Take a walk down this beautiful and artistically developed boulevard to enjoy your weekends outside, even during the hot summer.
Walking down the boulevard next to the MG road metro station, under the shade of the trees during a hot summer afternoon is the perfect way for any Bengalurean. Specially if this walk takes you through an array of exhibitions, artworks, installations and performances, it is no less than a revitalising experience.
The MG Road’s famous boulevard which was destroyed for Namma Metro was reconstructed and thrown open to the public four years ago. Ever since it was reopened, it has been buzzing with activities, inviting art and culture lovers to enjoy this experience.
When I took a stroll around this boulevard, I first came across with a woman selling toys and games to children. The space is used by Manjula, who works at IMA creations, which specialises in selling toys and board games that have originated in India since the seventh century. She said, “traditional games such as ‘gilli-danda’, ‘mancala’, ‘goli-gotiye’ and Ludo, help to improve concentration, increase logical reasoning, problem solving and strategic thinking. Our founder, Immaculate Antony, started this initiative to reach out to today’s youngsters who have unfortunately never been taught any of these fun activities.”
IMA creations also conducts regular workshops at the Rangoli Metro Art Centre in the boulevard, that teaches traditional indoor and outdoor games to children. The next summer workshop is from 15th-26th May, 2017.
Upon walking further, I saw different installations where children can play and make interactive artwork. There are also a number of interesting sculptures and statues that line the pathway, with different methods used to create each one of them. One of the art installations is a row of giant black ants on a wall, that is made of reusable wires and other unwanted scraps of metal, created in 2013 by Ranjana N of the Chitrakala Parishath, was particularly interesting.
The Rangoli Metro Art Centre consists of three different exhibition halls, the largest one known as “Vismaya,” which is currently hosting an art exhibition called “Regrouped”, a collection of paintings made by four artists also belonging to the Chitrakala Parishath. The exhibition is from 21st-23rd April, 2017.
Shashi, who is in charge of organising events at the Rangasthala, an auditorium that is named to reflect the art it patronises, said, “we conduct magic shows, comedy events, dance performances, and other events. By paying a deposit of Rs 7000, the auditorium and the halls can be rented for slots of six hours at a time.”
The other halls also have mural workshops which are at present organised by Sarang Cultural Ventures, who are working to spread the art of ‘Sopana Chitrakala’ which is the traditional mural art of Kerala.
Along with interesting charts on the history of Bengaluru and some unique murals painted on the walls at the end of the stretch, the latest addition to the boulevard is a new travel and handicraft store, called “Dewlets”. Altaf, who takes care of the store said, “we sell handicraft items from all parts of the country. We have paintings from Kerala, small sculptures from Maharashtra and hand-made bags and carpets from Rajasthan and Gujarat.” The efficiently managed space sells uniquely decorative items that can be ideal gifts, he later added.