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India >> Rajasthan >> Tonk >> Palai - Papier Mache Village
Palai - Papier Mache Village Tonk, Rajasthan
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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The village of Palai lies on the Tonk- Newai road. A small and peaceful village it was a jagiri (province) of Jaipur under maharaja Man Singh ji. Post independence it has been reassigned under the Tonk district. The village is built encircling the Palai hill, where the abandoned Sitaram temple stands in a crumbling and neglected state. Just close to the village is the Banasthali vidhyapeeth, an all girls residential university, which is nothing short of a township. Just 5 kms south of the village lays the town of Newai. Part of the same jagiri in the old days, it sits under the huge Newai fort. Apart from the fort one can enjoy visiting the Jalandharnath gufa and the hot/cold water Kund (spring). Just close to the Palai village lays the Virender craft studio, a must visit for any fan of the Rajasthani rural art and craft.


The almost 500 year old village of Palai was originally a religious site of significant importance to the empire of Jaipur. The Sitaram temple atop the Palai hill was a magnificent architecture with a beautiful view. Although one can see the beautiful pillars and arches from the outside, the temple feigns collapse almost every day. The deities of this temple had however been shifted to another temple in the midst of the village almost 50 years ago and the original temple has been abandoned and ignored. Starting at one corner below the Palai hill, the village has grown encircling the hill with people migrating from other villages to make this village their home. As a result there remains a very small population of the natives of this village today. The village also has a few rain water harvesting projects which can be seen in the form of water reservoirs. These reservoirs add to the scenic beauty and can be enjoyed greatly during the monsoons. The village has many temples situated in and around it, a few prominent ones being the Sitaram temple, the Ramdwar and the Jujharji shaheed smarak. The village is a very peaceful place to relax and enjoy the bounties of nature and the innocence of village life whilst trying your hand at the local arts and crafts.


A short distance away lays the Banasthali vidhyapeeth. The all girls’ residential university is a township in itself with activities such as shooting and flying in the curriculum.


5 km south of Palai lays the town of Newai. A part of the same rule pre independence as that of Palai, it attracted many people with its hot and cold water Kund in the old days. The Kund today though has dry spells most of the time. There is also the Newai fort atop a hill that is and hosts a magnificent view to enjoy. Another aspect worth enjoying is the vegetable market that transports you back in time to the days of the king’s reign.


Virender Craft Studio

Just on the outskirts of Palai village lays the foundation of rural craft research and development. This effort is the brainchild of Virender Kumar Sharma who has made his life’s goal to conserving the local arts and crafts by uplifting the artisans and craftsmen who are the true heirs of their dying art by giving them opportunities and exposure for their work, thus supplying them with the means of livelihood to support them and their art forms/ craft forms. Born in 1960 to a traditional family of artists, Virender Sharma had a keen interest in arts and crafts. Learning and researching various techniques in the craft form of paper mache almost completely on his own, in 1986 he started making this craft form a source of livelihood for himself as well as the poor village folk who were taught this art form and made to sustain themselves through it. Today his setup in Palai garners global attention with the crafts and art forms made by him and the local artists being shipped overseas by clients in Japan, America and Europe. This setup that also serves as his home, art gallery, and storage for his massive collection of hand made crafts and art forms leaves anyone who visits, spellbound with fascination and admiration and appreciation for the creativity that show through different mediums used. Although the art of papier mache is predominantly used, forms of wood carving, metal working, leather works, mehendi, stone carving, tie & dye, block printing, cooking and local dance forms are also encouraged from the rural artists and regular folk alike. Efforts are also made to contact and facilitate oppourtunities to local craftsmen who live far away and are not able to traverse long distances to be able to continue their work in the conditions, environment, ambience and aura of their home where they feel most comfortable.


The setup plays host to many college excursions, vacationers wanting to explore their creative side and tourists from other countries who are curious and wish to enjoy the process of these local arts and crafts, while in a completely peaceful and serine environment of open fields and fresh flowing air.

 Getting there


Palai lies on the Newai Banasthali highway in the Tonk district of Rajasthan.



The village of Palai is about 5 kms from the closest town of Newai, 3 kms from the Newai train station, 33kms from Tonk and about 70 kms from the capital of Rajasthan - Jaipur.

 Fast Facts
Name Palai - Papier Mache Village Best Time To Visit September to March
Location Tonk   Rajasthan   West   India  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Village & Craft
Temperature Summar   40-44°C      Winter   2-8°C      Rainy   34-38°C
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