True to its name, the Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village is a village that houses a collection of ancients structures, art, artifacts and antiquities that narrates a beautiful sort of story of the rich and extravagant heritage of our country India. The place is a one-of-a-kind open air display of a plethora of antiquities which when you walk through would transport you to an entirely new world- one that is ancient and antique and lets you experience Indian Heritage and Culture at a completely different level.


The Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village is tucked away in one of the silent lanes of the otherwise busy and bustling town Manipal.


When a localite from Udupi Mr. Vijayanath Shenoy wanted to contsruct his dream home in a traditional style, he started hunting around for ancient pieces, artifacts and also inspiration in the form of designs to put together. He then came across situations where entire houses were discarded by families either owing to a liking for modern structures or because it was difficult for the families to constantly work on maintaining the structures of the old houses.

So, Mr. Shenoy took up this beautiful initiative of putting together discarded houses by dismantling the structures from their original site and rebuilding them by restoring it to its original glory in a huge land in Manipal that sprawls upto about 6 acres. With an undying passion for Indian architecture and heritage and a beautiful vision of this project, Mr. Shenoy was able to procure a generous grant of the land from the local government. He was able put together funds from a lot of foreign institutions and start working on the restoration. With a set of skilled labour who were mainly the local artisans and hailed from the family of traditional artisans, Mr. Shenoy could put together over a dozen houses before he left for his heavenly abode.


The place houses about 22 heritage structures which includes old houses from the surrounding villages in Karnataka, traditional shrines, restored palaces, rare collection of tribal art, artifacts and simple daily things that will give you an idea of the daily life of the people from the earlier days.


The structures are life-size architectural wonders which give a glimpse into Indian Culture and a small peek into the past. Each structure is of a specific type and houses all things related to the theme of the structure.

  1. Houses:

There are houses which have varied traditional and relevant themes.

For example, you can find a Mangalorean Christian house with very Victorian style of furnishing, etc., so they basically give an insight into the style of living of those who might have lived there.

2. Palaces:

Palaces such as Nawabi Mahal and Palaces with artifacts that are very palatial.

3. Shrines:

A couple of religious Shrines which includes a Mandir, A gudi and other antiques of religious significance are very interesting for study.


Each structure in this place has walls adorned with so many pieces of art. Kalamkari, Madhubani, Pattachitra, Thanjavur Paintings, Mysore Paintings, Inlay work, Contemporary art, Lithographs, portraits are just a few that I can list down here.


Artifacts both Vintage and Antique made with different metals, wood, carvings are displayed everywhere to give the look and feel of the interior styling concepts of those days.



1. Varied Interiors and Styles:

Each structure is dedicated to a unique interior style and houses things and artifacts which are relevant to the style of interiors.

2. Architectural details:

A number of doors, windows, pillars with unique carvings give a lot of detail on the architectural style of those days: Mughal, Roman, Gothic, Deccan, etc.

3. Mythology and Folk Tales:

A lot of the carvings in different structures take their inspiration from the scriptures, mythology or folklore and all these details are very much evident if you study with a keen eye.

4. History- Way of Life:

One can understand the sort of activities, trade, living and just any basic day-to-day activities that was a part of the lives of the people in those days just by keenly observing the sort of things that were used.


  1. It is generally mentioned that 2 hours is sufficient to see the place. But, a keen observer will need an entire day.
  2. The details of the place, location and timings, including tickets are available on the official website: http://heritagevillagemanipal.org/
  3. The place is one for extensive learning for students of History, Archeology, Architecture, Interior and Fashion Designing, Art and Literature.
  4. If you are an ardent Art-Lover, you might want to carry a sketch book with you to make quick sketches or note down important details.

Have you visited this place? If yes, do share your experience in the comments section below.

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