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Popularly known as Kalakshetra, this museum is located of Panjabari area of Guwahati of Assam. It is primarily a cultural institution, named after SrimantaSankardeva, a reformer and playwright of 16th Century, who endeavoured to create a casteless society.
This culturalmuseum also maintains a library and facilities to preserve, demonstrate and perform cultural messages. It also maintains a Children’s park. Started its mission of 1990s, it exhibits the artistic excellence of Assam and that of the rest of the north-eastern region.
SankardevKalakshetra is a much sought after tourist spot and therefore the premises houses eateries, places of worship, emporiums etc ,apart from open air theatres for the performers to take advantage of.
Sankardeva advocated the philosophy of Mahapurushiya Dharma, which was Vaishnavism and he took all efforts to establish a casteless society. He toured a lot, wrote a number of books and after leading a most eventful life dedicated to enlightening the humanity, the Mahapurusha diedin1568 at the remarkable age of 120 years.
This cultural institution is spread of a sprawling 40-acre campus, SankardevKalakshetra was conceived way back of 1986 and its foundation was laid on 2nd February, 1988. The beautiful design ofSankardevKalakshetra was done by National Informatics Centre Services Incorporative.
On 9th November 1998, the then President, KR Narayanan dedicated the SrimantaSankardevKalakshetra to the nation.
Different Sections of Museum
The Kalakshetra has a number of complexes. Among them the Central Museum has with it the articles of various Assamese ethnic groups are exhibited. There is an open-air theatre which can hold 2000 people at a time, with scope to host cultural programs such as Traditional drama and dance performances of it. There is a Village of the Artists of Assam representing that atmosphere. The Kalashetra has oneSahityaBhavan which is a library having huge collection of rare literature and manuscripts pertaining to the region.
Besides this, there is a section art complex calledLalit-Kala Bhavan, where workshops and exhibitions on art and culture are arranged. A heritage park forms another section of the expansive complex of the ShankardevKalakshetra. Another attraction of the complex is the BhupenHazarika museum.
The Kalakshetra society has of its mission to capture and convey thegreat legend MahapurshaSankardeva’s spirit, which preached the message of unity of diversity and the universal brotherhood of humanity.
The Kalakshetrahas a number of features which a visitor will get excited on the visit, which are
- Thebuildings and structures constructed along the ethnic Assamese designs, which are good features that exhibit the culture of Assam.
- A model of theSivasagar District Amphitheatre Rang Gharis exhibited of the entrance verandato the main Central Museum.
- The section Central Museum presents few of the traditional items, which are the artefacts of Assam culture.
- An open air Theatre having panoramic view of the Khasi Hills of the background, hosting cultural events accommodating 2000 audience is another feature for the visitor to see.
- The Artistic village is the main attraction inKalakshetra, which presents the village life of Assam of realistic form with life size statues and replica of thatched huts.
- The SahityaBhawan is a wonderful collection of Assamese literature and books, providing a good resource material for any research scholar.
- The section of Lalit Kala Bhawan exhibits arts and sculptures of universal standards.
- There is a Heritage park is another beautiful space to walk through, while the Kalakshetra providesbeautiful murals spread over the surrounding walls.
How to Reach
Guwahati’sLokopriyaGopinathBordoloi International Airport at Borjhar, about 20 km west of the center of the city is serviced with direct flights from all metro cities and major cities like Bangalore, Ahmedabad etc.
Guwahati has good connectivity by express trains from metro cities and major cities like Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Trivandrum, Ranchi, Patna, Puri, Jammu etc.
Being connected with National Highway 31 Guwahati can be reached by road from the states Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal very comfortably.
A cable car facility is available inside the park for the tourists to commute from one spot to the other, while traveling one can have a nice view of the hills of Shillong plateau too.