Memos from Asia

The Best Street Art Locations in India

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Walk around the streets of India, and you’ll discover that art is an intrinsic part of life here. From the Ghats of the holy town Varanasi to the French Quarter in Puducherry, art in this mystical country blossoms in places you least expect. 

There are a few cities, however, where street-art is more prominent, even in-you-face at times. In these cities, you truly get to experience a different, more creative side of India.   

Delhi

Delhi is not only India’s capital but also the center of all street-art activity in the country. Drive around, and you will come across colorful Metro stations and giant murals like that of Mahatma Gandhi at the Police Headquarters.

The best street-art in Delhi is undoubtedly at Lodi Colony. A residential neighborhood, its walls have for long been blank canvases for street-artists from across the globe. 

Visitors can drive around or walk from one mural to another, each one as animated and vivid as the last. 

A more recent street-art spot is Champa Gali. This piece of land in an urban village of South Delhi has some fascinating wall art that you can admire while having coffee at one of the cafes in the vicinity.    

Mangar Village

A village in the suburbs of New Delhi, Mangar, is a hidden street-art gem. The fascinating thing about the murals here is that they were all painted by one artist, a local named Ravinder. 

Taking inspiration from religious texts, the art in the lanes of Mangar has an earthy homegrown feel to it, something you cannot find in big cities. 

Mumbai

A fast-moving city, Mumbai’s street-art allows locals to stop for a moment and admire the beauty amidst its chaos. 

Bandra West, known for its trendy restaurants and pulsating nightlife, is the most fashionable neighborhood where art lovers can find funky art pieces around every corner. 

Head to Chapel Road in Bandra to explore street-art that is young, eccentric, often Bollywood inspired, and sometimes quite trippy. 

The other street art destination in Mumbai is Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum. 

The art here creates a challenging atmosphere, is on a grander scale, but is surprisingly more grounded and in tune with its surroundings. 

An ideal way to explore the area is by taking a street-art walking tour. 

Kolkata

Culture oozes from every nook of Kolkata, yet when it comes to street art, the “city of joy” is still in its nascent stage. That is not to say there aren’t brilliant pieces of street art dotted around Kolkata’s landscape. 

Unlike some other locations in India, Kolkata’s art has a rather raw personality, which takes inspiration from local traditions and beliefs. 

A city of immense beauty, street art in Kolkata adds to its ubiquitous vintage charm. 

Goa

As the premier beach destination of India, Goa sees a year-round influx of travelers from across the globe. 

From beachgoers and artists to those seeking nirvana, it is but obvious that the street art in Goa is a reflection of its vibrant international population. 

Murals come in all sizes in Goa and are distinct enough to demand time away from the beach. Panjim and Anjuna have some of the best street art in the area.

The next time you are India, make sure you save some time to search for its fascinating street-art, often hidden in its tiny lanes or on display for all to see on its many prominent buildings.

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