About Us National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy

National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy

About Museum

The National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy, celebrates the rich, diverse, and practising craft traditions of India. Situated in a large campus at the corner of Pragati Maidan, opposite the majestic Purana Qila, the museum was designed by the renowned architect Charles Correa.

Folk and Tribal Gallery

About Museum
Folk and tribal objects have a timenless quality about them. They are largely made of ephemeral raw-material like wood, fabric, clay, terracotta, cane and bamboo, papier mache, animal hair, grass, fragments etc. Metals like bronze ,brass, iron are also used.  

Cultic objects and Courtly Craft Gallery

About Museum
The Cultic Gallery is showcasing a range of objects displaying exquisite craftsmanship. These artifacts spell out the religious, spiritual, mystical, philosophical beliefs and ritual practices of Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Muslim religion

Textile Gallery

About Museum
This Gallery provides visitors a glimpse of India's glorious textile heritage. It has been created to celebrate the richness of our textile tradition as well as to serve as a resource bank for our design and craft heritage.

Village Complex

About Museum
A large iron gate welcomes you to the Village Complex. The gate is a traditional iron lamps of Bastar. The complex was set up in 1972 as Rural India Complex as a Part of Asia Trade Fair

Aiyanaar Shrine

About Museum
Aiyanaar shrines are commonly found on the outskirts of rural villages in South India. The large size horses are the village guardians, on which the Aiyanaar deity sits and roams around the village during the night to keep away the evil spirits.


About Museum
The illustrious entrance of the haveli shows with the finest stone carvings. There are two chabutaras –the sitting platforms on the two sides of the main entrance for the strangers to sit and rest for a while without entering the house.

National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy collected from various states of India named as Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. The collection reflects the continuing traditions of handicrafts and handlooms.

The exquisite examples of textiles include Kalamkaris, Jamawars, Pashmina and Shahtosh shawls, embroidered fabrics especially Kanthas, Chikankari works and chaklas Tie and Die (Bandhani) fabrics, Baluchar and Jamdaani saris, Pichwais, phulkaris, Ikat fabrics of Orissa, Chamba Rumals, Block printed textile fabrics of Gujarat and Rajasthan, Himru textile pieces of Maharashtra, Naga shawls, Chanderi saris and a variety of tribal textiles of the Lambadi, Toda and Naga tribes of North- eastern India.

The rare and finest specimens of traditional Indian handicrafts and handlooms are preserved with the objective that these would serve as source material for the revival, reproduction and development of Indian crafts. These source materials are meant for the master craftsmen, art-historians and craft designers along with the people who are interested to know our age-old cultural heritage. Museum is a special attraction for foreign tourists who wish to have a glimpse of our material culture.

Lota Shop and Cafe Lota

The Lota shop is the selling outlet for a whole range of contemporary craft products, books etc. on art, craft and design. The shop is considered to be one of the best in the world. The shop also keeps the artifacts made by the crafts persons participating in the craft demonstration programme after they are gone back.

Lota Shop and Café Lota
The inspiration for the name of the National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy Shop is the film Lota based on the India Report by Charles and Ray Eames, the film celebrates the design credentials of lota found in so many variations across India. They expressed that the Lota, the simple vessel of everyday use, stands out as perhaps the greatest, the most beautiful. Café Lota offers a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian cuisine with regional flavours. The café has received excellent reviews of food connoisseurs.

History of the Museum Buildings

The low-lying Museum building is a reflection vernacular architecture and fine craftsmanship. Several architectural elements like jharokha, internal courtyards, open and semi-open passages, roof tiles arches, carved doors, posts, pillars, perforated iron-screens etc. are all the visual delights .

Bird House

Lota Shop and Café Lota
Bird /Pigeon House or chabutra is a refuge or feeding place for birds. A belief of many faiths including the Jain, is that the souls of the departed relatives return as birds and animals. So, the feeding of birds and animals also means ‘the care of Departed Souls’. This Bird House is ornately carved. Such Bird houses are constructed on the highest point in the haveli.


Lota Shop and Café Lota
Wow aren’t you amazed to see such a huge chariot. Guess the height, well it is about 8.00 meters. It is made up of Wood and Metal and is from 18th Century, Maharashtra This is Ram Ratha (Incarnation of Vishnu) showing an image of Rama and his devotee on the front side under the carved canopy. Other carvings on four sides show other incarnations of Vishnu, musicians, mythical animals etc. Such chariots were used for temple procession or procession in the village.

Instead, the various courts give access to different exhibits opening off a meandering pathway in an informal manner; Village Court, Temple Court, Darbar Court, etc. As in Bharat Bhavan, the podium is elaborated at two levels; on the ground floor through a series of courts and above through a set of roof terraces. At the same time, most of the single story accommodation provided is totally enclosed.

What is key here, as Jyotindra Jain has written, is that the whole museum is conceived after the timeless world of the Indian village where otherwise incompatible crafts exist side by side. Jain shows how the unofficial folk culture of India has always maintained its anarchic autonomy despite colonializing efforts to regularize the character of its production. Jain sees the value of the National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy as helping to maintain some resistance to the homogenizing forces of the late modern world. “

From 1996 The Work of Charles Correa

by Kenneth Frampton, The Perennial Press, New York, USA