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PAINTING RETREAT

Bookings open for

2024
APR-
15-20 (sold out/completed)
22-27 (sold out/completed)
29- 4 (sold out/completed)
MAY-
6-11 (sold out/completed)
13-18 (sold out)
20-25 (Available- 2)
27- 1 (sold out)
JUN-
3-8 (sold out)
10-15 (sold out)
17-22 (Available- 2)
24-29 (Available- 3)

 

Intro

This is an art / painting retreat designed exclusively for art enthusiasts, offering a unique opportunity to dwell in the mountains within a tranquil village nestled in nature’s embrace in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India. This retreat program unfolds a canvas of diverse arts, nature and community experiences.

Every day there will be a 2-3 hours workshop on different mediums / styles such as Charcoal, Thangka drawing, Kangra painting, Acrylic pouring and Paint on pottery respectively. In these workshops, you learn the basics of that particular style while making your own art piece. This experience also includes local tours, nature walks, different wellness sessions such as yoga, meditation and sound healing.

The retreat is put together by a skilled group of artists and facilitators. Starting on Monday afternoon and lasting until Saturday morning, all of the retreat schedules are similar. We have room for 8 participants in each batch.

You can join this retreat to learn different styles of painting/pottery, give yourself a breather or just motivate your creative self.

Day 1 (Monday) – Arrive for check-in before 2 PM, allowing yourself to acclimatise. Explore your surroundings, connect with fellow participants and commence your artistic journey with the first session from 4 PM to 6:30 PM. 

Days 2 to 5 – Every day there will be different art workshops. Apart from the art workshops, there will be local tours, nature walks, different wellness sessions such as yoga, meditation and sound healing.
It’s an all-encompassing retreat that promises not only artistic exploration but also a harmonious fusion of creativity, nature, community and self-discovery.

Day 6 (Saturday) – Check-out is at 11 AM after a satisfying breakfast.

Any art pieces created during the workshop can be conveniently carried out after the retreat at no additional cost.

Stay

The accommodation lies amidst the pine and cedar forest, completely secluded from the hustle-bustle of the town yet easily approachable by road. The rooms are single and double-occupancy rooms. We don’t put up strangers together- so you will either have the whole room or share it with someone you bring along.
All the rooms have attached washrooms, high–speed WiFi, power backup, hot water, electric kettle, heaters/fans, private balconies and modern aesthetics. You will have a view of the Dhauladhar mountain range from your room!
Laundry and taxi services are available at the property.
Dharamkot offers wide views of the Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. It has the world–famous Vipassana meditation centers– Dhamma Sikhara and Tushita Meditation Centre.

Meals

We have purposefully not included meals in the retreat package, to keep the food choices flexible. There is a wonderful cafe at your stay serving delicious and hygienic veg / non-veg / vegan food. Apart from that, there are highly rated restaurants and cafes around Dharamkot and Mcleodganj serving Indian, Tibetan, Italian, Israeli, Continental, Mediterranean and other cuisines that will delight your taste buds.

Location

At an elevation of 2100 m, Dharamkot is a small village in Kangra district in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Famous for yoga, meditation and hippies since the 1970s, Dharamkot is also known as a second home for Israeli tourists coming to India. We are 2 km above McLeodGanj, which is home to the Dalai lama and the Capital of the Tibetan government–in–exile.

Weather

April– Jun: The summer season in the mountains can be an absolutely stunning time of year. With the snow melted away and the sun shining, the mountains come alive with an array of colors, scents, and sounds. The temperature during the day can range from pleasantly cool to warm, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. The air is crisp and fresh, with a sweet scent of pine and other mountain flora.

Bring– Sunglasses, hiking shoes and light clothes with a jacket for cooler evenings.

Workshops

All workshops are conducted by professional artists who have achieved mastery in their respective fields. They have been practicing and teaching for years and we believe that you’ll have a fine experience engaging and learning with them.

Charcoal

The science of sketching is a profound journey, weaving together mindfulness, eye-to-hand coordination, emotional regulation, mental clarity, and self-belief. It’s an exploration that extends beyond the realm of artistry, becoming a transformative experience for those who engage in its deliberate strokes. In the dance of lines and shades, individuals discover not only the power to create art but also a pathway to resilience, empowerment, and a newfound belief in their own capabilities.

Facilitator– Mr. Rohit Kishan
Place– Science of Sketching Studio

Thangka Drawing

A Thangka workshop immerses participants in the ancient Tibetan Buddhist art of making a mandala or depicting one of many scenes from the life of Buddha. Led by skilled artists, the workshop will teach you the drawing of Thangka. Participants delve into spiritual themes, learning the sacred significance of each element. These workshops preserve and pass on this rich cultural tradition.

Facilitator– Dr. Sarika Singh
Place– Himalayan Art Museum

Kangra Painting

A Kangra Painting workshop offers insights into the traditional art form originating from the Kangra Valley in India. Participants learn techniques like delicate brushwork and vibrant colors used to depict themes like love, nature, and mythology. These workshops preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of Kangra paintings.

Facilitator– Mr. Monu Sharma
Place– Dharamkot Studio- 2

Acrylic Pouring

Acrylic pouring is a technique where paints are poured onto a surface to create interesting patterns and designs. Artists mix paints to a desired consistency using fluid mediums, then tilting guides the paint flow and one may manipulate it as desired later. Finished pieces can be varnished for protection and vibrancy.

Facilitator– Ms. Pragya Dadhwal
Place– Dharamkot Studio- 2

Paint on Pottery

Painting on pottery is a method of painting your design on a piece of pottery before firing it in a kiln. You will make a piece of pottery and then use various techniques like brushwork or sponging to create decorative designs on that piece. Once fired, the paint bonds to the surface, creating durable designs on functional dish ware or decorative sculptures, showcasing unique creativity.

Facilitator– Ms. Hazel / Ms. Anjali
Place– Dharamkot Studio- 1

How to reach

By Air – Dharamshala Airport (DHM) is the nearest airport which is around 20 km (50 minutes) from the studio, direct taxi (1400/-) will be available.
By Bus – Overnight journey from Delhi by semi-sleeper bus. The nearest bus station is Dharamshala (8 km), and from the bus station, you can take a taxi (Rs. 600/-).
By Train – Pathankot (85km) is the nearest railway station, from Pathankot you can take public transport to Dharamshala and then a taxi to Dharamkot.

Prices

INR 37740 +18%GST = INR 44533 for 1 person
INR 64000+18%GST =INR 75520 for 2 people
Including- A private room, all workshops with materials, tours and internal transfers, breakfast on Day 2 and lunch on day 3, yoga/meditation/sound healing and Guide charges.

How to book-
All the dates mentioned on the website are available to book. Choose your preferred dates, contact us on WhatsApp (+91 7420809941) or email (retreat@Dharamkotstudio.com) to pay the booking amount of Rs. 15000/person through Gpay/Paytm/bank account. After the payment, you will get a booking confirmation and signup form on WhatsApp. The remaining amount is to be paid on arrival.

Cancellation/Refund/Rescheduling
The booking amount (Rs. 15000/person) is non-refundable. The retreat can be rescheduled only till 1 week before arrival. After that, it cannot be rescheduled and the booking amount will not be refunded.

 

Please Note:

We have designed this plan with care and will try our best to keep things as mentioned above. But, if there are any changes in the activities schedule or workshop timing / style / medium / facilitator due to any reason, we request your cooperation.

Testimonials

Nishtha JainNishtha Jain
07:47 07 Apr 24
Thanks a lot for curating the amazing intimate experience and a very big thank you to the entire team for ensuring the guests get the best. The rooms are well equipped with basic facilities and the food is like home food (my fav food during the entire stay). They go out of the way to ensure your comfort. 10/10 recommend!
Heidi RowHeidi Row
10:53 03 Apr 24
Our stay at Dharamkot Studios exceeded our expectations on many levels.The staff, the food, the location and the whole team of artists who looked after us are great.We loved the mini tours and walks in the mountains. We can recommend this Retreat to anybody.There was never a dull moment and we learnt loads, felt cared for would certainly liked to return for the longer course.
Sunil KotianSunil Kotian
18:21 01 Apr 24
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐What an amazing five days at Dharamkot Studio! From the moment I stepped through the door, I was welcomed with such warmth and hospitality, making me feel right at home.The session guides, Pragya, Manoj, Pari, Prianka, and Dhiram, were not only experts in their fields but also incredibly motivating. Their guidance throughout the retreat was priceless, and I've learned so much from them.Huge shoutout to Sajan and the entire studio team for ensuring my stay was comfortable and unforgettable. Their attention to detail made everything seamless, and the delicious chai and soulful meals were the cherry on top of each day.The connections made with fellow participants during the retreat were truly special. The laughter, support, and shared experiences made the whole journey unforgettable.For anyone looking for an art retreat and receive top-notch instruction in a nurturing environment, I highly recommend Dharamkot Studio!
Sabera KapasiSabera Kapasi
14:52 29 Mar 24
I attended the 5 day pottery retreat and I didn’t realize it would be so much fun and such a beautiful experience. The 5 days just flew by and I know I’ve made friends for life! I was a total novice to working with clay and the teachers are so patient and nurturing - and make learning a new skill absolutely enjoyable. I highly recommend this retreat to anyone who wants to get away from the madness and stress of city life. The people, food, atmosphere and nature all feed the soul! I hope I can come back!
Anish GalaAnish Gala
08:52 27 Mar 24
Kritika BhutadaKritika Bhutada
11:21 20 Mar 24
The Dharamkot studio is any creative persons paradise. I got lost in its beauty the moment I reached the center.The picturesque location, the glass studio, and the lovely accommodation building is just the beginning of the amazing experience.My experience at the studio and Dharamkot village simply put was spectacular! Loved the itinerary planned for us, met some amazing people and heard some inspiring stories, made some wonderful art that I didn’t know I was capable of making in just 5 days but with great help and training from our fabulous and helpful instructors. The entire Dharamkot Studio team, from the kitchen team that made delicious meals everyday, the team that looked after all our needs while we were busy working on our clay pieces, and our coordinator Sajan, all were so wonderful! So grateful to have had this experience and I really wish to come back again someday. (Do walk around and explore Dharamkot and surrounding areas while you are there).
Rachna PanikkerRachna Panikker
02:32 15 Mar 24
If you are even remotely inclined to art and would like to try a new form and medium, Dharamkot Studio is your place. Their pottery and art retreat is 5 days of introduction to pottery and its materials. You’ll learn the basics of ceramics, you’ll meet new people and experience some local activities like guided meditation, nature walks and a small guided tour of the area - all of which are arranged as part of the retreat!To top it all, the people here are just pure joy! They are kind, patient and amazing teachers. They start you off with hands on experience from Day 1/hour 1, instead of a theory-first method. You will learn hand building as well as wheel throwing (basics: don’t expect to be a pro within a week, these people have taken years to master the art form) The best part - nothing you make is templatized; they encourage you to think, ideate and create. And you actually get to take back things you have made!The studio has brilliant views with a cozy setting and the accommodation is comfortable, safe, hygienic with lovely views of the Deodhar tree forests and Mcleodganj/Dharamshala.A shout out to all the kitchen staff for the best home-style veg food and the continuous flow of chai/coffee/ginger lemon honey.Pragya, Prianka, Parneet, Neeraj, Sajan, Manoj, Manish and everyone else at Dharamkot Studio, thank you for making this experience so memorable. Highly recommended.
Arpana LudhwaniArpana Ludhwani
19:58 11 Jan 24
I have attended the retreat in December2023! My experience has been incredible. Make sure you take all your warm clothes and make necessary arrangements if you go in dec-jan! Dharamkot studio you have my heart! A special shout out to each and every instructor and all the people who have made this studio a big hit! Thankyou so much Pragya, Manoj, Dhiram, Neeraj, Anjali, Kapil for giving us insights about everything.I wish you all the success to become a big institute of teaching pottery one day😄...You guys have been so patiently dealing with all the questions, they gave us an insight about the types of clay and tools, they have taught us with basic clay hand building, wheel throw sessions, slab technique (my favourite would be slab one), carving and painting..We have been taught the basics very well with individual attention given but everyone has been given the liberty to create pieces with our imagination.If you are somebody who is looking for real creative experience in the middle of mountains, this is the best place to be! They also have residency programs where you can learn everything from scratch if you wish to start your own hustle with pottery!The stay has been good. Thanks to Sajan for managing everything so well.The food and the view is amazing in the cafe, the chef serves you tasty Ghar ka khana.Overall, the experience has been great for me and I wish to visit the studio again for the residency program🤞
Nazneen AliNazneen Ali
09:08 23 Dec 23
I went for a 5 day art retreat in the middle of December 2023 at Dharamkot studio and had an amazing experience. Starting from the initial correspondence to the coordination of the whole stay and the pottery classes themselves - the whole package was truly worth it and so well planned by the team.The cottages were comfortable and clean and looks out to a breathtaking view of the valley. The classes are relaxed and well timed and the instructors were patient and supportive of my creativity. The retreat is mixed with some other great activities other than pottery - including yoga, walks and meditation. The sound bath meditation was my favourite of the lot.I was a bit hesitant to do this and anxious of how it would turn out but it was a much needed break from a crazy year. I impulsively booked this all alone and ended up meeting a lovely group of people and will cherish memories from this retreat forever 🙂 To all those souls who are burn out and want to get in touch with your creative side - take the plunge and sign up for their next retreat!
Fozia YoungFozia Young
13:46 21 Dec 23
It was very well organised and the instructors were excellent. The experience of learning a new skill was beyond what I thought it would be.I liked the breaks in the schedules, sightseeing, hike and a free afternoon to explore. it made it for a nice balanced retreat. Thank you.
Yash RuiaYash Ruia
05:13 21 Dec 23
I did the 5 day creative retreat here in December 2023. The location is fantastic, the studio is beautiful, the staff is friendly and knowledgable. I really enjoyed my time here and would highly reccomend the creative retreat to anyone looking to escape the city noises and pollution. Special shoutout to Pragya, Sajan, Neeraj and Manish for making this stay special.
Priyal SanghviPriyal Sanghvi
04:17 21 Dec 23
I had an amazing experience at this program. The workshops, the program, the management and the company overall was a complete package. Happy to have chosen Dharamkot studio for my December break. It’s a must try!
Sukhada TikotekarSukhada Tikotekar
18:19 04 Sep 23
Warning! - you will not want to leave!Our days began by waking up in rooms that open up to a valley view and often felt like living in clouds - imo its the closest one comes to living in a "badalghar"The studio is open and beautiful!The instructors are extremely helpful and great teachers!They were all very warm, kind and helpful and allowed us to even explore more things we each wanted to try!Its a great beginning to a pottery journey as we learned and practised the basics and built confidence to do them on our own.The structure of the retreat is brilliant as it gives you time to explore the beautiful dharamkot as well as enough time to learn!The inhouse food is some of the best food you'll eat! Its the tastiest "ghar ka khana" you can imagine!The entire staff is extremely personable and affable + will help you out with anything you need.This place has my heart♥️
Janhavi HardasJanhavi Hardas
00:49 08 Jun 23
I attended the art retreat designed by the studio and it was the most wonderful 5 days I’ve spent. The calmness of the nature along with all the staff and teachers made the retreat a mix of exploring and learning. If you’re in Dharamkot you must visit the studio, even for a day!
Anuja ApteAnuja Apte
06:02 03 Jun 23
It was an incredible experience! I enjoyed every bit of the 5 days I stayed.Dharamkot Studio Team HATS OFF TO YOUR PATIENCE!Its a MUST visit place. Highly recommended to relax, rejuvenate and reboot :)Pottery beginners no need to worry. They teach brilliantly!They packed & shipped the pieces I made very neatly.Thank you so much for this life changing experience. ❤️I will surely visit again!Love, Anuja
Aparna SurenAparna Suren
08:00 28 Apr 23
Its been an incredible and enriching experience at Dharamkot studio. From meeting some really talented people and making great friends, the entire experience of learning pottery was taken to another level. The retreat is very well formatted with the right balance of learning, practicing and few activities beyond the studio. Perfect to call it an art retreat! Stay was very comfortable, food was homely, trainers were extremely patient and staff was very helpful. N learning in the hills has its own magical charm!!!Got back with loads of memories to cherish for a lifetime! Will definitely look at going back again n recommend friends to experience this retreat as well!!! Much love and gratitude to team Dharamkot studio!
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FAQs

Q- Can someone who has no experience of painting attend this retreat?
A- Yes, anyone can join it. All the workshops in the retreat are beginner-friendly. 

Q- Can I come a day early or extend one day after the retreat?
A- Yes, you can come early and stay back after the retreat but there will be no workshops during this time. Charges will be applicable for extra nights. Single occupancy: 2500 + taxes and Double occupancy: 3500 + taxes.

Q- Does kids and parents retreat has different prices? 
A- No, prices and activities for kids will be the same as adults.  

Q- What do I need to bring with me?
A- You need to bring nothing in particular for workshops. We will provide all the materials. You just need to carry sports shoes with good grip, a jacket or hoodie, sunglasses, a cap or hat, and sunscreen (SPF 30 or 50).

Q- Will the Pottery Retreat and Painting Retreat happen at the same location?
A- Both, Pottery Retreat and Painting Retreat are different programs. They are happening in the same village but different workshops are happening at different studios. Also, the stay locations are not the same.

Q- Does Dharamkot have interesting cafes and happening places?
A- Yes, Dharamkot and the neighbouring villages are buzzing with activities. We’ll share with you the list of interesting and happening cafes/places where you can spend your evenings. 

Q- What kind of people join the retreat? 
A- Mostly, we have people between 25 to 45 years old joining the retreat. We have people from diverse backgrounds such as- tech professionals, artists, entrepreneurs, influencers, homemakers, designers, architects, doctors, lawyers, creatives and people from other fields. But, everyone shares one thing in common which is a love for art, nature and community. 

 

Photos From The Retreat

Creative Pottery Retreat

ACTIVITY
Day 1 (Friday) - Today, you will arrive in the serene village of Dharamkot. We recommend you check-in to our Studio latest by 12PM, though checkin time is till 2PM.
After settling-in to your rooms, you will be served lunch at the cafeteria.
At 4 PM, you will start with your first workshop “An Introduction to Pottery”. This workshop will take about 2.5 to 3 hrs.
At night, you will indulge in dinner (possibly around a bonfire depending on weather) and then relax.
Day 2 (Saturday) - Today, you will start your day with a warm cup of tea & Nature Walk to Naddi. The trail meanders through the forests, offering stunning views of the valley below and the distant mountain ranges.
On returning, you will be served a sumptuous breakfast in our cafe.
At around 11 AM, you will head to the Studio for your second workshop. Today we will split the group in two batches for personalised attention to all participants. One group will attend the “Hand-building- pinching” workshop and the other will learn the “Intro to Pottery Wheel” workshop. Each workshop will take about 2.5 hrs.
Then you will break for lunch.
Post-lunch, you will take the second workshop from the above two, depending on what you did in the morning.
Wrap up your dinner at our cafe.
Day 3 (Sunday) - Today is a mix of learning and exploration!

After breakfast, you will attend the fourth workshop on “Texturing/Surface Decoration”.
Then after lunch, you will start your local sightseeing tour. Our expert local guides will take you to the Dalai Lama Temple, St. John’s in the Wilderness Church and the Mcleodganj Market. Take time to experience the spiritual energy of Dharamshala.
You can either return to the Studio with our guide in a cab which departs by 6 PM or stay longer and take a taxi back.
Dinner will be served in the evening but you can also explore one of the many restaurants/ bars in Mcleodganj.
Day 4 (Monday) - You will begin the day with yoga/meditation at one of the many renowned yoga studios in Dharamkot.

Then, head back to the Studio for breakfast and another day of pottery learning. You will now learn the advanced techniques in pottery making in your fifth and sixth art sessions.
We will again split the group in two batches for personalised attention to all participants. One group will attend the “Advanced Hand-building- Slab/coiling method” workshop and the other will learn the “Wheel Throwing/ Shaping Technique” workshop. Each workshop will take about 2.5 hrs.
Then you will break for lunch.
Post-lunch, you will take the second workshop from the above two, depending on what you did in the morning.
Wrap up your dinner at our cafe. By now you must have made friends with instructors and other participants, so we are sure you have some amazing conversations.
Day 5 (Tuesday) - You will begin the day with another session of yoga/meditation.
Then, head back to the Studio for breakfast. You will now attend the last and seventh art session on “ surface decoration with Coloured Under-Glazes”. The session will be of 2.5 hrs.
After lunch, you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. You can pick your favourite thing to do today…finish off your artwork with some guidance from our instructors, head out and take a hike, go shopping, spend a lazy day in a cafe, walk around the flag point for sunset…the choices are endless. We will see you back at the Studio at 7 PM for our farewell dinner.
Day 6 (Wednesday) - Today is the day we bid adieu! After breakfast, it’s time to pack up and gaze at the Dhauladhar range for one last time till we see you again. The check-out is at 11 AM.

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INCLUDEDNOT INCLUDED
5 nights accommodationAirfare
All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)Alcohol
Pottery Sessions Courier charges for shipping Art pieces you create
Half- Day tour to McleodgunjBank fee/ Money exchange fee/ Other payment charges
Nature walk, Yoga/Meditation SessionsLaundry
Art Supplies

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ACTIVITY
Day 1:
Arrive for check-in before 2 pm, allowing yourself to acclimate to the retreat atmosphere.
Explore your surroundings, connect with fellow participants, and commence your artistic journey with the first session from 4 pm to 6:30 pm(Charcoal).
Evening relaxation and dinner.
Day 2:

(8:30 am) After morning tea/coffee, board your vehicle and start your drive towards Himalayan Art Museum.
Breakfast, Museum Tour, Meditation and Thangka Drawing Workshop.

1:00 PM: Drive to Norbulingka.

Norbulingka is a self-sustaining community, where all members contribute to the larger vision of preserving Tibetan culture through the arts. It is a delight for travelers to see various Tibetan art forms such as paintings and woodwork.

Have lunch at one of the few restaurants at Norbulingka and explore the premises.
4:30 pm drive back to your hotel.
Evening relaxation and dinner.
Day 3:
(8:00 to 9:00 am) Start your day with yoga/meditation (8:00 to 9:00 am)
(11:00 am-1:30 pm) After breakfast, Acrylic pouring workshop at Dharamkot Studio- 2 (7 minutes walk from the hotel).
After lunch at the studio, you’ll meet your guide who’ll take you for a walk and exploration of Mcleodganj.
Take a beautiful walk around Dalai Lama Temple, explore cafes and shop if you wish.
Our guide will be with you till 6 pm.
After that, you can return to stay or get cozy in one of the many cafes of Mcleodganj.
The distance between Mcleodganj and your stay is just 2-3 km from the hotel.
Day 4:

(8:00 to 9:00 am) Start your day with yoga/meditation.
(11:00 am to 1:30 pm) Kangra Painting workshop at Dharamkot Studio-1 (5 minutes walk from the hotel).
After the session, walk back to your stay, have lunch, and relax for a while.
(4:00- 6:00 pm) Nature hike to the sunset viewpoint with the guide.
Return to the comfort of your stay in the evening and then enjoy the night as you wish.
Day 5:
(8:00 to 9:00 am) Start your day with sound healing.
(11:00 am-1:30 pm) After breakfast, Paint on Pottery workshop at Dharamkot Studio- 1 (7 minutes walk from the hotel).
After the session, you’re free to explore and spend your day as you desire.
Indulge in walks, cafe hopping, or shopping.
Day 6:

As the retreat concludes, savor a moment to absorb the scenic beauty of the Dhauladhar ranges. Check-out is at 11 am after a satisfying breakfast.

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InclusionsExclusions
Accommodation all daysPick-up & drop from the airport/bus stand
Breakfast on Day 2
Lunch on Day 3
Meals
All workshops with materials Nothing not mentioned in the inclusions
Art pieces made during the workshops. Bank fee/ Money exchange fee/ Other payment charges
Activities such as Yoga, Meditation & Sound Healing
Laundry
Norbulingka Institute Visit and Mcleodganj Walk
Nature hike
Internal transfers
Guide where required.

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