museum at Shilparamam

Rock garden: The natural, rocky landscape of the area has been retained and beautiful gardens have been created around these natural rock formations. The rock gardens are lovely to explore and relax in. There is even a Rock Museum where some unique rock collections/formations are featured.

Rock gardens at Shilparamam

Rock gardens at Shilparamam

Cultural programmes at the Amphitheatre: Regular cultural programmes are held at the amphitheatre including musical shows, folk art performances etc. These are not held daily; mostly over the weekends. So, if you want to watch one while visiting, do check with the venue while planning your visit.

Cultural programmes at the Amphitheatre

Boating: There is a small man-made lake at Shilparamam which offers boating rides - paddle boating and rowing. It was not operational when we visited due to the low amount of water in the lake but I believe it is open otherwise.

Boating lake at Shilparamam

Recreational areas: There are a number of beautifully developed recreational areas where you can sit back and savour some yummy Indian street food (there are a few food stalls on-site) or simply take in and enjoy the atmosphere of the art and craft village.

Recreational areas at Shilparamam

Recreational areas at Shilparamam

Recreational areas at Shilparamam

How to get to Shilparamam

Shilparamam is located close to HITEC City in Madhapur and is well accessible from all parts of the city by car, bus, auto-rickshaw or the metro rail service. The HITEC city metro station (on the blue line) is the nearest Metro station. It is a few minutes walk from the station to Shilparamam. And this is the mode of transport that I would recommend - the Metro is convenient, quick, and cost-effective and offers environmental benefits as well.

Shilparamam | HITEC City Main Road, Madhapur, Telangana, India.

The art and crafts village is open throughout the year (from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm). Entry fees are reasonable (I think it was INR 50 per adult when we visited) but do note that there is an INR 500 charge for taking a professional camera inside. Charges apply for optional activities like the boat ride or the use of the battery-operated cart that is available onsite.

Battery operated cart at Shilparamam

Overall, it is a wonderful place where one can easily spend 4-5 hours if not the entire day.

It is a wonderful initiative by the state tourism board to bring people closer to art and culture while also promoting Shilparamam as a traditional and recreational tourist destination. Do visit it, if you happen to head to Hyderabad.

Shilparamam Exit

Shilparamam Crafts Village

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