Preserving A Nation's Cultural Wealth
HASTA SHILPA HERITAGE VILLAGE at Manipal, a university town in the coastal region of India's Karnataka state, is a multi-dimensional cultural project which aims at restoration and conservation of the nation's cultural wealth expressed in the form of traditional buildings and objects of art, craft and other artefacts of aesthetic interest, some dating several hundred years ago.
A brainchild of Vijaynath Shenoy, a retired banker who converted his own home into the Hasta Shilpa Museum, the Village is managed by the Hasta Shilpa Trust. Over the last decade, the Trust has relocated through the process of restoration 26 structures of immense architectural merit and fine craftsmanship. It is, indeed, a veritable treasure trove!
The whole exercise of relocation of a traditional building involves several processes like documentation of the concerned structure through measured drawings and visuals, coding of each component of the structure prior to its dismantling and restoration of the damaged portions of the structure before its restructuring in the Village.
The Heritage Village also comprises of a number of museums and galleries: holding the pride of place among them is the Museum of Folk Arts, which is considered as one of the largest and most unique of its kind in India in respect of volume of space, number and variety of objects, rare character of its exhibits and their imaginative display.