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Monthly Archives: December 2016

  • The history behind south Indian handicrafts

    From ancient tribal art to British Colonial period, the history of Indian handicrafts is immense in diversion. The colorful pots, the authentic hand stitches, the extravagant fabric paintings are not only stunning but also mesmerizes your artistic soul. Indian handicrafts date back to 5000 years ago, when India's exposure to other countries, encouraged the craftsmanship of India's hard work. Gradually, the mere pieces of handicrafts grew into a colossal profession, which is still adored worldwide. Initially, most of the Indian handicrafts were outsourced as a utility product, but with the changes in time, these handicrafts rather become classy and chic decors to place at homes. Not only home decors, Indian handicrafts also include hand woven sarees, paintings, statues, and sculptures. Indian handicraft is diversified into four zones, north, south, east and west. South Indian handicrafts date back to Indus valley civilization. The stories about South Indian handicrafts are not only appealing but also worth knowing.

    Thanjavur-Painting-Krishnan

    South India has a lot to offer when it comes to art and handicrafts. The four states that comprise of South India are Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, each of which has its own individual hand made products to offer. From silk sarees to sandalwood and rosewood sculptures to brassware, South India has a wide range of products to offer. While Karnataka is known for its fine silk and handicrafts, Andhra Pradesh is well renowned for its extensive range of hand painting. One of the most famous and ancient handicrafts of South India are made up of wood and coconut shells. Coconut shell toys are widely found in Kerala. And wood handicrafts are more famous in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

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    When it comes to South India, talk about its traditional hand woven sarees is a must. Kanjeevaram and kalamkari sarees are the most famous handloom fabrics of South India, which are widely outsourced to different parts of the world. Silk sarees are another famous essence of South India. Visiting south India and not rolling your eyes over its wide range of silk fabric will be a loss.

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    South India's metal craft is somewhat different than that of other parts of India. South Indian metal works are generally made up of brass. Every piece of metal craft made in South India is made up of different mold or Sancha, which makes each piece a masterpiece. Tanjore painting, bidri crafts and brassware, are other famous handicrafts found in India. A lot of wood crafts can be seen in South Indian temples and houses. Wooden decors are used to design doors and interior of South Indian houses. South Indian wooden handicrafts date back to the Indus valley civilization and still they are used to decorate doors and interior of new mansions in South India.

    South Indian handicrafts also include its gamut of handicraft jewelry. Hyderabad offers an authentic range of pearl jewelry. History says that the ruling period of Mughals in South India brought in the vogue of pearl jewelry in India.

    Keeping in context, the wide of the history of South Indian handicrafts, it contributes a large part of Indian economy.

  • Architecture and handicrafts of Mughal dynasty

    Indian architecture and handicrafts is a perfect blend of a lot of ruling dynasty, which came into India until her own political body was formed. From Dutch, Mughal, Rajputs, to British, each era has affected Indian handicrafts in a different way. The urbane style of Indian architecture and handicrafts is the blend of all the eras. Mughals came in India during the 16th century. With the grand entry of Mughals in India, the country has seen a new dimension of craftsmanship and handloom production.

    taj-mahal-in-india Image Credit - Wikipedia

    The Mughal handicrafts and architectures are an amalgamation of Turkic, Islamic; a Persian and Indian culture which explains the doom shaped the top of Mughal period buildings with the large wooden door, which is an impact of Indian handicrafts. Mughal architecture is more about large dome-shaped tops, long vacant hallways with ornamentation on both sides. High marble windows and large green rose gardens. The best of Mughal architecture is seen in the Country's Capital city, Delhi. The Taj Mahal in Agra is the landmark of Mughals in India. The Mughal rule started in India with the victory of Babur in the battle of Panipat and saw its largest extension during the rule of Akbar.  Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Qutab Minar, Buland Darwaza are some of the great architectures that were built during the Mughal age and still are some renowned tourist places in India.

    With the entry of Mughals in India, the country not only saw some extraordinary designs of architecture and its craftsmanship but also saw the growth of populace of Mughal art and handicrafts. The muslin cloth, which is used to weave Jamdani Sarees, the famous traditional sarees of Bengal, was brought in India during the Mughal age. The Mughal art is a blend of Persian and Indian culture. Mughal paintings are mostly court arts, which depicts different stories of the reign of Akbar in India. These paintings are well crafted on paper, wood and terracotta pots and are still considered as an authentic range of Mughal age handicrafts. The Persian style of handicrafts that prevailed in India, during the Mughal time in India, is tough to trace. However, it brought a new age in Indian handicrafts.

    The handicrafts that flourished during the Mughal period in South India were known as Deccanian Style of Art. The practitioners of a Deccan style of art still reside in Aurangabad, Bijapur and Golconda districts of South India. The Deccan style of Mughal art not only produced a new range of handicrafts in India but also initiated a new culture, beliefs, traditions and ethics in India. Not only architecture and handicrafts, Mughal dynasty was also renowned for bringing in the culture of Pearl jewellery in India. It is often known that the different industries of pearl jewelry that are found in Hyderabad came in vogue with the Mughal dynasty in India. Akbar and Shah Jahan were known to wear the widest range of pearl jewelry, which brought in the new style. Pearl jewellery is still well eminent in India till date.

  • 5 Famous Hand-Woven Indian Sarees

    "Beauty of style, harmony, and grace solemnly depends on simplicity and an Indian woman draped in pleated saree symbolizes the essence of raw beauty and simplicity."

    India is the home of some best fabrics that are only woven and found within the boundaries of the country. What makes Indian sarees a plethora of beauty and fashion statement is the history behind each woven fabric. Real Indian sarees are neither machine made, nor the fabric is imported from other countries. In fact, these sarees are the real essence of ancient Indian handicrafts which, still walks the ramp of year long fashion weeks.

    The hand woven fabrics of India are not only used to weave sarees but these sarees, in turn, also used to design bridal lehengas, ethnic wear and sometimes gypsy and western wear too. Most of all these handsweaved Indian sarees, dates back to different civilizations like the Rajput dynasty, the Mughal dynasty, the Dravidian period, Harappan civilization art and so on. The heavy pages of historical notes that each of this handloom saree carries, are worth mentioning and will leave you awestruck. To know about the amazing history of some over popular Indian sarees, read the blog below:

    Bandhani Saree:

    Rajasthan and Gujarat's heritage, Bandhani sarees came into vogue during the Indus valley civilization. Initially, Bandhani works were only prominent on Buddha statues and in Ajanta caves. Later, they dug their way into the textile industry. The historic Bandhani art was first embroidered in a saree for Bana Bhatt's Harshacharita for a royal marriage. The eye-catching bandej embroidery and the exquisite piece of art involved to weave the saree appealed many Indian women and abroad. Eventually, with the populace of Bandhani handloom sarees, the Khatri community of Gujarat initiated their Bandhani handloom industry, which progressively grew into a vocation and today, Bandhani Sarees are well thought-out as one of the many Indian customary saree, widely found in every part of India.

    bandhani-saree-in-india Image Credit - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandhani

    Jamdani Saree:

    Saree, being the customized traditional outfit of West Bengal, the Bengalis stepped into the textile industry with their exquisite being of muslin cloth, popularly known as Jamdani Sarees. The patronized weaving of Jamdani Sarees goes to the Mughal period. Though, British Colonialism in India, saw a rapid decline of Jamdani handlooms because of the heavy imports of machine manufactured products, post the British period until today, Jamdanis are considered as the most beautifully woven Indian handloom sarees. The UNESCO declared Jamdani sarees as the "Intangible cultural heritage of humanity". Jamdani sarees are hand woven cotton sarees. The fabric is generally known as muslin cloth and is a famous handcrafted Indian Saree in West Bengal and other parts of India.

    jamdani-saree-in-india Image Credit - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamdani

    Kanjeevaram Silk Saree:

    Kanjeevaram Silk Sarees are, indeed, the oldest hand-woven saree of India. The Hindu mythology states that Kanjeevaram silk weavers are the successors of Saga Markanda, the master weavers of Gods. The saree is named after its originating place, the Kanchipuram village of Tamil Nadu. Kanjeevaram silk of South India is an answer to North India's Banarassilk. The 'zari' used to make Kanjeevaram silk sarees come from Gujarat.

    kanjeevaram-silk-sarees-tamil-nadu Image Credit - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kancheepuram_Silk#/media/File:Kanchipuram_silk_sareer.JPG

    Banarasi saree:

    The Mughal inspired Banarasi art is the ultimate wedding fabric for Bengali weddings. The colourful saree fabric with the Mughal 'zari' work, designed manually is North India's textile pride. Banarasi handlooms are found in Varanasi, the holy city of Uttar Pradesh. Depending on the design, artwork and zari work, each Banarasi saree take 15 days to six months to complete. There are four main varieties of Banarasi silk, which includes- pure silk or Kathan, Organza or Kora, georgette, and shatter. Considering, the popularity and hard work attached to the making of these sarees, Banarasi sarees are an integral part of great Indian weddings.

    Image Credit - wikipedia Image Credit - wikipedia

    Konrad Sarees:

    Konrad Sarees are Tamil Nadu's heritage. Also known as Temple Sarees, these fabrics are exclusively hand-woven sarees which date back to the ancient Indian history. These sarees first came in vogue during the Mughal dynasty. Since, then South Indian textile has been filled with the wide border and colourful Konrad sarees. Konrad sarees are designed with the artistic elements of flowers, leaves, creepers, elephants, and peacocks, which make these saree a pride of Indian handloom industry.

    Image Credit - wikipedia Image Credit - wikipedia
  • 10 popular handicraft artworks of India

    India is the land of inborn culture and tradition that are still in Vogue. And while talking about Indian culture, the ancient historic handicrafts that India clings to, is worth talking about. Keeping the essence of great Indian artwork in mind, here is an exclusive list of Indian Handicrafts that will keep you awestruck.

    Kamrupi crafts: Kamrupi crafts originated in the Kamrup district of Assam. These crafts are generally made out of brass and bell metal. Glass, plates, decorative stands and pots are made in Kamrupi crafts. Often made with brass, Kamrupi crafts are also designed with gold, silver, and copper.

    Image Credit - wikipedia Image Credit - wikipedia

    Dhokra Craft: Dhokra craft came in India 4000 years ago and are still in vogue. A gamut of home decorative pieces is made with Dhokra style of craft which includes metal and brass work. The simplicity and warmth that Dhokra pieces bring to the home have absorbed a plethora of both domestic and foreign markets.

    Bidriware: Bidriware handicrafts dates back to 5000 years ago when black metal was used to create different shapes of pots and vases. A blackened alloy of zinc and copper are blended to shapein in different art forms. Bidriware crafts originated from the bid township of Karnataka.

    Pembarthi Metal Craft: The metal handicrafts of Warangal district, in Telangana, is popularly known as Pembarthi Metal Crafts. The flawless art of metalwork, known as Pembarthi Metal Crafts flourished during the Mohenjo-Daro period and are still considered as Indian handicraft treasure.

    Meenakari: Meenakari handcrafts are popularly used on different pieces of jewelry and ornaments to flourish their design and look. Initially, Meenakari handwork was only confined in jewelry but later with the mastery of the artwork, different home decorative products were made of Meenakari style. This artwork belongs to the Kshatriyas of ancient India.

    Bandhani: Embracing the golden sands of Rajasthan and colorful festive culture of Gujarat, Bandhani artwork came in vogue during the Indus valley civilization. Bandhani paintings were famous to create blissful Buddhist idols. Today, Bandhani artworks comprise of the entire textile market of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

    Madhubani Painting: Madhubani painting is also known as Mithila artwork, since this art was first created during the Mithila period, under the rule of king Janak, who ordered his painters to draw the holy marriage ceremony of his daughter Sita with Lord Rama. Incredible stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavat Gita are depicted in Madhubani paintings.

    Terracotta Handicrafts: Terracotta is an exquisite type of earthenware crafts which are made of clay-based ceramics. Terracotta handicrafts started to take over the handicraft markets of India during the British period but have seen great heights ever since then.

    Chikan Embroidery: Chikan is a traditional embroidery style that originated in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, during the Mughal dynasty. Chikan embroidery is a white on the white type of embroidery which is known as one of the most popular embroideries of Indian handicraft culture.

    Kalamkari Painting: Kalamkari Painting deals with an incredible method of painting natural dyes onto the hand-woven silk and cotton fabric. Originated in Andhra Pradesh, during ancient Indian period, Kalamkari paintings, today are used to create gamut range of sarees, ethnic clothes, home decors and wall paintings.

  • Celebrate Karthigai Deepam with Fabulous Brass and Earthen Lamps from Poompuhar

    Celebrating Karthikai Deepam is a hilarious event in every home in Tamil Nadu . The brass and earthen lamps are lit during this festival and are displayed all around the homes, buildings and temples during the celebration which may extend up to 10 days.

    Thrikarthika is the festival of lights celebrated in Kerala on the Kartika Nakshatram in the Malayalam month of Vrischikam or November. Each night, the people in most homes will take a shower and light the oil lamp and start prayer together as a family. This is a beautiful occasion in that tradition.

    ‪Festivals such as this are an inseparable part of the Indian culture. They are finding their way in many religious and cultural celebrations.

    malabar-lamp-buy-online

    A grand 10 days Karthigai celebration will be happening in Madurai Meenakshi Temple. The temple will stand ornate with more than one lakh brass and earthen oil lamps that are lit in the temple's premises.

    Karthikai Deepam is celebrated every year in an enormous way at the Annamalaiyar temple, Thiruvannamalai. The festival ends with the lighting of the Mahadeepam, a gigantic bonfire lit atop the Annamalai hills. The temple gopurams are adorned with thousands of brass and earthen lamp during this festival.

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    For celebrating Karthikai Deepam, Poompuhar has created many brass and earthen lamps with an artistic touch.

    One of them is Lakshmi Nagas Deepam in 8 feet height with many branches. Branch Lamp is an exquisite creation of the artisans from Nachiyar Koil production center of Poompuhar. These are most beautiful artworks from the hands of the traditional artisans.

    Annam Lamp is another creation from Poompuhar. Annam lamp is a conventional, beautiful lamp that features an Annam bird on the zenith if the structure. Annam has been a symbol of purity from ancient times. The simple design marks the integrity of the lamp.

    Ornamental Annam Lamp features the basic design of the Annam lamp itself while ensuring that the ornamental elements add a fragrance of eccentricity and virtue to its design.

    Malabar Lamp is a simple lamp that fills in the virtue of ‘elegance'. Infused with a traditional design, the Malabar lamp is conventionally integrated with the basic human values.

    Plain Prabai Lamp is a beautiful brass lamp with great finish on its surface. It is one of the best reasons as to why the piece is so appealing and very magnificent.

    The Ashtrotradeepam features a design that is peculiar in all angles. It has an unconventional design. The sprouted ‘thagali' makes the lamp look affable and attractive.

    These lamps have beautiful manifestations with religious sentiments attached to it. The lamps also provide for a beautiful dimension to the festivals such as Karthigai Deepam and Deepawali.

    On the eve of Karthigai Deepam, lamp exhibitions are taking place in all the Poompuhar sale outlets, entertainment galleries, lifestyle outlets, and many more places. These exhibitions are used to display the creative marvels of our traditional artisans and preserve our cultural heritage.

  • Karthigai Deepam An Auspicious Festival That Fills Peace and Harmony into Our Hearts

    India is an ancient country with many cultures. Karthigai Deepam is one of the important festivals in South India. It is treated as an extension of Deepavali. It is very similar to Bhai Duj celebrated in other parts of India.

     Karthigai Deepam is celebrated to keep evil things away and bring up holy things in our earthly life. Lit earthen lamps are found all around the corners of the homes to instill serenity and peace at the homes. Karthigai Deepam is celebrated during the full moon day when the moon is in line with the six-star constellations called Karthigai.

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    Karthigai Deepam is an ancient festival celebrated by the Tamils. There is evidence from Sangam   period which dates back to 2500 BC. Many Tamil literature books like the Agananooru  and Seevakachintamani have specifically talked about this festival of lights.

    The puranic story behind Karthigai Deepam

    Lord Brahma and Vishnu had an argument regarding their superiority. Both claimed of being greater than the other instead of doing their duty. To stop this argument, Lord Shiva appeared in front of them and challenged the two fighting Gods to find the beginning and end of Him.

    Lord Brahma took the form of a bird and tried to find the top of Shiva. Lord Vishnu took the form of the boar and tried to find the bottom of the Shiva. Both their search ended in vain as Lord Shiva proved his supremacy over the two Gods. Lord Shiva then appeared as a hill at the Thiruvannamalai region in Tamil Nadu. The day in which the Supreme Almighty appeared as a pillar of fire is celebrated as Karthigai Deepam.

    Ancient kings built a temple on this hill. This sacred temple is called Annamalaiyar Temple.Thousands of devotees visit this temple to join the Karthigai Deepam festival. On Karthigai Deepam day, a huge light called Parani Deepam is lit in Annamalaiyar Temple by 5 pm in the evening. The deities at the temple are placed on the vehicle and carried along the roads on procession for the people to have a vision. The vehicles are usually decorated in a grand manner.

    The festival ends with the lighting of the Mahadeepam, a gigantic bonfire lit atop the Annamalai hills. A historcal evidence shows that this temple festival was celebrated from the Chola period. The temple gopurams are adorned with thousands of brass and earthen lamps during this Karthigai Deepam festival.

    The people from all over Tamil Nadu visits this temple in the faith that it will bring them blessings from Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is believed to shed his blessings during Karthigai Deepam. During this festival, people forget all their sufferings and worries. All of them pray to Lord Shiva and try to become closer to Him during this auspicious festival.

    Karthigai Deepam is also celebrated in Madurai Meenakshi Temple for 10 days. The temple will stand ornate with one lakh brass and earthen oil lamps that are lit in the temple's premises.

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