Traditional crafts of Tamil Nadu attract Mangaloreans

 The beauty of the handicrafts is such that one can’t really stay away from them. The art lovers of port city always welcomed and appreciated the skills of craftsmen.

Now, The Tamilnadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, known as Poompuhar, has organised ‘Crafts Mela,’ an exhibition of handicrafts from all over India, especially, the crafts of Tamilnadu, at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan in Mangalore.
The Poompuhar exhibition stands unique because of variety of handicrafts including rarely available traditional Thanjavur paintings, the panchaloha or five metal (silver, copper, lead, tin and gold) sculptures and Thanjavur art plates.

The panchaloha sculptures which are crafted by about 60 skilled artists of Tanjavur unit have the flavour of Pallava and Chola art tradition.

There are sculptures of Ganesha in dancing, sitting, standing and even resting posture, Heramba, Shakti Ganesha and many more varieties. One can see the sculptures of almost all Hindu deities including Ardhanarishwara, Parvati with Murugan and Ganesha, Nellur and Sitambaram Nataraj and Udupi Sri Krishna. Though these look like antique pieces, they are new pieces with antique finish. The price of Panchaloham sculptures starts with Rs 2,500. A 5-feet tall sculpture of Lord Vishnu, which weighs 120 kg, is worth of Rs 16, 00,000, said Manager C Gopikannan to Deccan Herald.

Tanjavur paintings

The rich Tanjavur paintings are done on wood and embossed with gold with the themes of deities like Rama, Krishna, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Nataraja, Murugan, Asta Lakshmi, Asta Durge, Ramapattabhisheka etc. The paintings which have vital quality of folk, varying in size look rich with the use of jewels, Kundan stone, and white and red stones. Colourful glass and occasional pearls are also used in these paintings. Some paintings put on exhibition are around 60 year old, said the organiser.

The Tanjavur art plates with the designs of deities, birds flowers, have been made out of black copper and silver sheets. These are then encrusted on a brass tray, pot or cup (panchapaathra). There are ‘Uruli’ (round plates) available in plain and designed shapes. The brass oil lamps also attract because of their variety. The lamps are available in different sizes from 4 inches which is priced at Rs 220 to 5-feet lamp which is worth Rs 42,000. Kerala style oil lamps, hanging lamps, wall hangings of black metal with copper coating, brass metal toys, soap stone (Balapada Kallu in Kannada) works, wax designs which are manufactured at Hyderabad are also available. Along with this Rudraksham, chains made-up of red sandalwood, Vishnu Saligrama, white Shivalingam, Spatika Shivalingam, Navarthma chain and chains made up of coral, pearl, ruby stone, tiger eye stone, sun stone, fish stone, rose stone and many colourful crystals are available. “These are made by tribes in Tamilnadu. It needs patience and skill. We sell these directly without depending on middleman,” said Ravichandran.

Rajasthan textiles     Though Kerala is their main market, Rajasthan textiles get good response in coastal city. The bedsheets with hand blocking painting are designed with folk flavour. The cotton and Rajasthani traditional Kota saris (handloom) with price varying from Rs 400 to Rs 1,000 are put on exhibition. Anarkaly, Jaipuri, Patiala types of dress materials are also available, said shopkeeper Mohan Lal. Sayyed Asgur of Channapatna was selling toys made by the craftsmen of his home town.

Rose wood and white wood carving, terra kotta, toys made of rubber wood and bamboo, using vegetable dry colours and with lacquer finishing too attract kids. More than 20 artisans from various states have been participating and selling the products.
The expo will be open till January 27, everyday between 11 am and 9 pm.

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