1st June 2021


Andretta: Artist Colony of Himachal Pradesh

Andretta, the artist colony of Himachal: An absolute must-visit place in Himachal Pradesh for artists and art enthusiasts. Visit the mud house of Norah Richards, explore the pottery scene, and learn much about art of Himachal Pradesh. #Andretta #HimachalPradesh #Art It's the year 1920, Irishwoman and pioneer of Punjabi theatre, Norah Richards moves to a small village off the map in the snowcapped Dhauladhar ranges, Himachal Pradesh after her husband's demise. The surroundings are filled with greenery and bushes laden with tiny fruits; houses made of mud and bamboo shone in the trickling sunlight. Norah, in a dejected state of mind, stepped foot into the mystical region of Kangra Valley after having dabbled in education and drama in Lahore, a prominent hub of culture back in 1908. In Andretta, she created a traditional Kangra-style mud house and named it “Chameli Niwas”, which can be visited even today. Soon after, she built a small theatre stage and invited Punjabi theatre artists to perform plays. In 1935, Norah received 15 acres of land in the village which ultimately became the Woodland estate. As artists started gathering from all over the country, renowned artists like painter and sculptor B. C. Sanyal, and actor Prithviraj Kapoor, potter Sardar Gurcharan Singh began arriving. Much later, Gurcharan Singh’s son and daughter-in-law moved to Andretta and established the Andretta Pottery and Craft Society around 1984. With such enthusiastic beginnings, the art experiences in Himachal Pradesh took a new shape in the village of Andretta.

There are many resorts in Himachal Pradesh around the Andretta region which you could book for a few days and explore the village to get the whole of art experiences in Himachal. And if you are around Andretta in October, you might even have a chance to experience the annual Punjabi theatre festival conducted on Norah James’ birth anniversary.

If you are wondering what you can do in Andretta other than just admiring the natural beauty of the Kangra Valley, we have created a list right here:

Sardar Sobha Singh Art Gallery

In 1949, renowned painter Sardar Sobha Singh had settled in Andretta after having to leave Lahore during the partition. He painted hundreds of paintings in the four decades that he spent in Andretta. The Sardar Sobha Art Gallery showcases his many astonishing artworks like paintings, sculptures, and canvas prints. Many photographs reviewing and relating to his life are also displayed in this gallery. It is sure to awaken the artsy side of any person. A souvenir shop is an added boost to take home a part of the inspiration this place is.

Stay at the Mirage

The Mirage, Andretta.

Image credit: TripAdvisor

The beautiful homestay in Andretta in the mountains, hidden under a canopy of trees is almost cosier than home. Snuggle in a blanket reading a book about life or have a cup of
warm tea viewing the Himalayas outside the brown-tiled roof of this little cottage. It is indeed a mirage that you only dream about in our busy city lives.

Andretta Pottery Studio

Andretta Pottery

Image credit: TripAdvisor

It is one of the oldest pottery studios in Himachal Pradesh. Here you can take resident courses in pottery, try out pottery if you are just visiting and also take the piece you make back home. There is also a terracotta museum for exploration into the art of terracotta pottery. You can also buy exquisite handmade pottery from the in-house shop.

Bundlamata Temple & Stream

Bundlamata Temple

Image credit: TravelTriangle

It is one of the oldest shrines, almost five centuries old in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. It is quite a regular attraction for the local. The worshippers of Mata Vindhyavasini come and find peace here often. The route to this temple from Palampur is absolutely gorgeous lined with trees and snow during winters.

Wah Tea Estate

Wah Tea Estate

Image credit: TripAdvisor

Since 1953, the Prakash family runs this ancestral tea estate. The estate hosts a guided tour of the whole property, tea tastings, tea plucking and processing demonstrations, etc. Enjoy an afternoon surrounded by the world of Kangra tea in this sublime space of Palampur.

Other than all these places that you can visit and activities you can do, just strolling around the artistic village, exploring art and meeting interesting people is one of the top things on the list.

Header Image Credit: TripAdvisor

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Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061