Srimanta Shankardeva KalakshetraSrimanta Shankardeva Kalakshetra is a well known cultural attraction of Assam. Located in Khanapara area of Guwahati city, Kalakshetra showcases the Assamese culture and life of the people. The Kalakshetra is named after the great cultural exponent and scholar of Assam, Mahapurush Srimanta Shankardeva.
A cultural museum built in the 1990’s, Shankardeva Kalakshetra spreads itself into a sprawling area having different building structures showcasing aspects of different cultural ethnic groups of Assam. There are also sections for children, as well as a gallery for theatre and performances.
Structure and Sections of Shankardeva KalakshetraThe entrance to Kalakshetra is built in an artistic structure. The bordering walls leading from the entrance to the main museum have inscriptions of the different ethnic dances and cultures engraved in them. There is also a specimen model of the Rang Ghar of Sibsagar erected in the campus. The central museum adorned with a fountain in the front has different exhibits of pre historic significance as well as articles used by different culture groups of Assam. There are masks used in great Bhaonas, boats and other tools used by the great leaders and traditional dress materials depicting the cultural essence of Assam. The museum houses more than 4000 artifacts including different fields like the cottage industries products of Assam, textile and costume field, Sattriya masks, musical instruments, terracotta & art, wood products, brass and bell metal products and other cultural artifacts. Other notable architectural sections include:
- An open-air theatre with accommodation facilities for up to 2000 people. It hosts different plays and cultural programmes. Traditional dance sessions for children and drama performances are held in this theatre.
- An Artist’s Village which depicts the life of the village society of Assam in real life size exhibits. The Sahitya Bhawan is a library in the museum having a collection of thousands of literature books with rare manuscripts and periodicals. It is a repository of literature treasure of Assam. The first floor of the Sahitya and Sangeet Natak Bhawan of the main museum hosts portraits of established and prominent figures of Assam who have contributed to the literature, music, dance, theatre and fine arts field of Assam. There is also a gallery where different dance forms of Assam are showcased in exhibits.
- An audio recording and graphic recording studio to preserve the musical entity of Assam. Artists from Assam can avail the facilities by paying nominal fee and the recordings are done in digital format for their safe preservation.
- Lalit-Kala Bhawan where exhibitions and workshops on art and culture are held. There is also an air condition art gallery inaugurated on 7th September 2002 where regular exhibitions are held.
- A children's section with a park with different games and a science centre where exhibits and life size replicas of scientific essence are built up for the children. A storehouse of knowledge, it is an interactive way to provide knowledge through fun to the children. Other sub sections for children include a children library, a center for computer and video games, doll’s museum, sky train, multi purpose cultural centre, etc.
- A heritage park showing the heritage of the state. Kalakshetra has been the venue of many prestigious cultural activities. Among them, production of a children play titled Saru Dhemali Bar Dhemali was held in the year 2004.
- A recent addition is the Bhupen Hazarika Cultural Museum which aims at
preservation and showcasing the various objects associated with the life
of the legend, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. Dr. Bhupen Hazarika was a great
cultural icon and musician of Assam. The cultural museum in his
dedication is a treasure trove of his life and works.
- Another interesting and fun addition to the museum is the traditional bullock cart ride for children. The bullock cart takes the children to ride through the campus at a fee.
- A state level Renewable Energy Park coordinated by the Assam Energy Development Agency of the State Government which aims at renewable energy forms and saving energy for the future. The park includes a friendship pavilion run by non-conventional energy, solar ultra violet water purifier, solar energy generated electricity center, solar distill water plant, micro-hydel model, two solar three-wheeler cars, etc. there is also a gasifier to generate electricity from forest waste and green transport vehicles for children like four solar cars and four solar bicycles.