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Monthly Archives: January 2016

  • POOMPUHAR STONE CRAFT

    Poompuhar is famous for various types of handicrafts - one of them being the Stone Craft. Tamil Nadu has been the sanctuary of Dravidian art and culture since times immemorial.

    Tamil Nadu is known as the ‘Land of Temples’. The splendidrock cut sculptures of gods and goddesses in temples speak very high of the skilled craftsmen who have done the work with great perfection.

    The main centre for stone craft in Tamil Nadu is Mamallapuram, where there’s an emporium with rock-cut sculptures. The making of the stone sculptures began by the making of the rock–cut chariot and shore Temples during the Pallava rule in Mamallapuram. Here, granite carving is also done.

    The architectural excellence of the craftsmen can be seen in the Meenakshi temple at Madurai which is famous for its thousand pillared mandapas or the Brihadeeshwara Temple near Thanjavur, which is built in such an architectural style that at no time of the day is the shadow of the Vimana (gopuram) formed. Also, at Chidambaram, one can see beautiful panels, depicting 108 karanas of Natya Shastra. The temples at Darasuram and Thribhuvanam are also amazing and worth seeing.

    The main tools of sculptingare chisel and hammer. For measurements and sculpting techniques, the artisans make use of the Shilpa Shastra. The quality of the stone, maturity, texture, colours etc. are also important considerations in stone craft.

    The stones are so carefully and minutely engraved that they fully express emotions and expressions as diverse as authority, bashfulness, sensuousness, strength, masculinity, femininity etc.

    At Poompuhar many stone handcrafted decorative items are sold at various outlets and even online. Some of these wonderful decorative pieces of art are:-

    Granite Stone Elephant at starting price of Rs 224.

    Granite Stone Elephant shop online Shop for this Granite Stone Elephant - Click Here

    2x3x1 inch Red Stone Plain Elephant atRs 250.

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    A 3x2x2 inch Soft Stone Lingam at Rs 120.

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    A 2x3x1 inch Soft Stone Plain Elephant at Rs 250.

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    A 2x3x2 inch Soft Stone Nandi at Rs 120.

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    A 3x2x2 inch Stone OothuPathi Stand at Rs 150.

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    A 2x2x2 inch Soft Stone Elephant at Rs 160.

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    A 3x2x2 inch Stone Round Candle Stand Elephant at Rs 150.

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    A 2x2x1 inch Red Stone Carving Elephant at Rs 160.

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    These and many more fantastic stone crafted pieces of art can be boughtfrom this Land of Art.

  • Craft Bazaar exhibition at Kalashetra Foundation, Chennai

    The Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, popularly known as “Poompuhar”, is a Government of Tamil Nadu Undertaking and is in charge of the handicrafts sector in the state of Tamil Nadu. The main objective of the Corporation is to provide marketing assistance to the craftsmen of the State in particular and for the craftsmen community in general. The Corporation achieves this objective by marketing the products of the craftsmen through its large network of 12 showrooms situated all over Tamil Nadu and also at New Delhi and Kolkata. Apart from the Sales showrooms, the Corporation  also has 7 of its own production units.

    In addition to rendering marketing assistance through its showrooms the Corporation also conducts a large number of exhibitions every year throughout the country in order to provide more marketing avenues for the poor artisans.

    As a part of our exhibition programme for the current year, we are organizing “Craft Bazaar” exhibition at Kalakshetra Foundation, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai from 22.01.2016 to 31.01.2016 with financial assistance of the O/o Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, New Delhi.

    This exhibition was inaugurated by Thiru. P. Mohan, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Industries & Labour, Government of Tamil Nadu at 4.30 p.m. Friday on 22nd January 2016 in the presence of Thiru Harmander Singh, IAS., Principal Secretary to Government, Handlooms, Handicrafts, Textiles and Khadi Department, Chennai, Dr. Santhosh Babu, I.A.S., Chairman & Managing Director, The Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, Chennai and Thiru P. Mallikarjunaiah, Regional Director (Southern Region), O/o Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Chennai.

    Craft Bazaar exhibition at Kalashetra Foundation Chennai

    In the ongoing exhibition, we have displayed a wide and exotic collection of heritage items like Brass oil lamps, Bronze Icons, Wood Carvings, Thanjavur Art Plates, Thanjavur Painting, Stone carvings, Artificial Jewellery, Brass sheet metal products, Papier mache dolls, Incense and perfumery, Rajasthan Marble craft items, Madupani Paintings from Bihar, Wood Carvings from Andhra Pradesh, Palm leaf Paintings from Orissa, handcrafted textiles and many more gift items. Handicrafts from all over India are displayed under one roof.

    The exhibition is open from 22nd to 31st January (10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. daily , including Sundays) and a special discount of 10% is being offered. We accept all major credit / debit cards, without any service charges.

    We appeal to the citizens of Chennai to patronize this exhibition as they have been kind enough to do so on earlier occasions, so that the maximum number of craftsmen can benefit.

  • TAMILNADU ARTS AND HANDICRAFTS SPECIALITIES

    Tamilnadu is famous for fine handiwork of India, which has evolved due to its rich culture and traditions. These handicrafts are available in various Handicraft Centers of the State and Central Govt. Some of these handcrafts are listed below:

    The life-like stone sculptures, Rosewood and Sandalwood carvings, Thanjavur paintings, celestial figures in brass and bronze are some of the commendable pieces of art of the Tamil society. Besides these, brass lamps and Thanjavur art plates too are very impressive.

    Shop for this Sandal Wood Undercut Elephant - Click Here Shop for this Sandal Wood Undercut Elephant - Click Here

    Numerous ethnic art forms are created by skilled artisans of Tamilnadu. Replicas of artifacts from the Chola and Pandya dynasties have been beautifully reincarnated. The imagination and creativity of artisans is expressed in the form of amazing handicrafts which add to the style statement of homes all over the world.

    One can witness the wonderful art of the Tamil craftsmen in the Hindu Temples also. The beautiful wooden ornamental doors, chariots made of gold, silver or wood, Kavachams, vahanams, Dwajasthambams, idols, bells etc. speak high about the skilled artisans. Along with all this, silver sheeting work, gold cladding work on copper sheeting work and even gold or silver kavasams for the deities are crafted by the skilled hands of these craftsmen.

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    In the Tirunelveli district of Pattamadai village in Tamilnadu, korai grass along with silk or cotton are used to craft attractive reed mats, shopping bags, place mats, runners, office folders etc. Modern design inputs and ideas have made them chic and brought them in demand both nationally and internationally.

    The hand woven beautiful kanchipuram silk saris of Tamilnaduare famous for their delicate and fine work. The saris have motifs of sun, moon, peacock, swan etc. woven along with gold thread, with the pallu having a different pattern in most cases.

    The art of casting icons of bronze as in the Choladynasty is still done in a modified manner. Swamimalai, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli are the centres for best bronze icons.

    Tanjore Gold Leaf Paintings, another form of art, depict stories with the Ramayana and Krishna-Leela themes. In this extremely beautiful art, craftsmen use gold leaf, metal pieces and semi-precious stones to decorate the paintings.The best of these paintings are available in Chennai.

    Shop for this Wall Hanging Leaf Krishnar - Click Here Shop for this Wall Hanging Leaf Krishnar - Click Here

    Paper Mache is also a spectacular handicraft of Tamilnadu, where the waste paper pulp is hand beaten and mixed with clay and then transformed into dolls, icons of gods and goddesses, masks etc. It is then dipped into a thin solution of white clay and paper pulp, which on drying is colorfully painted with oil colors.

    The History of Papeir Machie Art in Poompuhar

    Stonecraft, yet another craft of the people of Tamilnadu, involves carving of stonesto make sculptures, garden lights, nameplates etc. Mahabalipuram is famous for this craft.

    Pottery making by people of many parts of Tamilnadu includes making figures of deities, water jugs, tea and dinner sets, and many other stylish and decorative items. Red, black and grey clay are used for the purpose.

    Several places in Tamilnadu are famous for their wood craft. The famous rosewood carvings of Madurai include the making of exquisitedesigns on table tops. Articles of household use and beautifully and minutely carved woodcrafts are made for decorative purpose.

    Tamil women have a unique style of floral embroidery called pugarapart from the beautiful geometric patterns which they stitch. Appliqué work is done in Tanjore for decorating carved chariots used during processions.

    The famousBhawani Durries of Coimbatore are hand woven in cotton and silk with stripes or traditional designs on them.

    Brass and bell metals are used in Nachiarcoil in Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu to cast articles like vases, tumblers, water containers, candle stands and kerosene lamps.

    The making of musical instruments is another major craft practiced by the people of Tamilnadu as music and dance is vital component of the Tamil culture. Veena, Thamburas, flute and Vangiyam are made out of bamboo, bronze, sandalwood andkarungaali woods.

    Tamil craftsmen engaged in so many different types of handicrafts are an asset to our nation. Along with providing various items of utility, they help us in adding style and decoration to our houses, work places, and temples.

  • CLASSICAL SOUTH INDIAN STYLE OF PAINTING

    India is a diverse country with  numerous cultures and styles. One can find remarkable differences in the life styles, eating habits, language and other features of the people of different regions. Even when it comes to art and culture, the styles vary e.g. Mughal style, Gujarati style, Kashmiri style etc. Similarly, the classical South Indian Style of Painting is a special one; known as ‘Thanjavur Painting’.

    At Poompuhar, in Tamil Nadu, one can find amazing works of Thanjavur Paintings, which can be bought at affordable prices. Some of these wonderful works of art are:-

    Thanjavur Painting Perumal – which is a portrait of Lord Vishnu made on gold foil paper. He has four hands, a conch shell (sanku) and the chakra. As his companion, he has Sridevi and Bhudevi and his vehicle isThe Garuda. This lovely decorative painting has the starting price of Rs 2,200.

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    Thanjavur Painting Krishna – The eye catching painting of Lord Krishna; who is another incarnation of lord Vishnu, has been made on the gold foil paper. The clarity, color combination and beauty of the painting is amazing. Its price starts from Rs 2,200.

    thanjavur-painting-krishna Shop For Thanjavur Painting Krishna - Click Here

    Thanjavur Painting Ranganathar – has the starting price of Rs 4,800. In this painting Lord Mahavishnu can be seen in a reclining posture on the coiled body of a five headed serpent. It is on the prehistoric waters known as Ranganathar.

    Thanjavur Painting Ranganathar Shop For Thanjavur Painting Ranganathar - Click Here
  • ETHNICITY OF INDIA – CLAY CRAFT

    When it comes to crockery collection, one has a variety of options to choose from - bone china, melamine, earthen potteries and what not. Earthen potteries were initially used by the tribal people but nowadays, they are considered as trendy and stylish.

    At Poompuhar in Tamil Nadu, the skilled artisans have beautiful and stylish clay crafts to offer to art lovers.

    A classy handmade Clay Beer Mug of the size 4x4x3 inches is nearly perfect as far as its shape and smoothness is concerned. It has a comfortable and smart straw grip – all this at a super low price of just Rs 350, which is up to half of the branded mugs you might find elsewhere!

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    Another earthen wonder is our Earthen Clay Bowl of size 5x5x3 inches. Made with high quality material and fine pottery technique, this bowl can be used for storing both hot and cold things without there being any adverse effect on its finish. Price:Rs 882.

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    These classy clay items are a must buy as they add grandeur and add style to the kitchen and dining area. Because, as they say – food is a wonderful gift of life, we must celebrate it.

  • TAJ MAHAL: THE CROWN OF PALACES

    The magnificent TajMahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is the pride of our country.It is an eternal symbol of love.

    TajMahal is located at the banks of River Yamuna inAgra (Uttar Pradesh). It was built from 1632-1653, under the supervision of the architect UstadAhmad Lahauri in the Mughal Style of architecture. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got it made in the memory of his beloved wife MumtazMahal, whom he loved immensely.

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    The TajMahal is made of white marble, which was brought from all over India and Central Asia. The cost of construction at that time was estimated to be approximately Rs 32 million; which is equivalent to Rs52.8 billion in 2015. About 20,000 artisans worked for the construction.

    This epitome of love attracts people from all over the world. Every year there are numerous tourists from the whole of the world who come to visit the splendid monument. Most of them carry miniatures of the wonderful structure with them as souvenirs when going back home.

    1 Shop For This Tajmahal - Click Here

    You can now purchase miniatures of the actual TajMahal at any of the Poompuhar showrooms present in multiple cities. What’s more is that these can also be shopped online using our online shopping portal and gotten home delivered.

    An interesting fact about these miniatures of the Tajis that they are made by using ‘pith’; which is a hard core of water reed, and can be found inlakes, tanks etc. The material used is a Netti Plant. The decorative miniature of TajMahal is of the comfortable dimensions of 4x6x6 inches, which makes it one of the best gifts from India to people from abroad.

    Inspite of the fact that pollution and climatic factors are adversely affecting the Crown of Places - the TajMahal, it still remains close to the hearts of the masses and above all; one of the Wonders of the World!

  • JUTE PAINTING COLLECTION FROM POOMPUHAR

    Poompuhar being the fertile ground for beautiful handicrafts made out of various raw materials has much to offer the customer who has an eye for something different from the usually mass-produced products that most modern day stores are filled with. Each Poompuhar product has a story to tell – of the encounters, challenges and pleasuresthat the artisan experienced while crafting it. Among the myriad raw materials that our artisans love to work with, jute is one. Apart from being eco-friendly, jute has a rustic appeal to it which never goes out of fashion.

    Our jute paintings range comprises of productswherein jute has been used as the base to make various things such as wall hangings, pen stands, key stands and decorative frames.Special jute paints have beenused for embellishing them with beautiful designs. The various items available for sale include:

    7 x 7 x 1 inch size Jute Painting Table Stop Ganesh and Jute Painting Table Stop Lakshmi, priced at Rs 170 each.

    shop for this Jute Painting Table Stop Ganesh - click Here shop for this Jute Painting Table Stop Ganesh - click Here
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    A 12 x 13 x 1 inch Jute Painting of Palm Art at a price of Rs 270. This hand painting on the jute fabric is a tribal art with a traditional sketch on it.

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    Jute Painting Key Stand priced at Rs 270 with the dimensions 6x4x1 inches is available in two designs. This handcrafted magazine holder with a sweet quotation has three hooks to hold keys.

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    Jute Painting Pen Stands of the dimensions 4x4x3 in three different designs, priced at Rs 280 each. They can be used in houses, offices as pen stands and also as decoration pieces and gift items.

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    A 9x9x1 inch Jute Painting Wall Hanging Elephant is also available forRs 280.

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    Besides being utility items, these quirkilyhand painted designs onjute fabric make for excellent decoration pieces. Ideal for gifting to someone or to yourself!

  • Cow and Calf: An Auspicious Idol

    The cow is a sacred symbol in Hinduism as it is worshipped all over the country. They are considered as manifestations of Mother Kamadhenu. Kamadhenu refers to the cow of plenty or the one who fulfils all desires. She is also known as the mother of all cows.

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    The cow has been worshipped since ancient times of Lord Krishna as he was reared and looked after by a herdsman’s family. It is believed that Krishna created a cow called Surabhi and a calf called Manoratha from the left side of his body as he and his consort Radha thirsted for milk.  It is also mentioned that the Kamdhenu cow emerged from an ocean of milk and has her abode in Heaven. The cow is considered the most splendid embodiments of divinity. She is even considered a goddess in Hindu Mythology.

    Idols of mother cow (kamadhenu) with its calf are believed to be very auspicious as they symbolize prosperity and good wealth. She is also a symbol of Vatsalyam or motherly love for her child. Thus, it is very good to keep this idol at home. Many people worship this idol on Diwali or Bali Pratipada day.

    A wide range of cow and calf idols are available at the Poompuhar showroom as well as on our online shopping portal. These beautiful figurines in Brass, White metal, and wood represent serenity and altruism.

  • FEATHERED PRIDE OF INDIA – PEACOCK

    Peacock - the national bird of our country is our pride. The sight of this beautiful feathered bird gives immense pleasure to almost everyone, and sparks the excitement to see it dance.

    People who are fond of decorating their houses often like to have portraits or models of peacock to decorate their houses. At Poompuhar, under The Tamil Nadu Handicraft Development, one can choose from quite a few handcrafted decorative itemsin various peacock designs. There are even some sculptures of peacock hand crafted by the expert artists.

    Some of the available eyes catching decorative pieces of art with peacock theme are:-

    A51x2 inches Subramanian Stone which is an astonishing statue of Subramaniyaaccompanied by a peacock and a spear - his distinctive trademarks. This magnificent piece of art has been priced at Rs. 2,72,000.

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    Thanjavur Art Plates, which are 10x10x1and 12x12x1 inches in dimensions. These beautifully designed Thanjavur Art Plates are available in various sizes and patterns. Though available in myriad other designs, two models of these plates have especially been designed with the peacock theme on them. They have been priced at Rs 1,640 and Rs 2,270 respectively.These have been created using high quality raw materials and make use of modern techniques in their creation.

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    Another Thanjavur Painting Key Holder Peacock of 7x7x1 dimensions is a glass painting of a beautifulpeacock, priced at Rs 1,240. Besides adorning the wall, it also serves the purpose of hanging keys.

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    An attractive Handcrafted Silk Wall Hanging which is 19x11x1 inch in dimensions is available with a pair of peacocks sitting beautifully on a branch. This not only exhibits the hand woven textiles, but also showcases ethnic designs for its admirers. This work of art can be purchased for Rs 1,950.

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    A 8x7x1 inch Rose Wood Panel Peacock at a modest price of Rs 960,makes a wonderful decorative item depicting a pair of peacocks standing gracefully facing each other in a serene background.

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    Another masterpiece by the skilled artisans of Poompuharis a 7x5x2 inch Wood Peacock Stone Work which has a brown polished wooded frame with beautiful peacock inlayed stone workconsisting of semi-precious stones and pearls.It can be bought for Rs 2000.

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    A Meenakari Key Stand Peacock; 4x5x2 inch in size, is available for Rs 170. It has a beautiful peacock in the centre and hooks for hanging keys made with Meenakari in the shape of Swastika.

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    A Meenakari Key Stand with Double Peacock of the dimensions 6x6x1 inch is available at an attractive price of Rs 200. It has been made out of superior quality raw material using latest technology in the designing process.

    Shop For This Meenakari Key Stand with Double Peacock - Click Here Shop For This Meenakari Key Stand with Double Peacock - Click Here

    These exquisite works of art besides attracting the attention of the art lovers can also serve as wonderful gift items.

  • Pongal – A Colourful Harvest Festival

    Come the last day of the Tamil month of Maargazhi, and the people of Tamil Nadu all gear up to celebrate the harvest festival of Pongal which carries on to the third day of the Tamil month Thai. It is a festival that also marks the auspicious beginning of Uttarayan – the sun’s journey northward.  The festival is also a special thanksgiving to God, Sun, the Earth, and cattle.

    Image Credit - Pongal Image Credit - Pongal

    Pongal is derived from the word Ponga which means boil. During Pongal the first rice of the season is boiled and left to spill over or overflow as an appreciation to the sun for providing energy for agriculture. It also represents abundance and prosperity.

    Pongal is celebrated for four days starting with Bhogi when houses are cleaned and all the unnecessary old things like clothes and other unwanted materials are discarded or burnt as a symbol of beginning life afresh.  At dawn, a bonfire is lit to burn all old things. New clothes denote a new beginning. The cleaned houses are decorated with kolam. People buy new household things, decorative and vessels for their homes.

    The second day is the Surya Pongal where the Sun god is thanked and worshiped. The second day coincides with the Makar Sankranti festival or the start of Uttararayan. People have an oil massage, and bathe and wear new clothes. A new kolam, or rangoli is decorated in front of the house each day of Pongal.  Milk is boiled in earthen pots or vessels and when it boils over, freshly harvested rice is added to the pot along with palm sugar and cooked. A conch is blowed and people chant “Pongolo pongal”.  The cooked pongal is served to all. The elders give gifts to the youngsters in the house.

    The third day of Pongal is Maatu Pongal. This is the day when people honour all the animals, especially the cattle that play a very important role in agriculture. Cows and bulls are pampered, decorated, and worshipped as an expression of gratitude.  The horns of the cattle are painted and decorated. Freshly made pongal is served to these cattle. Coloured rice, sweet pongal, cooked vegetables, and bananas are also offered to birds, especially the crows on this day.

    The fourth day of Pongal celebrates social visits and reunions. Known as Kaanum Pongal, people visit families and friends carryings gifts for them. People take time to visit not just relatives but also spend time on beaches, at fairs and other entertainment avenues. You can see people chewing sugarcanes and serenading in new clothes.

    Pongal is the celebration of the traditional occupation of people of the rural regions of India. The festivities mark a break from the tiresome work in the fields.

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