One’s heritage is visible and tangible in various forms –– in your grandmother’s wardrobe, in the old picture frame that adorns your home’s walls, and possibly even in the aromas emanating from your kitchen on a Sunday. All it takes to recognise the presence of our history through objects is a keen eye. Once you are aware of it, it is easy to appreciate it for all that it stands for.
In the student town of Manipal in Karnataka, there exists a quaint corner that is teeming with cultural and heritage stories to be told. Through artefacts, architecture, structures, and more, the Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village is a long-standing establishment that holds immense cultural significance.
Vijayanath Shenoy established this heritage village out of his passion for preserving heritage pieces and a love for architecture. He would salvage pieces from homes that were taken apart and would use them to build his own; giving it unique historical value. As he saw these homes in his home town being torn down, he would think of ways to preserve their value. After having brought back enough material for his own home, Shenoy would aim to restore them in their original venue or translocate it piece-by-piece to Manipal, giving birth to the Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village in 1997.
What is essentially an open-air museum houses several homes of different architectural styles, with textiles, materials, artwork, and furniture of homes of the past. The heritage village is an outcome of the efforts to preserve and show future generations where their roots lie. Homes of the bygone era were not simply structures, but tales of identity and culture. The Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village is open to the general public, and one can walk around to marvel at all that it has to offer.
Some of the structures here include the Mudhol Palace, Harihara Mandir, a Mangalorean Christian home, and so much more.
To reach the Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village, there are regular bus services from Udupi, or even auto-rickshaws.
Find The Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village here.
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