Each region of India abounds in handicrafts
reflecting the genius of its local craftsmen. Andhra
Pradesh in the south has the distinction of having all-important
categories of handicrafts practised in their traditional locations spread
over different parts of the state.
Generations of dedicated and tainted craftsmen working with the treasures of the earth have transformed precious and ordinary materials into objects of rare beauty. Most handicrafts have been learned as an art form down the ages. And some of them are still a part of the cottage industry of Andhra.
The Various Forms Of Creative Art
Karimnagar is well known for Silver Filigree of superior quality created by master craftsmen. Bidri, an art of inlaying silver on black metal, is another prized product of Andhra Pradesh popular in different parts of the world.
Metalware has found a new expression in the context of Andhra Pradesh with exquisite pieces of sheet-metal art deriving its motifs from the historic monuments of the Kakatiya sculpture. Pembarthi village in Warangal District of Andhra Pradesh is the hometown of this art. The artisans of Andhra Pradesh are also skilled in Bronze castings, the art of transforming the common metal bronze into beautiful masterpieces.
Durgi, Allagadda and Tirupati are the important stone carving centres in Andhra Pradesh. Mythological figures and the stone carvings of the Gods and Goddesses in the temples in these regions are the typical illustrations of the stonework.
Woodcarving received its impetus from the temple sculptures. This has made possible the creation of a variety of products in the shape of both figurines and panels that depict them from temple chariots and 'Gopuram' (typical Hindu temple domes).
Exhibited in wood paintings and other wooden articles, Nirmal artwork abounds with aesthetic expressions. The talent of the artists in capturing the mood of Indian and Moghul schools of art in their true spirit is worthy of admiration.
Andhra Pradesh has its claim on some of the most distinguished crafts like the Kalamkari work with its origins traced back to antiquity. Machilipatnam and Kalahasti are the main Kalamkari centres, known for their intricate and detailed designs, used in clothing and wall decorations.
Leather puppet making is yet another speciality which has made its way into Andhra Pradesh and developed its roots in different parts of the state. Andhra Pradesh has created a place for itself in the wooden toy industry, combining both carving and painting to present interesting themes, such as village occupations, models of mythological figures, and animals in both stylised and natural forms. Kondapalli dolls Nirmal toys, and Etikoppaka for lacquer ware toys are the famous examples.
The Traditional Handloom Making
Andhra Pradesh has a rich tradition of handloom textile, which has attracted attention from both within and outside the country. Saris of the most exquisite, unique and generic designs are found here. Silk and cotton saris come from the looms of Pochampalli, Venkatagiri, Gadwal, Narayanpet and Dharmavaram, and are household names throughout India. Banjara Needle Craft, the mirror embroidery of the style practised by the tribal women Banjaras is also an important craft.
Ikat is a tie-dye technique yielding woven fabric of the most intricate and colourful designs, and Himroo weaving are also unique art forms of Andhra Pradesh's handloom heritage.
Budhiti is practised in Budhiti village of Srikakulam district. This art form expresses itself as traditional cooking utensils and also in forms that suit contemporary needs - like flowerpots and planters. The exquisite hand crocheted lace works of Narsapur in Andhra Pradesh are also very popular.
Places To Buy
Efforts are taken to preserve and sustain these arts and crafts by the Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation (APHDC), a state government organisation. Lepakshi Handicrafts emporia of APHDC have on display most of these arts throughout India.
In Andhra Pradesh, Lepakshi showrooms are in Hyderabad , Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Tirupati , Visakhapatnam, Tirumala Hills, Puttaparthi, Guntur, Warangal, Karimnagar, Rajahmundry, Kurnool and Nizamabad.
WHERE TO SHOP: