Folklore Museum

Mysore Museum | Folklore Museum:  What comes in your mind when you hear the word ‘Folklore’? Stories? Old stories? Folklore is a combination of the words folk and lore which dates from 1846. The former refers to a community of people, and the latter comes from the Old English Lar, meaning learning or knowledge. True to your thoughts about the word it means stories, customs and beliefs that are passed from one generation to the next. The word, in this sense, is also used in terms like folk music, folk dance etc. Situated in the heart of University of Mysore, in the Manasagangothri campus in the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, The Folklore Museum, founded in 1968, is a museum which showcases folk arts and crafts from all over the state of Karnataka.

A visit to this amazing Mysore museum is a must if you are visiting the beautiful city. This is one and only Mysore attractions where you can feast your eyes on precious collection of artifacts, handicrafts and locally made art forms from various parts of Karnataka. Not only items are on display even elements of music, dance and drama are showcased in this museum in Mysore.


This amazing Mysore museum boasts of a dazzling collection of 6500 unique exhibits. The exhibits are not displayed in a random and haphazard manner; instead the gallery has been divided into wings namely folklore, large dolls, folk life, literature and art. Below is the detailed description of each section or wing:


o   A rare Hanuman crown from Kugala Bali village in North Karnataka is on display.

o   Costumes for Kathakali, local dance form, are on display.

o   Also costumes of folk artists from Andhra Pradesh are put up.

o   Several folk music instruments are on display including string, percussion and wind instruments.

o   There is a unique collection of various figures depicting kings, queens, Gods & soldiers.

o   Costumes from Yakshagana, which is a traditional theatre form that combines dance, music,  dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form are also available to see.

o   Items belonging to Soliga, which is an ethnic group of India, are also available on display.

o   A giant stuffed tiger surely catches the attention of the visitors.

Large Doll Wing:

o   This wing has statues and large dolls which are used in various dance forms like Soma, Talebhutha, Kaibhutha, Maari, and Gadi Maari.

Folk life Wing:

o   We all have seen various instruments that are used by blacksmiths, artisans, potters, goldsmiths, boatmen, fishermen etc. These instruments used by the local artisans are put up for the people to see.

o   Also various items that are used in the house like lamps, utensils, weapons, agricultural tools, pots and baskets are put up on display.

Writer’s Gallery:

o   If you are the lover of literature then you can head straight to this gallery where original handwritten manuscripts of famous writers are displayed.

o   Also their personal items like pen, spectacles, shawl etc. are put up for you to see.

o   Adjacent to this gallery there is a large marriage hall namely ‘Kalyan Mandapa.’


The hard efforts behind developing this museum in Mysore has been done by scholars such as P.R. Thippeswamy who was an artist and folklorist of Karnataka and also the first curator of this, one of the most fascinating, Mysore attractions. He collected and brought items from all over Karnataka to increase the museum’s precious collection.

Also scholars like Javeregowda and Jeesham Paramashivaiah put in their hard and notable efforts in making this Mysore museum reach its present state.


If you want to have a good insight into the culture of Karnataka then this museum in Mysore is one of the best Mysore attractions to solve your purpose.

Reaching this museum takes about 12 minutes from Mysore Junction and about 15 minutes from Mysore City Bus Stand. Private buses, state government run KSRTC buses and even taxis ply on this route.

The thing to be kept in mind is that the museum is open from 10:30 AM to 05:30 PM but it is closed for visitors on all Sundays, second Saturdays and even on Government Holidays.

Want to know another good thing about this museum? Entry to the museum is free.