Crafts village at Vellar gets a makeover

Facility expected to give a new lease of life to handicrafts sector

The Kerala Arts and Crafts Village at Vellar, near Kovalam, has received a makeover.

The renovated village, spread over 8.5 acres, will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on January 16. A painting exhibition by 60 artists will be held in connection with the inauguration.

The first phase of renovation has been undertaken at ₹20 crore. The village is now beautifully landscaped and counts an emporium, art gallery, studios, design strategy lab, cafe and restaurant, auditorium, games zone, library, pond, handloom village, amphitheatre, garden, and medicinal plants garden among its features. Work on walkway, toilet blocks, and roads too has been completed.

The village will give a new lease of life to the handicrafts sector that faces many challenges, raise the sector to international standards, and ensure a life of dignity for craftspeople. Nearly 750 craftsmen and artisans will benefit from the facility.

Cultural centre

Rather than just a venue for exhibitions and sales, the village has been envisaged as a cultural centre that will host art and cultural festivals, attracting foreign and domestic tourists alike. Nearly 50 crafts have been presented here through 28 studios. Paintings, terracotta products, bamboo and reed products, coconut fibre and shell, and cloth products will be on show. Pattachitra from Odisha, paper quilling and mural paintings from Kerala are some of the other eye-catching arts to be found here.

Short-term workshops and trainings too will be organised here. Training academy for performing artists and game zone with adventurous sports will also come up here.

Sales venue

A study and research centre for craftsmen and artisans and a permanent sales venue with the support of interior designers, fashion designers, and architects will also be another attraction.

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