Folk heritage is an important part of Indian culture, and accordingly,
the Karnataka Janapada Parishat established the Janapada Loka which means ‘Folk
World’ to not only conserve diminishing art forms but also to educate and
inspire future generations. The Janapada Loka is located 53 km from the
Bengaluru-Mysore highway in the Ramanagara district and is dedicated to the
promotion, preservation and propagation of the local vibrant folk art as well
The Janapada Loka holds nearly 5,000 folk artefacts that have been
used in the past and are excellently preserved. The artefacts include a variety
of mighty hunting equipment, old-style agriculture tools, traditional household
items, and colourful puppets. The artefacts revolve around the themes of folk
history, literature, festivals, sculptures, music and overall lifestyle. The
artefacts at Janapada Loka can be found in different wings, such as the Folks
Art Museum, Chitra Kuteera, Loka Mahal, Shilamala, Doddamane, and Ayagaramala.
The overall Janapada Loka complex is spread across a massive area of 15 acres,
which includes a bright and sparkling lake, lush greenery and even a small play
park for children. Local eateries are also available that serve regionally
More on Janapada Loka
Folk Arts Museum
The Folk Arts Museum at the Janapada Loka
offers a great opportunity to view the artwork of local artists and artefacts
that can be traced back decades. There are 500-year-old tools and equipment
used for farming, musical instruments and even shadow puppets. In the Janapada
Loka complex, the first museum building is the Lokamatha Mandir that displays
old fashioned household and agricultural tools, giving a glimpse into the
lifestyle of locals from centuries ago. The creativity used to create the
instruments at the time is clearly visible and their techniques have stood the
test of time.
Other artefacts include those used for large-scale cooking, for
example, the flour grinder on display at the entrance of the museum. In the
past, when marriages were celebrated with an invitation to everyone in the
village for dinner, a lot of flour had to be ground to make food for the large
crowd. A huge stone grinder, such as the one on display at the museum, would be
used to grind the flour, pushed by two strong buffaloes that would continuously
circle the grinder to get it churning.
The displayed artefacts also consist of utensils made from mud, clay,
wood and stone, harvesting tools, containers and jars for storing grains and
pickles, tools for worship made of copper and brass, and old handlooms. The
Folk Arts Museum also has on display numerous paintings made from all-natural
colours, including paintings made for marriage decorations in tribal houses, a
practice which is still prevalent among tribes, portraying the work culture of
the local women.
Exploring Janapada Loka Museum
Entrance: The Janapada Loka extends a grand welcome
through its entrance adorned with brass trumpets on pillars that guard the gate
on both sides, with the flags of Nandi the bull, Harige and Nandidwajas, The
gates are further embossed with the likenesses of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu
and lead directly the information centre of the museum, the Lok Mata Mandir.
You might also spot the flock of snowy-white pet swans that stroll around the
area when you enter the Janapada Loka compound.
Loka Mahal: This wing of the Janapada Loka Museum is a
two-storied building displaying many of the large dolls used by artists
performing the Moodalapaya Yakshagana and Garudi fold dances. The Garudi dolls
hold a special significance in the tribal culture as they are carried in ceremonial
dance processions accompanied with drums. The Chau masks, which are a
speciality of eastern India, are also on display in the Loka Mahal.
Chitra Kuteera: This section commemorates the founder of the
Janapada Loka Museum H L Nage Gowda, displaying photographs of his work and
interaction with tribal people and folk tribes. His journey of collecting the
various artefacts displayed at the Janapada Loka Museum is also depicted in the
Chitra Kuteera. Other folk artists of the state are also celebrated here.
Doddamane: When translated, doddamane means a big house,
and this wing is a replica of the giant typical traditional village houses. The
layout consists of a central pillared courtyard and is used as a community
centre by the Janapada Loka to conduct workshops and seminars. Residential
facilities are also available for folk artists that make handicrafts such as
wooden toys and pottery and train people interested in the folk arts. Skills
for creating folk arts such as the Kolata, Dollu Kunitha and Goravara Kunitha are
also provided here for interested candidates.
Shilamala: The word Shilamala or Shilpamala refer to
stone memorials, and ancient stone sculptures traceable to 800 A.D. can be
found in this wing. There is a temple in the Shilamala wing that is dedicated
to Lord Ganesha, and around the temple systematically arranged are sculptures
of Veera-Kallu, Masti-Kallu and images of other gods. These sculptures have
been brought in from all areas of the state and depict exquisite craft, and
skill. Ritualistic forms of art of Madikere, North Canara and parts of Kerala
are also on display in the Shilamala.
Ayagaramala: This wing of the Janapada Loka Museum is
where the different types of tools used by the villagers in their day to day
lives are displayed, ranging from tools for sugarcane crushing, to pottery,
wooden chariots and items for the cottage industry. A small puppet theatre is
also located in the Ayagaramala wing, with a seating capacity of around 50
people. There is a vast outdoor amphitheatre as well, which can easily
accommodate more than 1,000 people.
Festivals Celebrated at Janapada Loka
Apart from the typical attractions, festivals at the Janapada Loka
draw further crowds. Every year, between the months of February and March, the
Lokostava festival is celebrated and in October, Dussera festivities take
place. In July, the Kite Festival is eagerly celebrated along with folk
cultural events. The Lokostava takes place primarily to honour the birth
anniversary of the founder H L Nage Gowda and is a two-day festival attended by
artists and folk artists from across the region.
Janapada Loka Timings and Entry Fee
Janapada Loka is open for visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM on all days
except Tuesdays and national holidays when it is closed. The exhibitions are
typically cleared 15 minutes before closing time.
The entry fee for an adult is INR 40, and for a child is INR 20 only.
There is an additional camera fee of INR 100 applicable if you wish to
take pictures inside the museum.
How to Reach Janapada Loka
The closest railway station to Janapada Loka is Bangalore’s Cantonment
Railway Station at a distance of 52 kilometres, approximately an hour drive.
The Janapada Loka bus stop is located at a distance of only 290 metres from the
complex, barely a 5-minute walk. The Janapada Loka bus station can be reached
by boarding any bus from the Majestic Bus Stand of Bangalore, except the buses
going towards Mysore.
To reach Janapada Loka, you can also hire an auto from Ramnagaram
which is located at a distance of 6 km. The attraction is 53 km from Bangalore
via the Bangalore-Mysore highway and taxis and autos can be hailed quite
easily, for a more economical option of travelling to Janapada Loka.