Arts & culture

ART & CULTURE    |   Norah Richards, the "Nani of Punjabi Theatre",  Gurcharan Singh,  Sobha Singh, B.C. Sanyal, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Freda Bedi, ( mother of Kabir, the actor ) and Mansimran Singh are some of the names synonymous with the Andretta art and culture environment. 

Norah Richard's House - Norah Richards, a dramatist and environmentalist lived in Andretta from the mid 30's,  through the time of partition until her death in 1971. She was a formidable and resourceful Irish woman, passionate about Shakespeare, who built an adobe house here in the English style & created the Andretta Artists Colony on land given to her in recognition of her artistic contribution to the Punjab ( as  Himachal Pradesh still was in those days). She taught Punjabi students how to perform plays in a small outdoor theatre outside her home. Her adobe house has recently been renovated by the Punjabi University Patiala, with the skills of local artisans. The little theatre is still in use by the Punjabi university students. They perform plays every year on Norah's birthday, October 29th. Anyone can come and watch the well acted dramas, sitting under the stars among the local village folk.   --     Google "Andretta Artists Village" for more on the fascinating story of Norah Richards & Andretta's direct links to some of the founding legends of Bollywood.

Norah Centre for the Arts - Higher up towards the Shivalik Hills is the Norah Centre for the Arts. This is a recently built attractive centre designed by an architect from Kerala, the son - in - law of the famous artist B.C. Sanyal. This centre provides space for artists, musicians, dancers and writers to come and spend time, hold workshops and interact, adding to Andretta's cultural heritage.There is a self-contained apartment for an artist-in-residence.

Andretta Pottery and Craft Society - This is a working art pottery making attractive earthenware with rangoli style slip designs. The pottery offers 3 month classes for students. Also attached to the pottery is a Terracotta Museum. While the main collection in this museum is the work of local village potters from the neighbouring parts, the museum also has a house collection of pottery from around the globe including several works from Mexico, England and Holland.    --     For more about Andretta Pottery go to www.andrettapottery.com

Sobha Singh Art Gallery - The Art Gallery is a display of work by the famous painter of Sikh gurus, Sobha Singh, created over his three decades in Andretta. He was another of Norah's artist friends that she brought together to share her dream.

B.C. Sanyal the artist - B.C. Sanyal, who died recently at the ripe old age of 101, had a beautiful mud-brickholiday cottage in Andretta where he used to come and paint.  His daughter Amba is today a director of the Norah Centre for the Arts.