An iconic heritage colony, Andretta Artist Village is a centre of theatre, pottery and art. Surrounded by the snow-capped Dhauladhar range and the bamboo groves of the Shivaliks, the village enjoys surreal beauty. The credit for the development of this extraordinary village goes to Norah Richards, a young Irish woman, who came to the village in pre-independence India. She was married to Philip Richards, who was a professor at Government College, Lahore. She had first arrived in Lahore, an important cultural centre in 1908, and became the vice-principal of the noted Dayal Singh College. She had been involved in establishing Punjabi theatre in the city before returning to England after her husband died. She came to Andretta in 1920 and began her journey to revive theatre in the region. It was here that she began the Woodland Estate, which is now a popular stopover for artists from all avenues. The village was home to painter B C Sanyal and professor Jai Dayal Singh, a pupil of Philip Richards from Lahore University, through the 1940s. Sanyal started organising painting exhibitions to fund the Norah Centre for Arts and a resort. Noted painter, Sobha Singh, best known for making Sikh religious paintings, moved in and stayed here till his death in 1986.

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