DakshinaChitra – Cultural Living Museum of Art, Architecture and Lifestyles

DakshinaChitra is an exciting cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India.

You can explore 17 heritage houses, amble along recreated streetscapes, explore contextual exhibitions, interact with typical village artisans and witness folk performances set in an authentic ambience.

DakshinaChitra literally means – “a picture of the south”.

Heritage Education

One of the primary objectives of DakshinaChitra is to to increase the awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of South India through educational programs .

Both urban and rural children are encouraged to visit DakshinaChitra and are exposed to a series of carefully planned activities drawn from the culture, crafts and arts of South India. We strive to stimulate creativity and self confidence among the youngsters by learning through the arts.

The Education Team at DakshinaChitra works with a variety of resource persons to meet these objectives


Research at DakshinaChitra centers on photographic and video Documentation of performers, artisans, craft processes, festivals and architecture.

To complement and aid research oriented programmes DakshinaChitra has set up an Archives and Library focused on the arts of South India. The center also has a special archiving section with catalogued photographs, CD’s, videos and editing facilities.

Our Museum Collection contains primarily the artefacts and textiles of everyday life of South India.

Once every two years DakshinaChitra holds an International Seminar and Workshop. The issues discussed and proceedings of the seminar are released as Seminar Publications.

Special Architecture Workshops are conducted at DakshinaChitra. The objective is to create a better awareness and understanding of traditional vernacular architecture , their materials, techniques and conservation. The target audience for these workshops are young architects and architecture students.

Folk Performing Arts Revival

Folk Performing Arts of South India is a tradition that has been severely challenged by television, cinema, westernization, and changing lifestyles. Folk performances that were extremely popular and regular in village festivals of South India are now facing oblivion. Folk performers are turning to other occupations for their livelihood.

DakshinaChitra hosts regular folk performances and involves the performers in interactive programs and workshops. We help them to come in contact with a larger market.

We also encourage students and children to learn folk dances and folk performances during Summer Camps and Children’s Festivals.

DakshinaChitra in collaboration with Kalakshetra offer a 2 years Master’s program in Arts Management

Art Gallery

Madras Craft Foundation opened the DakshinaChitra Art Gallery in January 2005, with the objective of bringing contemporary art through exhibitions to the public. With the opening of the Art Gallery Madras Craft Foundation has taken one more step on its journey to bridge the past with the future and its goal to promote and encourage contemporary art and design.

The prominent location of the Gallery between the reception center and the restaurant gives it high visibility to our approximately 80,000 annual visitors. (2005 visitor ship figure)

DakshinaChitra is located on the East Coast Road at Muttukadu – 21 kms South of Chennai.

Be sure to inform them that you found this information on Chennai Focus.


East Coast Road, Muttukadu, Chinglepet District – 600 118.

Phone   044 27472603 / 044 27472783

Madras Craft Foundation             044 24462435 / 044 24918943

Time Factor:       45 minutes from the city to reach DakshinaChitra

A complete tour of DakshinaChitra takes a minimum of 1 hour

Bus Numbers:     19, PP19, PP49.

Any call taxi or private taxi can be hired

Landmark            next to MGM Dizee World

Posted on November 15, 2011, in Attractions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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