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Sonia Wigh Jul 03 2013

Which are the famous handicrafts in South India?

Kirat S Jul 03 2013
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Enveloped in its rich culture and unique traditions, India has been said to be a country blessed with a bundle of precious art forms. The special office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), has ensured that the rich cultural and craft heritage of India is in safe hands. The office looks after the socio-economic uplift of handicraft artisans and the promotion and development of the handicraft sector within the country. It has fuelled the increase in productivity, employment opportunities and income of the artisans. These days, the country’s arts and crafts are not only preserved, they are also being exported to other countries. Here is a sneak peek into the famous handicrafts of South India:

Silk Sarees - Kanjeevaram, Pochampally, Mysore Silk, Benarasi

Origin: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Mysore, Varanasi

Kanjeevaram: Known for their unique patterns and designs. They are made from mulberry silk and are available in bold and bright hues. If well maintained, they can last for a hundred years or more. Pochampally: They are very vibrantly coloured and are created with designs similar to the old khan style. The uniqueness lies in the transfer of design and colouring onto warp and weft threads, which are then woven together. Mysore Silk Sarees: This is one of the purest forms of silk and is unique in terms of its shimmering effect. Its beauty depends on the intricate work of zari. It uses 100 per cent silk and 100 per cent pure gold zari. Banarasi Silk Sarees: These are woven in subtle, pale colours, which are very dense and delicate. Its uniqueness lies in its exquisitely woven pallu that lends it grace.

Technique: Weaving and decorating is an intricate process and expertise and finesse come after years of training.

: These silk sarees are all readily available in shopping centres, malls and emporiums in all major cities like Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.


Origin: Bidar, Karnataka

Bidri is a specialised metal handicraft done in Andhra Pradesh. The material used is an alloy made up of ninety four per cent zinc and six per cent copper. A particular type of earth from Bidar is used in oxidising and hence it is called Bidri. When the article is dipped in a special solution, the alloy surface becomes jet black but the silver inlay retains its colour. The article is then coated with a lubricant and polished. A wide array of articles are available like vases, bowls, trays, mugs, storing boxes, jewellery boxes and coasters. Bidri artwork designs have included various patterns over the centuries including stars, plants, animals, flowers and other patterns that are usually contained within carefully arranged symmetrical geometric fields.

Technique: The base metal is an alloy of zinc and copper that is moulded into the required shape and then blackened. It is a time consuming process of first drawing the design, etching the drawn design and then filling the groves with silver wire. Once the wire is meticulously hammered into the grooves, the product is given its final polish and is then it is ready to be sold.

Availability: Bidri work can be bought in stores around Andhra Pradesh but it is better to buy them directly from local artisans.

Pearls and Lac
Origin: Hyderabad

Hyderabad is known as the ‘city of pearls’. Gold and silver jewellery studded with pearls is a speciality. Pearls are of various kinds but of particular interest is the rice pearl. Here pearls are drilled and graded according to colour. Traditionally, white pearls are most popular. Black and pink pearls are rare and beautiful but not so commonly used. Black pearls that have a green sheen and baroque (irregular shaped) pearls that reflect a rainbow of colors are amongst the more valuable varieties. Various kinds of ornaments are made from pearls like bracelets and necklaces.

Bronze sculptures
Origin: Trichy, Tamil Nadu

The most popular bronze image is that of Lord Shiva in the ananda thandavam (dance of joy) pose that represents knowledge, happiness and destruction of evil. Ganesha - in various postures like standing, sitting, dancing, lying down and meditating - is the next most sought-after bronze idol. The traditional manner of idol-making is long and tedious, but one that imparts beauty, strength and uniqueness to the bronze figurines from the state. Temple deity images are usually of stone, and, at times, wood. It is the procession figurines - uthsavamurthi - that are made of metals. Large bronze images were created to be carried outside during temple festivities through the town. Figurines meant for worship are made solid, while those made for decorative purposes are hollow. In olden days, it was copper that was primarily used. The panchaloha (five metals, namely copper, tin, gold, silver and lead) became more popular later.

Technique: The raw materials go through a number of processes to give expression to the statues . A wax mould of the intended image is first created. It is coated with a mixture of clay, ground cotton, salt and charred husk and sun-dried. This clay cast is then heated to melt the wax inside. This is followed by the chosen metal being molten and poured into the mould. Once cool, the mould is carefully broken and the image brought out. The final touches are given by hand - the finishing, burnishing and perfecting the minutest of details.

Availability: Available in art and craft stores in Tamil Nadu and in the state’s emporiums around the country.

Tanjore Paintings
Origin: Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

It is made over one plank of wood and the painting consists of one main figure which is that of a deity housed in an enclosure created by means of an arch or in curtains. Originally only Krishna was depicted but now a variety of figures are featured. It is bright, colourful and breathtakingly beautiful. Its speciality lies in that it glowsin the dark.

Technique: This painting could be classic, antique style or embossed. It is made by the guilded and gem-set technique.

Availability: Available in art stores of Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi.

Bharathy Prabhu Oct 30 2015
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about tamil nadu and tamil nadu arts crafts
Bharathy Prabhu Oct 30 2015
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
about tamil nadu and tamil nadu arts and crafts
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