Loka Mahal museum is a spacious two-storied building. In the ground floor there are life size dolls. The other rarities that find a place here are various arms and weapons, the articles used in wedding ceremony, weights and measures, ritual items used while performing pooja and lastly a few items from the kitchen. The Central courtyard in the ground floor displays large wooden idols of ‘Bootha’ or Ghost worship. The First floor exhibits a rare collection of various folk instruments and other wooden parts of chariots and stone idols. Special dolls made of hides-Togalu Gombegalu, puppets, apparels of Badagu tittu and Tenkutittu Yakshagana artists (Forms of Folk Theatre), Ganjeefa art pieces (playing cards), children playthings, Soma and Harige(masks) are also exhibited here.
Items in the museum:
- Distinct folk performing arts: Mudalapaya: A species of original style in Yakshagana
- Garudi Dolls: These colorful dolls are brought out on special occasions such as fairs and festivals, jatras and melas for spectacular entertainment. Persons who carry them look out through slits across the abdomen and dance rhythmically to the musical tunes of “dolu” (drum) thamate, pipes and fifes severally in arm using gait and steps.
- Kodava couple: Representative art form of Kodava people living in the picturesque district of Kodagu (Coorg) with their own language, beliefs, tradition and practices.
Yakshagana: Traditional folk theatre
Bhagavatar is the protagonist of this art form. The characters are enticing artistically. What with his resonant voice to match fluent vocabulary, befitting mythological themes and sequences, song and style rhythms, the Bhagavatar casts a spell. Eye-enthralling costumes such as regal crown and bracelets and shoulder badges against the background of the character he promotes an aura of sublime ethos and credible environment for the different roles that come up in the sequential treatment. Pitted against the center stage with the reverberating cymbals, drums and the refrain of the choral background, the characters arrest the attention of the audience in a perfect spell. A distinctly artisitic expression greatly in vogue in South Karnataka, enjoying the popular entitlement of Mudalapaya Yakshagana. Episodes are invariably drawn from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata as well as Puranas and Bhagavatas.
Lankini: In Ramayana, the role of Lankini plays conspicuous significance. She happens to be the protective guardian demoness of Lanka. Lord Hanuman slays her when he visits Lanka in quest of Sita.
Hanuman: Heroic character in Ramayana, Anjanadevi’s offspring. Rama’s devoted disciple.