Janapada Loka is an institution that is dedicated to preserving and propagating the rural folk culture of Karnataka. Shri Nage Gowda is the Founder of Janapada Loka. That’s the gate of Janapada Loka known as Mahadwara, which measures twenty feet across, are adorned with horns, trumpets and Harige, with Nandidwajas made of brass standing on either side of the entrance path towering to a height of twenty six feet, extending a warm welcome to the visitors. Entry fee is Rs. 10 for adults and Rs. 5 for children. Photography charge for a still camera is Rs. 100. Weekly holidays is on Tuesday. Business hours : 9.00 am To 5.30 pm.
There was a board over there which gave more info about Mr. Nagegowda and Janapada Loka:
H. L. Nagegowda (1915-2005) developed a deep concern about the folk arts during the many years he served as Deputy Commissioner in Shimoga, Chikmagalur and Dakshin Kannada districts of Karnataka. A man of boundless energy and endless dreams, he carried out an enormous number of activities during his administrative career and continued at a greater pace after his retirement. The Kannada Janapada academy was established in 1979 and Janapada Loka was opened in 1994. The museum is a record of all the activities H. L. Nagegowda and his assistants carried out, including audio and video documentation of performances, fairs, festivals, rituals, farming related techniques, games, etc, and collections of objects associated with rural life. He also organized annual cultural events, which showcased folk arts form of different regions of Karnataka with the intention of popularizing the rich rural culture to the future generations.
H. L. Nagegowda’s primary interest was in the various folk performing arts. Coming from a rural background he was an admirer of the farmers and their work, though his education and profession led him to a more urbanized life in different districts of Karnataka. Anxious about the disappearance of the rural life styles and forms of expression H. L. Nagegowda insisted that folk artists continue to practice with the belief that they would survive if their art accommodated changed circumstances. He was clear that while society should support folk art forms, even if it was no longer intrinsic to daily life. He also believed that individual effort was crucial.
Janapada Loka is the fruition of H. L. Nagegowda’s efforts. His interests in museums had an early start in Shimoga when he set up a district museum in the 1970s. The initial collection of folk objects were displayed at his office cum residence and later shifted to the museums in Janapada Loka when this site was purchased; the larger space fuelled with the growth of the collection and the criteria for collecting became clearer. H. L. Nagegowda wanted objects that had lost their functions, thus considered “old”. But he also wanted objects that represented rural life. There was no agenda to collect only “beautiful” objects; every object represented its user and has symbolic value as a product of an earlier era. During field trips, his assistants searched attics for abandoned objects with the permission of householders. Besides domestic objects, H. L. Nagegowda was keen on assembling all types of rural occupational equipment, which represented specific communities and their inherited trades. The museum’s collection also grew because many people contributed objects. Statue of H. L. Nagegowda:
Statue of Nandi found in Channapatna:
A video scope theater, which is behind the open-air theater, is well equipped and provides all the facilities like big screen and comfortable seats to view videos of Folk art forms, folk culture and documentaries.
Logo of Janapada Loka: