Summer Break 5 Incredible Art And Craft Holidays In India

We've put together a list of places where you can take a break in the midst of stunning landscapes while picking up a new skill
At the Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala
At the Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala

Immerse Yourself In Vernacular Architecture 

Indi Architecture is a&nbspsocial enterprise based out of Himachal Pradesh which aims to promote and conserve traditional knowledge and skills related to vernacular architectural traditions. They hold regular workshops by master craftspersons for those interested in picking up skills that go into the ancient, vernacular architecture processes of India. For instance,&nbspKutchi mud work,&nbspmud and lime plasters, rammed earth styles, and more.&nbspSigning up for one of their workshops involves gaining shared knowledge from traditional communities. This is yet another way to be a sustainable, responsible traveller. Because these communities share a love of sustainability, a connection to the land, and a passed-down understanding of cultural and natural heritage. 

More details here.

Hone Your Writing Skills

If you are a budding writer (or have writer's block), head to the Panchgani Writers Retreat in the Sahyadris to pen down your magnum opus. You get a cosy room in a beautiful bungalow, and home-cooked meals. You may strike it lucky if they are holding one of their regular workshops on poetry or memoir writing. They also have a pool and yoga and meditation sessions.

More details here.

Pick Up Thangka Making Skills

The Norbulingka Institute in Dharamshala, named after the Dalai Lama's summer palace in Lhasa, is a haven for Tibetan culture. As artisans around the world struggle to preserve age-old traditions and techniques in a fast-paced and mechanised world, the institute helps preserve this form of community ancestral knowledge. And as a visitor, you can sign up for one of their workshops and stay in their guesthouse. They have nine workshops, including thangka painting, statue making, thangka applique, woodcarving, applique, wood painting, tailoring, weaving, and screen printing. You can even pick up products made by them at the store or online.

More details here.

Take A Botanical Art Class In The Himalayas 

Imagine picking up art skills at a gorgeous art studio in the Eastern Himalayas. You can do that at the School for Natural History Art in Kalimpong. It is run by award-winning botanical illustrator Hemlata Pradhan who has studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, the Royal College of Art in London, and is the winner of the UK&rsquos Royal Horticultural Society&rsquos Gold Medal. Your classes will be held&nbspin a studio with huge glass windows looking out on to the surrounding hills. Several works by Pradhan and her students are up for sale, and you can easily pick them up from the studio.&nbspContact her at hemlata.pradhan@gmail.com&nbspfor more information.

Grow Organic Food With Permaculture

Looking for the perfect family holiday option that teaches your kids all about nature, the soil, and earth Smell Of The Earth is a gorgeous farmstead located in Birbhum (near Shantiniketan) with an earth-friendly house and a self-sufficient farmstead, which is now the hub of lessons on permaculture, growing food, and leading life in an eco-friendly manner. Sign up for one of the several workshops and short courses that are held throughout the year. These courses will help you design and maintain ecological spaces, starting from small urban spaces up to a self-sufficient farm, so that you can step out of the chemical food cycles and provide wholesome organic food for your family and create farm-based businesses.

More details here.

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