“We are not learning just dance and music,” says a Kalakshetra student. “We are exploring a whole new way of life.” The clear lines of the dance form they are studying, and the pure notes of the music that resound through the campus permeates every aspect of life here. Simplicity, discipline that comes from within, a sense of reverence for all living beings underlie the day’s activities, even the most mundane.
Students rise at dawn and are bathed and dressed in their dance saris and dhotis, their kurta pyjamas and pavadai davanis, in time for breakfast at 7.30a.m. Meals are served in a large hall, open to the sea breeze. A short prayer of thanksgiving precedes the first meal of the day. Everyone sits on the floor to eat a hearty breakfast in the south Indian style. Within forty-five minutes, young men and women, boys and girls are walking along the wooded path that leads to their college and school areas, where prayers and music under the trees will prepare them for the day ahead.
Young people from every part of India, and from many countries across the world live in hostel buildings amidst trees, spread over an area of five acres beside the sea. Students are housed in dormitories with large airy rooms and modern toilet facilities, some with views of the sea. Three college students share a room with an attached bathroom. Each dormitory is supervised by a resident house mother. Young children attending Kalakshetra Foundation schools may join the hostel from the age of seven onwards.
When classes are over for the day, students practice dance and music, read, study, and attend concerts. Once a week everyone gathers for the singing of devotional songs called bhajans. In their free time, students are free to roam the expansive grounds, to read under the trees or to practice music and dance. The sound of music and of the rhythm of dance is to be heard almost all through the day. Outdoor games are encouraged, and equipment is provided. All except the youngest children wash their own clothes and clean their own rooms.
Students are housed in six dormitories with modern toilet facilities. Students have either one or two roommates. There is a payphone in every hostel which utilizes an India Telephone Card, available for purchase at the Superintendent’s office. All buildings are connected by intercom. There are internet cafes within walking distance of the campus.
A basic dispensary and an infirmary with two beds are available, and a lady allopathic doctor and a homeopathic doctor visit the campus regularly. There are good clinics in the area for illnesses requiring hospitalization.
Students eat together in a large dining hall. Meals are served at regular timings, and students eat together seated on the floor. A reverse osmosis plant provides drinking water exclusively for the hostel.
There is a small library that may be used for private study. A limited number of guests visiting hostel residents may be accommodated under special circumstances, with prior notice.
- Manasvini (20 )
- Padmasini (70)
- Rukmini Vihar (25)
- Seshammal Vihar (25)
- Ananda Ashram (27)
- Arundale Ashram
Currently, the hostel is managed by a Superintendent, who is assisted by three resident house mothers and six cooks. There is an electrician/handyman available exclusive for the hostel, 2 male custodians, and a large group of female custodians who maintain the buildings and grounds.
The entire Kalakshetra Foundation campus is covered by a 24 hour security watch, staffed by members of the Tamil Nadu Ex- Servicemens’ Corporation, a Government of Tamil Nadu organization.