Forget Rajasthan, Travel To West Delhi For The Most Authentic Puppet Show

by Kanika Sharma
Forget Rajasthan, Travel To West Delhi For The Most Authentic Puppet Show

There are certain parts of the city that host week long circuses that feature snake charmers, fire breathing artists and puppet shows! But, did you know, that Delhi has been home to the largest community of street performers in the world?

What is it?

Puppet Show
Picture Credit – Wikipedia

Kathputli Colony is believed to have been established in the 1950s. An open field was taken over by puppeteers of Rajasthan, who converted the outskirts of the city into their home. With makeshift tents and homes, over a period of time, it was converted into a slum area. And now, houses 2,800 families of snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, singers, dancers, painters and various other artists.

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Recently, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) began the rehabilitation of the colony, as the residents were under the threat of losing their home and livelihood. As you walk through its lanes, you will come across various paintings on the walls that tell the tale of the past and how it all began with a small group and some puppet shows. Kathputli colony is home to street performers from 14 states, that includes Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

How can you access it?

Puppet Show
Picture Credit –

A few groups like Get Your Guide and Delhi Food Walks, offers tours around Kathputli Colony. The duration is between 2-3 hours, during which you can interact with residents, and watch a few street and puppet shows. This might also give you an opportunity to indulge in conversations that tell you about its colourful history.

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Many of these artists have had the opportunity to represent the country on an international platform. Unfortunately, the folk art is now no longer as popular as it was. Many talented artists are participating, organising in circuses and puppet shows to earn their livelihood now

What’s more?

Puppet Show
Picture Credit – 101 India

So, the next time you are near Shadipur Depot, make sure that you take a detour. Witness one of the most authentic puppet shows in the country. Who knows, you might learn a trick or two yourself too!