Culture is the true reflection of a community. People of different places have different cultures that have unique elements that make them distinct from another. One common element in every culture is the arts or art forms and literature. Artistic creations depict the true culture of a society. The preservation of art forms is the preservation of culture for future generations. Assam is rich in exceptional culture and traditions. Assam Government had taken various policies for culture promotion and preservation. The cultural department of Government of Assam promotes and administers cultural institutions in Assam. Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra is the north – east regions largest cultural institution, situates in panjabari, Guwahati. This largest cultural congregation was being constructed during 1990’s and in 1998 it was completed and opened for public. Kalakshetra means the temple of arts and this cultural complex was named as a dedication to the great medieval playwright and social reformer Srimanta Sankardev.
Kalakshetra is a live example of artistic architectural finesse that shows the entire beauty of Assamese and north east regions. The unique beauty of this complex makes this one of the most sought world’s favorite tourists place. There are so many building and structures inside the premises of the complex that need to be elaborated with precision. To have a description in nutshell about the complex it have library, cultural museum, children’s park, emporiums, eateries, open air theaters, places of worship and art villages are divided as various complexes in the same premise that depicts the culture of Assam. It is built in the place of scenic beauty form where the hills of Shillong can be viewed from the Kalakshetra fields. The cultural museum is delight for visitors where demonstration and performance of different Assamese art forms are played. The central museum of the complex displays several tools and articles traditionally used by the tribes or ethnic groups in Assam. Open air theater has capacity to accommodate approximately more than 2000 people at a time during performances. The gallery seats will give the beautiful view of the Khasi hills. The open air theater performances are based on traditional or ethnic dance, dramas of Assam than modern cultural concept orientation. The Artists village is a true replica of the Assamese village life exhibits thatched huts and life like statues. A virtual visit on this village will give exact idea of an Assamese village life that is in harmony with nature. Bhupen Hazarika Museum is another favorite spot visited by tourists. Exhibitions on art and culture are conducted in the Lalith Kala Bhavan. The heritage park is another complex that adds proud beauty to the Assamese culture where one would know the respect given to the nature by the Assamese people. The Sahitya Bhavan is a true contribution to the rich literary culture of Assam. This complex contains vast collections of books poetry, drama, history, and Manuscripts of authentic Assamese culture and tradition. The Sahitya Bhavan is a treasure of reference for researchers and scholars on Assamese Culture and tradition.
Several workshops on Cinema, drama, dance and literature are conducted in this complex. The mural paintings in the walls of the complex are another major attraction for the visitors that depict Assamese bihu dance and war scenes. The replica of Rang Ghar or Ahom Amphitheater in the Sivasagar district in Assam is built at the entrance to the main central Museum is a visual treat to any one who visits here. Cable car facility is provided that interconnects with the complexes.
The Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra is under the administration of the cultural department of Assam Government, including body executives selected by the Cultural department with a Director from Assam Civil Service or Indian administrative cadre. The opening time of Kalakshetra is on all days from 10.00 am to 7.30 pm. Rail and air transport facilities can be used to reach. The Guwahati train station junction that is 9km away from the Kalakshetra is the nearest railway station. The nearest airport is Guwahati airport 23 km away from Kalakshetra and accommodation facilities are available in the low and high budget hotels near Kalakshetra and in Guwahati.