Childrens Books

Saptaparni – Kids Activities in Hyderabad

What you see A sense of calm prevails here, a center for cultural activities and a children’s bookstore. There is open space and greenery all around and just outside the entrance is a thriving periwinkle in full bloom.

Pleasant and helpful staff behind a reception desk covered in leaflets, brochures and magazines welcome you inside. Across the walls, billboards announce the various workshops they organize. Further inside is a large ballroom with floor-to-ceiling mirrors covered with a few curtains on one wall and a corner shelf against the other. This room leads to four other rooms for music, conversations and books. At the top of some steps (you are asked to leave your shoes below) you will find pictures of Goddess Saraswathi and Thyagaraja – this is a place where music lessons are taught. The place even houses an amphitheater.

What you get –This resort in Hyderabad was founded on November 14 (Children’s Day) 2003 by Anuradha Reddy. It’s a unique concept to bring art and culture to children, all under one roof.

Let’s start with the library. It has a wide assortment of children’s books, ranging from picture books like Grandpa’s Stories and Birbal to adventure books by Enid Blyton. Educational vowel and math books and quiz books by Derek O’Brien and Siddhartha Basu are also available. The same goes for DIY books like How to Make Puppets and How to Make Masks. Kids will love the range of comics here – from Tintin and Asterix to Tenali Raman and Amar Chitra Katha’s Jataka Tales. And for art lovers, there are even books for drawing and coloring.

That’s not all. Music books, Bible stories, a large collection of Indian authors like Rabindranath Tagore, Mahasweta Devi, Satyajit Ray and Ruskin Bond and comprehensive collections of books by RK Narayan also find their place here. Murder mystery and thriller novels by Robert Ludlum, Agatha Christie, Dan Brown, Ken Follett and Jeffrey Archer and self-help books by Dale Carnegie attract attention.

There is also a range of traditional games, such as Parama Pada Sopanam (Steps to the Highest Place), which is similar to snakes and ladders. It is played on a web instead of a board with squares of up to 132 and against each snake are the names of notorious characters from Hindu mythology like Ravan, Duryodhana and Bakasura. At the top of the scales are virtues like honesty, hard work, and courtesy. Talk about learning while having fun.

Some of the other games here are Goli (marbles) at Rs. 50, Bambaram (top and thong) at Rs. 75 and Kattam Vilayattu (the square game) at Rs. 80 to name a few.

Other pieces available here are cloth bags, Bhagavat Gita, boxed wisdom cards, cute notebooks, agarbatis boxes and a limited range of stationery.

Carnatic Violin, Tabla, Mridangam, Piano, Carnatic Chanting, Shloka Chanting, Kuchipudi, Pottery, Yoga, Scrabble, Odissi Dance and Vedic Chanting are some of the classes and workshops offered by Saptaparni for students of all ages. Some of these classes even allow students as young as four years old. Qualified and experienced instructors lead all classes.

The open-air auditorium (capacity of 150 seats) is rented for book readings and music concerts at Rs. 5,000 for five hours and the dance hall at Rs. 2,500 for five hours.

Our opinion – This Hyderabad Kids Resort seems like the perfect place for parents to take their kids to get them away from those computer games and TVs. It offers books and activities for children and parents, giving them more time to spend together while learning about art and music. There is plenty of parking space around.

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