Monday, May 11, 2009

Janapada Loka

Janapada Loka (translates to Folk World), is located on Bangalore-Mysore highway on the outskirts of Ramanagara. It's a 15 acre area containing museum, photo gallery, demo village, lake and open-air amphitheater. The entrance tickets are priced Rs. 10 and the photography permit inside the museum costs Rs. 100. The garden is well maintained with lots of flowering plants and bamboo trees as a result of which there is a healthy fauna presence inside. I was told that every second and last Sundays of all months will have folklore performance and the place is closed on Tuesdays.

It's a good idea to start visiting the area from Lokamatha Mandira, the museum which has got a great collection of various materials used by the villagers in their routine - cradles, measures, ladles, vessels, grinding stones, storage jars, knives and many other tools. This tool called "kavae", made of coir rope for pelting stones to great distances made me nostalgic, I remember when I was a kid my uncle used to make it himself and I used to take it to areca plantations near Thirthahalli to chase the monkeys pelting stones with that. Me being born and brought up in the countryside of Karnataka, I was already aware of most of the tools that were put on display in museum. There were beesaNiges (fan to be used by hand), beesogallu (grinding stones which my granny used to powder the rice and wheat), marada toTTilu (probably I was made to sleep in the wooden cradle when I was a baby), shaavige vottu (an wooden machine used to make vermicilli, I used to love pressing vermicilli in that was fun and the result was delicious), eeLigemaNe (a huge cutting-cum-coconut-shredding tool), pingani jaadi (ceramic jars my granny used to store pickles for ages) and so many other tools which really made me go back in time.

Next to the museum is Chitrakuteera, a circular building with the outer circle having photogallery of various dance forms of Karnataka and the inner one briefs the life of Mr. H.L. Nage Gowda, the founder of Janapada Loka. There are photographs, scriblings and writings, tapes and recorders, books written by him and other sundries that belong to the honourable founder. Loka Mahal, the other museum has life size Yakshagaana, Halakki, Goravayya dolls and various art forms like Ganjeefa art and Togalu gombe (puppet dolls) are on display.

Next to Loka Mahal, there is a pottery village where there is a furnace to bake the pottery works made by local artists. There is also a room full of fisherman's tool, various forms of tools and nets. Shilpamala, has a courtyard full of sculptures and a Ganesha temple in the center. Opposite to which is the Loka sarovara, the artificial lake with boating facilities. On the otherside of the bank is located a nicely built open air theatre. There were few families of playful monkeys, which formed a good subject for my photography. The session ended with JoLada rotti oota in Kamat Loka Ruchi.

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