World Folklore Day at Janapada Loka – Ramanagara

Step back into the days of yore,

Enter the world of rural folklore

Throbbing drumbeats, high pitched melodies from quaint instruments and performers in vibrant costumes animatedly prancing around, creating a highly captivating festive atmosphere … this was the scene which greeted us as we arrived at the magnificent gates of the Janapada Loka.

We were here to witness the exhilarating performances and programs being showcased to celebrate World Folklore Day and what better venue than the Janapada Loka, a spectacular museum which houses thousands of artefacts representing the various lifestyles, customs, cuisines, crafts, arts and many other facets of Karnataka’s rich native and ancient folk culture.

This delightful opportunity was organised by India Tourism Bengaluru, with whose collaboration I was able to be a part of this wonderful occasion at Janapada Loka, Ramanagara district, Karnataka, India.

About Janapada Loka – 

As a sprawling 14 acre campus which is an open air museum dedicated to showcasing various facets of Karnataka’s rich folk culture and heritage, the Janapada Loka deserves an entire blog post of its own.

However, since this was my first visit and the focus was the celebration of World Folklore Day, I did not have the luxury of sufficient time to explore the vast premises and soak in all the treasures that it contained.

So until I manage to go back there and spend the half a day or more that this place demands and deserves, we will have to make do with a brief summary of the essence of what it portrays.

Janapada Loka translates to folk cosmos and is a museum dedicated to exclusively displaying the ancient village folk arts of Karnataka. The nearly 10,000 artefacts comprise of household items, utensils, farming implements, weapons, displays of the performing arts, tableaux of village homes and lives, representations of tribal lives and many such presentations, encompassing a plethora of related antiques and exhibits.

The museum also provides a venue for artistes to display their art forms like music, dance, crafts etc, along with giving them a platform to exhibit and market their handicrafts.

Established in March 1994, this was the labor of love and dedication of the late H. L. Nagegowda, who was a retired IAS officer and passionate folklorist.

Set amidst lush greenery and spacious environs, the various indoor and outdoor constituents of this tapestry include the Folk arts museum, Loka mata mandira, Lok mahal, Loka Nivasa, Chitra kuteera, Shilpmala, Loka sarovara, Tribal village and many more.

This place is a must visit destination for lovers of folklore.

The facilities available at the premises include retail outlets selling artefacts, a restaurant serving traditional Karnataka cuisine, drinking water and washrooms.

History of World Folklore Day – 

Folklore refers to the traditional beliefs, stories, customs and practices of a culture or community, which are passed from one generation to another.

The credit for coining this word on August 22nd, 1846, is attributed to William John Thoms who was a British writer, a demographer and an aficionado of antiques.

World Folklore Day is hence celebrated on August 22nd every year and this day is dedicated to  to remembering and honoring these rich cultural traditions, usually by way of events and programs which showcase performances that depict the various arts of the past.

World Folklore Day celebrations –  

Janapada Loka being a one stop treasure trove of the folk arts, was a fitting venue to celebrate this significant occasion. Usually closed for its weekly holiday every Tuesday, an exception was made on Tuesday August 22nd, 2023 in order to commemorate this day.

The festivities began right from the entrance where the dignitaries who attended the event were welcomed with a variety of folk dances of Karnataka being performed by troupes depicting the tribal kunithas (dances) like Beesu Kamsale, Halakki suggi kunitha, Gondara kunitha, Somana kunitha, Pata kunitha, Pooja kunitha, Huli vesha etc.

The event was inaugurated by Karnataka’s minister for transport Sr Ramalinga Reddy and Sri CM Nagappa was the chief guest.

The welcome speech was delivered by Professor Ramachandregowda, the Chairman of Karnataka Janapada Parishath.

The stage was also graced with the divine presence of Sri Sri Annadaneshwarmath Swamiji, Sri HA Iqbal Hussain(MLA Ramanagara) and other renowned personalities like Sri Balakrishna Hegde (entrepreneur), Dr Banadoor Kempaiah (folk singer), Dr Jagannath Hebbale (folklorist), Srimati HR Sujata (writer and film producer) and Dr Krishnaraj (entrepreneur).

The Janapada Loka tourist information handbook was released by Shri Mohamed Farouk, Regional Director (South), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

A special honor was conferred upon the 75 year old extraordinary musician Sri Mukaveene Anjanappa who is said to be the last surviving player of the woodwind instrument called Mukaveene. This marvel of a man demonstrated his mastery by playing multi component instrument through his mouth as well as his nose, in a feat that can only be described as impossibly mind(literally)blowing!

The various other activities that were showcased during the celebrations, included displays of local sports, rangoli art, pottery making and fabricating bamboo products.

The program ended with a vote of thanks by Sri Aditya Nanjaraj, who is the managing trustee and grandson Sri HL Nagegowda.

Where to stay – 

There are lodging facilities for performers and visiting artistes at the section called Doddamane in the premises.

Outsiders/visitors can ideally tour the place as a day trip from Bangalore or Mysore but for those who want to spend more than a day in this region can check out some of the resorts at Ramanagara like Shilhaandara etc which are within a 25 km radius.

Where to eat – 

The adjoining Kamat Lokaruchi restaurant is worth a visit, with its North Karnataka rustic meals and other traditional items.

What to carry – 

The walk through the 14 acre campus can get quite tiring. A good pair of walking shoes, a cap, sunglasses, water, umbrella during monsoons etc are some of the gear you need to be equipped with.

Best time to visit – 

Janapada Loka is open all year round. You could choose to visit depending on your comfort level regarding the weather. Summers can get quite hot in the daytime. Personally I would not prefer to during summer and monsoon.

The entrance fee is Rs 100/- for adults and Rs 50/- for children. The timings are 9.30 am to 5.30 pm and Tuesday is the weekly holiday.

Getting there – 

Janapada Loka is around 55 km from Bangalore city and 85 km from Mysore city.

While cab or private car is the most convenient mode of travel, there are also plenty of buses that ply on the highway. Ramanagara also has a railway station which is 5 km away.

The nearest major airport is at Bangalore around 90 km away. Taxis are available directly from the airport.

Things of interest in the surroundings – 

There are a few major places of interest in the Ramanagara district. The most prominent one which is barely 10 km away, is the Toy town of Channapatna, where one can wander about in the little villages to witness the toy making process or take a factory tour at the Crafts Park.

The Ramadevara betta which was made famous as the shooting location for the timeless Bollywood hit Sholay, is located around 10 km from Janapada Loka. There is is a trekking trail which leads to the peak.

Location details – 

Google location of Janapada Loka

Address –

Janapada Loka

Bangalore – Mysore Highway, State Highway 17,

Ramanagara District,

Doddamannugudde Forest,

Karnataka 562159

Phone –  080 2360 5033

Instagram of Janapada Loka

Website of Janapada Loka

Please Note –

This visit was courtesy of India Tourism Bengaluru and I thank them for the experience. My narration is based on the inputs I received from various sources as well as my personal experiences.

I would really appreciate your feedback and comments in the comment box below.

For more pictures see My Facebook –  World Folklore Day at Janapada Loka (coming soon)

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Aug 22nd, 2023

About Currylines

A food and travel enthusiast who plays with words
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1 Response to World Folklore Day at Janapada Loka – Ramanagara

  1. Pingback: Channapatna the Toy Land | Currylines – Caroline's

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