Puppets In India

by Sandra Foyt on September 16, 2012

in Arts and Culture

A handsome young man lured us into a sumptuous chamber room and an unexpected sight. My two teens and I had come to Bagore-ki-Haveli in search of the world’s largest turban, not realizing that the renovated royal home also housed an extensive collection of folk arts. Doffing our shoes, we entered a large room sectioned into the jharokhas seen at havelis of Rajasthan. Holding court in the silk-cushioned jharokhas were intricately sculpted, ornately dressed…Indian puppets.

puppets in india

These puppets in India, known as Kathputli (Kath meaning wood and Putli meaning puppet,) are believed to be an expression of an art tradition going back thousands of years. That history is apparent in the way the puppets are assembled as if gathered in the royal court of a maharaja and his wife, the maharini.

puppets in india - maharini court - Bagore-ki-Haveli - Udaipur, India

The level of realistic detail seen on the Indian puppets is extraordinary…

puppets in india - hand detail - Bagore-ki-Haveli - Udaipur, India

…even a little scary. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Chucky,  the horror film doll, as we were surrounded by creepy puppets.

creepy puppets - Bagore-ki-Haveli

Not that anything is as frightening as the life-sized dolls accompanying me on our family travels in India.

life-size puppets - Bagore-ki-Haveli

Go See It!

Go to see the world’s largest turban and the creepy puppets, stay for the fabulous Rajasthani dance performances at 7pm in the haveli’s courtyard.

Gangaur Ghat
Udaipur, India
Hours: 10am-5pm
Fees: 30 Rupees (Foreigners,) 10 Rupees (Child,) 100 Rupees (Camera)

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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