Shilpgram, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. (Photo by: IndiaPictures/UIG via Getty Images)

UIG via Getty Images



A crafts village west of Fateh Sagar, Shilpgram was inaugurated by Rajiv Gandhi in 1989. Set in dusty, rolling countryside, it’s contrived, but remains interesting. There are 26 traditional village houses from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra, some with glittering mirrored interiors, and craft exhibits. Best, though, are the excellent demonstrations by traditional dancers and artisans, with groups ready to perform as you approach (you’ll be expected to proffer a tip if you stay to watch).

Outside the tourist season, however, Shilpgram can be almost deserted of artisans, performers and visitors. The best time to come is during the mela (fair) in the last 10 days of December: it’s a fantastic spectacle, often with hundreds upon hundreds of artisans and performers from all over India in attendance.

Some people walk or cycle out to Shilpgram (about 10km by road from Lal Ghat); a return autorickshaw trip (including a 30-minute stop) from the old city will cost ₹400.

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