Most people are familiar with the proud center of art & crafts and in fact a lot more than that with Jawahar Kala Kendra aka JKK in Jaipur. Like the rest of Jaipur’ wisely chalked out architecture and planning, JKK boasts of an architecture that spellbinds a beholder at just one glance. No doubt, when the place is so unique and the location is worth shooting it is common to capture the same by one and all using own artistic spin.
History of Jawahar Kala Kendra
Dedicated to India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, Jawahra Kala Kendra is truly metaphoric to the city of Jaipur i.e. an astonishing synthesis of past and future. A contemporary building based on an archaic notion of the Cosmos; the very same Navgaraha mandala, with one of the squares moved aside and beautiful murals inside, based on cosmology.
JKK was built by Rajasthan Government with the plan prepared by the renowned architect Charles Correa in 1986. The building was ready in 1991 and of course, the plan was inspired by the original city plan of Jaipur, consisting of nine squares with central square left open.
This multi-arts center has been created with the purpose of preserving Rajasthani arts and crafts and it was in 1993 that JKK was open to the cultural connoisseurs.
Built by Rajasthan government with the purpose of preserving Rajasthani arts and crafts, JKK adapts and applies concepts from ancient architectural principles called the Vastu Vidya.
The main building contains six exhibition galleries, open air theatre, auditoriums, dormitories, and coffee house.
Each section of the building resembles the characteristics of the respective planet; for instance, the library is located in the Jupiter section, which attributes to knowledge and wisdom.
The murals from the Jain mythology, the charts and paintings on the ceiling of the central dome formulate the exceptional nature of JKK.
However, while preserving the cultural heritage and art of the state, JKK saw age catching up as far as maintenance of its building was concerned. Hence, it was revived and refurbished in 2016.
With the new lighting and the red sandstone could once again be seen shining clean and attractive enough to draw towards it a swarm of tourists, history lovers, local residents and art aficionados.
Right from the entrance till the exit, every corner, center and even the smallest parts of Jawahar Kala Kendra either tell or make a story.
The building is designed with walls bearing paintings, murals, all of them based on astronomy and cosmology, but there are some which also give an honest tribute to art and theatre.
One of the oldest and most iconic coffee houses of Jaipur – Indian Coffee House, houses in its newly revamped look an admirable mural of Ebrahim Alkazi – a living legend who is one of the most influential Indian theatre directors and drama teachers belonging to 20th-century Indian theatre.
The Coffee House in the lunar section portrays the less revealed aspects of Indian astronomy through the paintings and creativity shown here; even on the coffee – tables. Every table depicts a different phase of Moon as seen in a painting at the coffee house.
Adjoining the main building of JKK, a rural complex housed in it 9.5 acre complex known as Shilpgram is the venue for fairs, haat bazaars and festivals.
Let’s take a walk through this ultimate hub of arts and crafts through this video-