Occupying 10 acres (4 hectares) of land just outside of Chennai, Cholamandal Artists’ Village is the largest self-supporting artists’ village in India and an excellent place to feel the pulse of Chennai’s contemporary arts scene. Starting in the 1950s, the commune played a fundamental role in the Madras Movement of Art which helped bring the modernist movement to South India.
Tucked away in a quiet wooded area, the Village is home to two dozen artists, who all help maintain galleries, a performance space and an intimate cafe. For collectors of modern art, there are few better places to buy pieces directly from the artists who made them.
It’s possible to visit the Cholamandal Artists’ Village on your own, but visiting with a guide familiar with the arts who can explain more about what you’re seeing and help facilitate communication with the artists will enrich the experience.