National Crafts Museum

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National Crafts Museum

Designed by the Indian architect Charles Correa, this charming museum near the Purana Qila houses thousands of artifacts and handicrafts. You're greeted outside by playful terra-cotta sculptures from Tamil Nadu. Inside, the annotations are sketchy, but the collection is fascinating. Items in the Folk and Tribal Art Gallery, including some charming toys, illustrate village life throughout India. In one courtyard you'll see a giant wooden temple car (cart), built to carry deities in festive processions; one of the adjacent buildings contains a lavishly decorated Gujarati haveli. The Courtly Crafts section suggests the luxurious lives of India's former royalty, and the entire upper floor is a spectacular showcase of saris and textiles. In the village complex out back, craftspeople demonstrate their skills and sell their creations in replicas of village homes. The museum shop is one of the best in Delhi, with high-quality art books and crafts. The in-house restaurant, Café Lota, serves regional highlights from all over the country.

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