Bharat Bhavan

Bharat Bhavan is an autonomous multi-arts complex and museum in Bhopal, India, established and funded by the Government of Madhya Pradesh.The architect of Bhavan is Charles Correa. Opened in 1982, facing the Upper Lake, Bhopal, it houses an art gallery, a fine art workshop, an open-air amphitheatre, a studio theatre, an auditorium, a museum tribal and folk art, libraries of Indian poetry, classical music as well as folk music.

Bharat Bhavan
Bharat Bhavan entry gate in 2015
Formation13 February 1982 (1982-02-13)
Legal statusFoundation
PurposeVisual arts, performing arts, folk art, literature
  • J. Swaminathan Marg, Shamla Hills, near Upper Lake, Bhopal
Main organ
Bharat Bhavan Trust


The early 1980s, saw a burgeoning Indian arts scene and a renewed government focus on developing arts across the nation, through regional centres for arts in state capital cities. The initiative in Madhya Pradesh was taken by cultural administrator, Ashok Vajpeyi,[1] an IAS-officer in state Ministry of Education (1966-1992), who was behind the setting up of literary organization, 'Kalidas Academy' in Ujjain, which opened in 1983. Though some cultural initiatives lost steam in later years in many parts of India, one such project became a success, Bharat Bhavan (India House) in Bhopal.[2][3][4]

f India|Prime Minister]], Indira Gandhi. It was established and funded by the Department of Culture, Government of Madhya Pradesh,[5] though it is run by an autonomous a 12-member Bharat Bhavan Trust.[6] In the following decade, the institution grew to become an important cultural institution of India as it started attracting artists, scholars and students from Indore, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Kolkata and even foreign visitors.[2][3]

During its formative years, theatre personality, B. V. Karanth who headed the 'Rangamandal repertory', incorporated folk forms of the region into his work, staged many productions in Hindi, especially during his stint at Bharat Bhavan.[7][8] The "Bharat Bhavan Biennial of Contemporary Indian Art" started in 1986, followed by "Bharat Bhavan International Print Biennial" in 1989. The complex is most known for its art museum, Roopankar, which houses a permanent collection of tribal art, collected by J. Swaminathan in its early years,[9] and represents the best examples of tribal art in India.[10]

The 'Vagarth' centre of Hindi poetry and literature houses a library and archive of Indian poetry, classical music, and folk music.[11] It organizes, 'Katha Prasang' festival on Hindi literature.[12]


The complex includes an art gallery of Indian painting and sculpture, a fine art workshop, an open-air amphitheatre (Bahirang), a studio theatre (Abhirang), an auditorium (Antarang), a museum tribal and folk art, libraries of Indian poetry, classical music as well as folk music. Besides this, Bhavan hosts artists and writers under its artist-in-residence program at the "Ashram".[3][5] Over the years, it has become a popular tourist attraction.[13]

Some of the wings include:[5]

  • Roopankar - Museum of Fine Art: Gallery of contemporary folk and tribal art, and a modern art gallery. Graphic art workshop, and ceramics art workshop
  • Rangmandal - theatre repertory
  • Vagarth - center of Indian poetry, library, archive, and translation centre
  • Anhad - library of classical and folk music, audio and video archives, organizes dance recitals and classical music series like, Parampara, Saptak
  • Chhavi - center of classical cinema
  • Nirala Srijanpeeth - the chair for creative writing, founded by the Government of Madhya Pradesh [14]


  1. Vajpeyi later remained, chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi, India's National Academy of Arts (2008-2011).
  2. Raza. p. 92
  3. Abram, p. 385
  4. Sahni, p. 87
  5. "Bharat Bhawan". Department of Culture, Government of Madhya Pradesh. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  6. "Power struggle on at Bhopal's Bharat Bhavan". Indian Express. 1 September 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  7. Rubin, p. 200
  8. "The genius of Karanth". The Hindu. 15 September 2002. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  9. "Untitled, it depicts personal spaces". The Telegraph. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  10. Verma, p. 225
  11. "Bharat Bhavan (Bhopal, India)". Digital South Asia Library. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  12. "'Katha Prasang' continues at Bharat Bhavan". Daily Pioneer. 22 March 2013. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  13. "Bharat Bhavan". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  14. "Nirala Srijanpeeth". Bharat Bhavan. Retrieved 12 May 2013.


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