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Monthly Archives: June 2016

  • ARTEFACTS OF SANDALWOOD

    Sandalwood is known to mankind for more than 4000 years. In India, sandalwood has its significance due to its religious association with Hinduism and Buddhism.

    Sandalwood is derived from Sandal tree, which is mainly found in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala in India. They are also found in the islands of Indonesia, Australia, Sri Lanka etc.

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    The sandalwood tree is considered as auspicious. The paste of sandalwood is used in rituals and ceremonies by Hindus, Jainese, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and even Muslims. Apart from its use in religious or ritual ceremonies, it is used extensively for various other purposes.

    Sandalwood is an aromatic wood, which can retain its fragrance for decades. It is expensive in comparison to other woods, yet it is in great demand for numerous purposes such as for its smell of sandal in incense sticks, for making furniture, carvings and devotional articles such as Buddhist prayer beads, sacred idols etc. It is also used in making medicines.Sandalwood with its unique and distinctive sweet woody smell and medicinal properties is also used in cosmetic industry. Jewellery items are also made out of it.Some of the various sandalwood products available are sandalwood seals, wooden pens, sandalwood bracelet and other religious jewelry, jewel boxes, sandalwood necklace and numerous amazing gifts and decorative items etc. Different sizes of carved elephants made out of sandalwood are also available. The skilled artisans make all the items with great care and the carvings depict the minutest details making it all the more attractive and appealing. There are some other uses of sandalwood as well, with its oil being used in microscopy and medicines.

    One of the reasons why it has been replaced by rosewood nowadays is its high price.Due to its high cost it is now not used in the construction of buildings. It has its maximum use in the perfume industry. The oil extracted from the sandal tree is used to make variety of perfumes all over the world. The subtle smell of sandal is liked by almost everyone and thus its perfumes are in great demand.

    From its use and importance in religious purposes, to its extensive use in avariety of products, sandalwood has been able to maintain its demand by its innovativeuse in various products.

  • BEAUTY OF HANDCRAFTED TEXTILES

    Handcrafted textiles speak of the tradition and heritage of India. Hand woven or handcrafted textiles may have become modern-day fashion, but it is an age old art. Men and women used to weave textiles with patterns which were precisely of their communities, culture or families. The raw material is spun, woven and dyed by hand to create durable and fine-looking textiles. A lot of renovation and modifications have taken place over the period of time to improve upon the art. Even a few assorted weaves were combined to create a better and modern weave. Handcrafted textiles require the artisans to have the necessary technical skill and good aesthetic sense so that they can think of a wide range of patterns and designs to creatively make it impressive and attractive.

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    There are hundreds of types of hand-woven and handcrafted textiles; some of them aremade of cotton, linen, khadi, silk, woolen or even combination of any two types of textiles. To add variety to the textile, it is hand blocked and printed using natural dyes. Bright vibrant colors and even subtle colors are used.

    Image credit - wikimedia Image credit - wikimedia

    These handmade fabrics are beautifully crafted intoKalamkari, Madhubani, Mangalagiri, Narayanpet, Pattachitra, Dabu printing, pigment painting, Ajrakh printing, dye painting, Batik printing, Bandhni and Leheriya styles of dyeing Chikankari, Kanthawork, reversible kantha, Shibori- dyed wool fabric, block printing, zari work, suf embroidery etc.

    Image credit - wikipedia Image credit - wikipedia

    The handcrafted textiles are converted to various amazing items such as hand bags and college bags of different sizes and shapes, runners, table mats, bed sheets and bed covers. The imagination and aesthetic senseare also deployed to create beautiful and amazing suits, lehengacholi, sarees, tops, skirts etc.

    Image  credit - wikipedia Image credit - wikipedia

    Handcrafted textile has huge demand not only in India but in international market as well. The industry has great scope to expand and increase its market share all over the world. With extensive marketing and promotion, the artisans and their goods can be given international platform to showcase their skills and products.

    Apart from all this, textiles and goods which are hand woven have low carbon footprint compared to textiles made by modern machines and technologies. Since, organizations are deeply concerned to maintain their goodwill and to project themselves as eco-friendly, the handcrafted textile industry seems to have a sustainable future and shall witness boom in the near future.

  • 10 Must-Have’s From Poompuhar under Rs.2000

    Before the dawn of the Industrial Revolution when machines were a rare thing to find, products were made by humans. Each product was similar yet different, imperfect at times, but made with hard work and patience. While mass produced products brought respite in filling the colossal demand gap and manufacturing identical items for the equal satisfaction of each customer, there is something that they haven’t been able to do and never will:the skill, care, love and touch of a human being.

    Go shopping for Indian ethnic wear, and you’ll find machine produced saris and lehengas much easier on the pocket than their ‘all-handwork’ counterparts. And why shouldn’t they be so? The intricacy and finesse woven into the fabric by an artisan, thread by thread, deserves far more appreciation (and remuneration) than a machine which has been ‘taught’ to thoughtlessly embroider cloth after cloth.

    At Poompuhar, we celebrate handicrafts, for we believe in the good old ways of the past – of women spinning yarns and potters sculpting beautiful objects out of clay as the earthen oven crackles with fire. We believe that it is these seemingly unimportant things are what keep us rooted to our rich traditions and cultural diversity.

    When you buy a Poompuhar product, you in fact help an artisan who does not have the market tactics to showcase his/her products inside a swanky store under a branded label.

    So here we have compiled a list of 10 products for quiet retail escapade, for indulging without feeling too guilty about it. Absolute must-haves to fit your budget:

    1. Be it clothes, car or home décor, black never loses its charm. This oxidized black idol of goddess Saraswati forms a quaint silhouette against any light background. Usher in the blessings of the Goddess of Knowledge in style. http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/oxidised/6x3x2-inch-oxidised-saraswati.html

    oxidized black idol of goddess Saraswati

    2. Can a night lamp get more adorable than this? Look closely and you will find that the middle body of this happy giraffe is made of coconut shell! http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/coconut-shell/13x7x2-inch-coconut-shell-giraffe-night-lamp.html

    Coconut Shell giraffee night lamp

    3. This painting with its waterfall, greenery and herd of elephants, reminds us of the iconic Jungle Book scene with Mowgli. Your kids are going to love it as much as you. http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/painting/18x14x1-inch-painting-elephant-at-the-jungle.html

    Elephant Painting at the Jungle

    4. This unusually striking sandalwood idol of Hanuman serves the dual purpose of pooja or decoration, and exudes the warm and earthy fragrance of sandalwood. http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/sandal-wood/5x3x2-inch-sandal-wood-sitting-hanuman.html

    Sandal Wood Sitting Hanuman

    5. Sport formal wear in style with this tastefully handcrafted tie in the classic blue and beige colour. A variety of other tie options available but this is our personal favourite as it complements almost any shirt. http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/handcrafted-textiles/16x3x1-inch-handcrafted-textiles-tie-blue-with-dots.html

    Handcrafted Textiles Tie - Blue With Dots

    6. Our festivities begin with lighting lamps to seek the positive energy, and this brass lamp makes it more beautiful. The cone shaped base and five spouts, a ‘kalasham’ and coconut on the top make the lamp glow with a divine splendour! http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/brass-lamp/lamps/table-prabai-lamp.html

    Table Prabai Lamp buy online

    7. Jazz up those kitty parties or elevate your tea experience to an all new high with this quirky wooden coaster set. The dusky, braided patterned coasters come with their own little stand that complements your wooden furniture like a match made in heaven! http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/wood/coaster-set/coaster-set.html

    Coaster Set buy Online

    8. An ornate ‘manai’ or stool with colourful Meenakari work is the stuff fit for kings. The round peacock pattern in the centre is enclosed with concentric square patterns in red, green and gold. http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/meenakari/12x12x7-inch-meenakari-pillayar-manai.html

    Meenakari Pillayar Manai buy online

    9. Ornate mirrors are in vogue! This Thanjavur painting doubles up as a mirror and immediately peps up an empty wall with something that’s decorative yet useful. The circumference of the mirror is embellished with red Kundan stones, and the Thanjavur painting is available in different designs. http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/thanjavur-painting/9x5x1-inch-thanjavur-painting-mirror.html

    Thanjavur Painting Mirror buy online

    10. This European style vase is a feast for eyes! The intricacy of the design with two boys clutching the long vase like a trophy is further enhanced by the use of black metal, which by the way never loses its shine. http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/black-metal/flower-vase/15x10-inch-flower-vase-double-boys.html

    Flower Vase double Boys buy online

    At Poompuhar, we have an extensive variety of such unique products in the finest quality, handcrafted by our talented Indian artisans. Happy shopping!

  • Know the Yoga Gurus

    June 21st 2016 marks the second International Yoga Day, an event which celebrates the benefits of the centuries old exercise.  Over the years, the entire world has seemed to acknowledge the advantages of practicing yoga. The event’s celebrations witnesses people, students, political leaders practicing and promoting yoga. The fact that yoga emerged from India is no secret, with several teachers, gurus and yogis practicing and promoting it, since time immemorial. We bring to you some of the most famous saints and practitioners of yoga from India.

    1. AdiShankaracharya :AdiShankaracharya was born in 788 AD in a village called Kaladi in Kerala. One of the greatest philosophers of India. Shankaracharya is the main traditional teacher of Jnana Yoga or the “Yoga of Knowledge,” which is usually regarded as the highest yogic path. His great poemSaundaryaLahiri or the Wave of Bliss remains the most famous work of Tantric Yoga and Shakti Sadhana reflecting all the secrets of Sri Vidya, mantra, yantra and tantra.

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    1. Swami Vivekananda :The great soul who was responsible for taking India’s rich tradition and culture to the western world. He is the author of Raja Yoga, a book about "Raja Yoga", his interpretation of Patanjali's Yoga sutras. The book was published in July 1896.It became an instant success and was highly influential in the western understanding of Yoga. His Ramkrishna Mission and Math seeks to promote yoga and its benefits globally!

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    1. Swami Kuvalayananda :Hailing from Gujarat, Swami Kuvalayananda was a researcher and educator who is primarily known for his pioneering research into the scientific foundations of yoga. He started scientific research on yoga in 1920, and published the first scientific journal specifically devoted to studying yoga, Yoga Mimamsa, in 1924. The experiments carried out at the laboratory at Baroda Hospital convinced him that yoga could propagate health and bring about spiritual motivation that could illuminate change in human society. He established the Kaivalyadhama Institute of Yoga at Lonavala in Pune.

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    1. Swami SivanandaSaraswati: A former doctor in Malaysia, Swami Sivananda was immensely influenced by Swami Vishwananda Saraswati. Having learnt yoga, ancient scriptures and practiced sadhna, he founded the Divine Life Society (DLS) in 1936, Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (1948) and authored over 200 books on yoga, Vedanta and a variety of subjects.

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    1. Swami ChidanandaSaraswati: Born as Sridhar Rao in 1916, had a keen interest in spirituality since a young age, Swami Chidananda joined Swami SivanandaSaraswati and set up Yoga Museum which housed the entire Vedanta philosophy and also a pictorial Yoga Sadhana process. He became the President of Divine Life Society in 1963 when his predecessor took final mahasamadhi.

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    1. Swami SatyanandaSaraswati: Highly influenced by Swami SivanandaSaraswati, Swami Chidananda studied yoga, tantra and Vedanta and kundalini yoga in such a through fashion that he founded the new Bihar School of Yoga in 1963 and became the pioneer of the kundalini yoga practice. Called by practitioners "the yoga of awareness", it aims "to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.

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    1. Swami Rama: Born in 1925 at a village called Toli in the Garhwal Himalayas, Swami Rama became the holder of the Sankhya Yoga tradition.He is the first of the Yogis who was studied scientifically at Menninger clinic in USA. Scientists wanted to understand how he was able to control his heartbeat, body temperature and blood pressure voluntarily as these are involuntary processes. He is the founder of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy with headquarters in USA and branches in India and Europe.

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  • Poompuhar – Bringing Traditional Tamilian Handicrafts To Your Doorstep !

    Poompuhar – The Tamilnadu Handicrafts Development Corporation that helps in promoting and developing the rich handicraft treasure of Tamilnadu offers a platform that unites all craftsmen, artisans, sculptors and engravers. We not only preserve the ancient traditions of Tamilian art and craft but also ensures that the hard-working artisans and similar associates are able to earn a decent profit on their creations. With sales-showrooms and training centers across the nation, we quest to be truly an agent of change for doing business as well as a preserver of centuries old art and knowledge.

    Very recently, we were given the opportunity to showcase our artistry in the newly renovated Chennai International Airport. We were glad to be a contributing factor in highlighting the rich heritage of Tamilian handicraft in the fourth busiest airport of the nation. Impressed with our work, Ms. Abinaya Rangarajan‎ contacted us and enquired whether we would be interested in creating his pooja door! Catering to retail individual clients was something that we always wanted to do but somehow were not able to. And now we had this great opportunity of fulfilling the wishes of an admirer of Tamilian handicraft.

    Ms. Rangarajan wanted his door to reflect the traditions, religious characteristics and cultural flavours of Tamilnadu in accordance with his conservative family. We, wanted to design for him, a door that would give a preview, to anyone who would want to enter, or someone who would look at the door, of what to expect inside. Pooja ghars or prayer rooms are an important part in our culture. It is a sanctum which connects the mortal with the divine.

    Our well experienced senior manager Mr. K. Mathiyarasu got in touch with Ms. Rangarajan; a detailed discussion revealed several designs, possible materials that could be used and the time that would be needed to complete this pioneering project for Poompuhar.

    A combination of skilled artistry, proper time management and an appreciative customer resulted in a beautiful teak door decorated with metallic figures that are holy in Hindu mythology.

    Ms. Rangarajan was kind enough to share his experience and appreciation on Facebook along with the photograph of the door we designed.

    You too can know more about what we do by visiting our website :http://tnpoompuhar.org/

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