The city of Delhi can easily be known as the craft capital of India, all because of its sheer power to bring together the diverse forms of handicrafts from all around the country. It is the primary location for research as evident by the array of museums present that are delving into the topic. Additionally, it is also a melting pot of cultures where multiple communities share their heritage by selling intricate handicrafts.
You can tour the city by exploring these unique craft clusters present in different locations. Not only does the experience expose you to an abundance of knowledge but it also provides a chance to interact with artisans on a personal level. So if you are looking to explore the city and also invest in some artistic handicrafts, here are a few places to visit in Delhi.
National Crafts Museum
Possibly one of the most calming and welcoming places in Delhi, the National Crafts Museum offers nothing short of a comprehensive experience that leaves you fulfilled and entrenched with knowledge. The space is built as a heritage site consisting of a museum area that takes you on a journey of handicrafts from all around the country. It is spread over two spacious floors that are divided into specialised sections pertaining to specific crafts, techniques and states. Beyond this region they have a quaint space that houses different craft huts created by various communities from India. The artwork and architecture of each hut narrates the story of their rich heritage and culture. Lastly, the third space in this area is lent to artisans from different states. These clusters are provided an opportunity to directly sell to their consumers without any middlemen and allows an opportunity for deeper conversations pertaining to their skill, community and craft history. The craft museum is personally my favourite spot in Delhi to spend an entire day. The atmosphere is desirable as it provides you an array of different experiences. Furthermore the space also has a small cafe to unwind between your exploration.
A marketplace where tribes and smaller groups from remote parts of the country come to sell their handicrafts, Dilli Haat is synonymous with the cultural spirit of the city. It is the perfect place to indulge in the love of Indian handicrafts and get an insight into the diverse ethos of the craft communities. The spacious market offers antique crafts in the form of paintings, accessories, wooden furniture, ceramics and traditional textiles repurposed into modern clothing. They also take you on an exhaustive journey of food with small stalls that are dedicated to each state and their cuisine. You should take out a full day to explore the market at length, as it will transport you to the magical world of Indian art and heritage presented through a captivating lens of crafts and cultural activities.
If you are looking to invest in elaborate handicrafts at an affordable price, Matka Market is the place for you. It is built for shopping sprees where one can find a ton of interior pieces for different corners of their home. A whole lane occupied by artisans and tribal communities of India truly showcases the diverse art-forms that are present in our country. These families have migrated from places like Lucknow, Manipur and Kolkata to build their craft heritage in the national capital. The market has seen multiple generations of the same family running their business as well as continuing the artistry by taking the knowledge forward to their children. An ideal outlet for mural-like vases, clay crockery, figurines of mythological gods and goddesses, terracotta articles and of course matka’s (pots).