Saturday, October 29, 2011

FAQs on Ninasam Culture Course at Heggodu

It was by chance I got introduced to the yearly Ninasam Culture Workshop/Course through one of my friends. In the end, the one who introduced me to this did not attend the program for the full week but I did attend and it was a wonderful experience in Heggodu, amidst the greens! Well, I thought in this post I would provide FAQs on the same, which would benefit the ones with literary interests.

What is Ninasam Culture Workshop/Course?
  • It is a week long workshop on culture appreciation - day sessions full of literary discussions and the evenings filled with theatre performances - drama, classical music.
  • Held yearly, normally during the first week of October. Ninasam has been holding this workshop for more than 2 decades now.
  • Majority of the discussions are in Kannada with few in English.
  • Every year workshop will be based on some theme. This year the theme was 'Indian Languages'
Shivarama Karantha Rangamandira, Ninasam, Heggodu
Where is Ninasam located?
  • It is located in Heggodu, 10km from Sagara in Shivamogga district of Karnataka.
  • For more information on Ninasam, please visit their official site :
What do you feel are the key take aways from the workshop?
  • One gets to know people with similar interests and enjoy their company.
  • One also can engage in open discussions with who's who of the literary world during and after the sessions.
  • This year's workshop had some big names - Kannada writers - U R Ananthamurthy, Giraddi Govindaraju, H S Venkateshamurthy, Vaidehi, K V Akshara, Kum Veerabhadrappa, M S Sriram, Theatre person - Prakash Belawadi, Bollywood script writer - Atul Tiwari (played the role of Mantriji in '3 Idiots'), Professor of Philosophy - Dr. Sundar Sarukkai
  • In the mornings, before the literary discussions of the day began, there were 2 sessions participants could choose to participate - basics of acting and photography basics. I chose photography basics. I must say that was an enlightening session for me. It changed my perspective of looking at photographs. I also came to know how to see it as a work of art. Karnataka's well known photographers A N Mukund and Rajaram took the sessions.
  • If you are interested in creative writing and confused about what and how to write, Ninasam Cultural Workshop could well provide you the inspiration. It may not teach you how to do creative writing but certainly prepares you to recognize good works and well, in some time you could start on your own!
Literary discussion at Ninasam, Heggodu
What to do if you get bored during the workshop?
  • You could get bored during the workshop. At least I did because it is week long and after 2-3 days you could feel bogged down. Also, not every discussion held my attention. But then you are in Malnad region of Karnataka and you have plenty of travel options to explore.
  • Me and my friend Manjunath took a day off from workshop and went on a ferry ride to Sigandur!
  • There are other options you can try too - Ikkeri and Keladi (historical places - 6 km and 8 km from Sagara respectively), famous Jog Falls(2nd highest plunge water falls in India, 30 km from Sagara). To top it all, October is a suitable time to visit Malnad - no incessant rains!
  • You can also visit Charaka - the Khadi manufacturing unit in Heggodu.
Fees for the program and accommodation
  • Cost of the program was Rs.1500/- (for food, stay and shows in the evenings) for the Oct 2-8, 2011 workshop. One can pay and register for the program a month in advance.
  • Registered participants are provided with common accommodation in dormitories at Ninasam, Heggodu for the whole week.
  • Otherwise, you can stay at a hotel of your choice in Sagara on a seperate expense and reach Ninasam in the mornings to attend the sessions. After the performances in the evenings, Ninasam bus drops the participants to Sagara.
  • Or if you just want to attend the sessions for a day or two, you can do so without any fees.
Ninasam, Heggodu
Number of participants, their demography and feedbacks
  • There were around 200 participants in the workshop.
  • Participants include artists, students, people from academia, industrialists, engineers - on the whole people from diverse backgrounds sharing a common passion.
  • For the first timers like me, it was an exciting experience.
  • There were veterans who have been coming here for the last 5-10 years. For some, this time is a relaxing break from the busy and monotonous city life. There were students of arts who had enthusiastically come for the workshop and there were few who wanted a break from the boring college lectures!
  • Some were of the opinion that the same speakers came every year and wanted to see new speakers at the literary discussions.
  • I felt that this year's theme 'Indian Languages' could have been presented in a better way - people quoting, analyzing works from the past is fine. But it would have made more sense if there was a conscious effort to bring out the current literary scenarios and throw some light on recent works in various Indian languages.
Pour in your comments for get more details!

In 2016, Ninasam Culture Course will be held from Oct 8th to 12th (5 Days). You can get the details of joining the course here.


  1. Thanks for the informative post. I am planning to attend this next year!!

  2. Sharath, Good to see your enthusiasm! :)

  3. hi, i'm trying to get the application form, but don't have idea about this, could you please help me out, call me on this number 9845320820, or give me your number i'll give you call, i need this at earliest,

    Thanks in advance,

  4. Hi Shreedhar,

    Workshop is conducted usually in the month of October. Notification will be given much before that. Registration of 2013 workshop is not started yet. Anyway you can see for updates at this link Ninasam Culture Course - How to join

  5. Good to read your experience in details again ! Actually, came across Heggoddu in a recent article at Nat Geo Traveller and thereby thought reading your post on the same :)

  6. That's great Sandeep! Nice to know that Heggodu is being featured in Nat Geo Traveller!



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