Wide, broad, lamppost-lined roads of New Raipur leads to this 200-acre culture and heritage park called Purkhauti Muktangan. I fell in love with the name as soon as I heard it. It is difficult to translate it in essence but roughly it would mean an open (with a tinge of freedom) courtyard for the ancestral heritage. Also referred as an open museum. As you approach it through empty roads and spaces, you can see the huge wrought iron gates of this cultural village. Boundary walls painted with folk stories will catch you eye. The fact that it is an open space instead of being a closed display makes it inviting, to say the least.
Purkhauti Muktangan – Places to visit in Raipur
We entered the place through one of those story-telling gates to be greeted by the large figures showcasing the lives of Chhattisgarhi people. Boundary walls all around are painted in rich colors and tribal patterns. All tribes are depicted as dioramas showing their typical dances in their traditional attires. There are masks depicting various faces, a park depicting the wood carving art with full tree trunks being carved right there. Even the water tank is painted with murals to match the surroundings and not stand out and disturb the ambiance. A section of park depicts the tribal jewelry with walls pasted with huge earrings, bangles dotting the green grass. I found this the most innovative part of the park – tribal jewelry as the theme for a park.
Walls Murals & Typical Chhattisgarhi Village
A national award-winning artist Smt Sona Bai Rajawar has been engaged to create the wall murals and shows the typical house in a Chhattisgarhi village. Each door jamb is decorated with vibrant colors and patterns. Each window pane depicts a clay model of local birds and animals and sometimes the characters from folk tales. There are life-size models of villagers doing their daily chores. This place is still being completed. But it was still a delight to walk through an ambiance that you so much connect with the essence of India. Art as part of life and not for the sake of it.
Replica of Archeological Sites & Masterpieces
Key archaeological sites and masterpieces have been re-created through life-size models in the park like the temple of Bhoram Dev. And the sculpture of Rudra Shiva from Tala. The idea I was told is to present the flavor of Chhattisgarh to the visitor of the park. Who may not visit these remote places otherwise? There are models of freedom fighters from the state. It was a delight to know that all the work for the park, especially all the art installations have been done by the local artists. This is a very commendable step, as this place becomes a showcase for the local artists. And may lead many opportunities to them, besides preserving the local art forms. Artist Piloo Ram Sahu is one of the key persons behind the large statues and sculptures in the museum.
There is a dire need of planting some trees on the campus, to beat the heat, and to give a natural feel also to the place. As of now, it is a work in progress place. And may remain so for some more time to come, but it is still worth visiting. The added advantage is that you can see the artists at work here. There are areas marked for visiting artists where they can stay and work. There are an emporium and a tourist information center located on the campus, though the visitors are still to hit this place in big numbers. If you study the work displayed here, you would need more than a day to understand. To read all the stories- carved, modeled and painted. To even take a simple walk across the sprawling campus you need at least couple of hours.
Recommend you to read following Tourist Places in Chhattisgarh.