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Monthly Archives: April 2017

  • Few exquisite Pooja Mandapams from Poompuhar

    The divine corner of our heart and home cannot be ever replaced by other commodity of the world. Pooja or prayers hold a very special place in India. We all want the pooja ghar or the worship place to be sacred and best in all sense. In Hinduism and in olden days, a mandapam used to be a porch like structure that leads to the main temple. It was a basic temple compound used for praying, marriages, dancing and singing.

     Be it cleanliness or creativity no compromise can be made over the items used inside a pooja ghar. Poompuhar offers some most graceful and exquisitely crafted dwellings for the Divine that are not only tastefully created from special woods but are also available in multiple models. Place the main deity in the exclusive pooja house and seek the blessings that the Almighty showers in your life.

    8x6x6 Inch Kondapalli Toys Marriage Mandapam

    The 400 year old tradition of toys making from Kondapalli town of Andhra Pradesh still boasts of its uniqueness and beauty. Kondapalli toys are designed from soft woods from trees of Kondapalli hills and are known as Tella Poniki. This elegant Kondapalli toy marriage temple from Poompuhar symbolizes the rituals of an Indian wedding. It is an ideal for gifting as well as decoration purpose.

    Shop for this Kondapalli Toys Marriage Mandapam - Click Here Shop for this Kondapalli Toys Marriage Mandapam - Click Here

    16x11x4 Inch Wooden Mandapam Small

    Wooden items always add beauty no matter where are they are kept. This artistically designed small wooden madapam features four beautiful pillars that can be used to place the main deity during the rituals of pooja. It can also be used as a gifting item or a showcase.

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    6' Pooja Mandapam Teak Wood

    Teak wood is used since centuries to adorn the homes of wealthy people. Known for its durability, water resistance and elegance, teak wood is excellent for building a variety of decoration and furniture items. The tree from which the wood is derived is known as Tectona grandis. Teak wood also possess anti fungal and anti rot properties. This beautifully carved six inch teakwood pooja mandapam features an array of ornate designs that can beautifully capture your imagination and add grace to your place of worship. The bronze deities shown standing inside are for reference; the price is for the mandapam alone.

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    Spend some time shopping quality and robust pooja mandapams from Poompuhar that not only will add beauty to your pooja room but also honor God so as to receive his choicest blessings for you and your family.

  • THE DYING ART OF CHERIYAL SCROLLS

    Cheriyal is quiet village nearly a 100 odd kilometres from Hyderabad in the Warangal district of Telangana. This village with approximately 2000 residents and 600 plus houses is nothing different from any other village in any other part of India, until you visit the 4 households that have kept the dying art of Cheriyal scrolls alive today.

    The Cheriyal scrolls were renowned across India and the world for their unlettered form of story-telling. In fact these scrolls find mention in A Catalogue of the British Museum.Today this traditional art form has become limited only the village of Cheriyal.

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    The canvas scrolls are made on Khadi and are hand painted with unique colours made from natural sources. There are a few characteristics that make the Cheriyal scrolls and paintings instantly recognizable such as the predominance of the colour Red in the background and the iconology of placing prominent figures in appropriate order. These scrolls are painted in a narrative format like comic strips or a film roll depicting scenes from Indian mythology like Krishna Leela, Ramayan, Mahabharatha among other folklore from the region.

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    Tradition has it that these scrolls were used for educating the unlettered villagers and kept the local populace entertained at that time. The village poet or artist would use these scrolls as visual aid to tell people of these stories. Today, with the advent of TV, internet and magazines these scrolls have become a dying art and is just confined to the Cheriyal village. The artists have been forced to adapt and nowadays they paint smaller versions of the scrolls, sometimes limited to just one panel to depict single episodes from the stories.

    Another craft from Cheriyal that has continued to linger and survive is the contemporary Cheriyal dolls. These dolls are made of wood, sawdust and tamarind paste while the masks are made from dried coconut shells.

    Today, the government is doing all things possible to keep this tradition alive and theseCheriyal scrolls are regularly showcased in government run handicraft stores. While the Cheriyal scroll painting received Intellectual Property Rights Protection or Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2007, the families involved in this art form are anything but rich and now rely on education to equip their children for a better future.

    One such family is the husband-wife duo of Vanaja and Ganesh. Both Vanaja and Ganesh are government recognized artists and have made murals for the visit of dignitaries including that of President Pranab Mukherjee’s to Nagpur. They also travel to various locations across the country conducting workshops on Cheriyal scrolls for various state governments and helping spread awareness about this dying art form. The couple run a Cheriyal painting workshop for teaching the basic techniques of scroll making to the neighbourhood children with which they hope they can revive this dying art.

    There are many such artists in Tamil Nadu too who are keeping their culture and art alive, read about them here at: http://www.tnartisaan.com/

  • Tanjore Paintings/Thanjavur Paintings

    India is home to several art forms and paintings. Each type can easily boasts of a large fan base and has their own rich legacy and story to share. Each painting genre has its own set of uniqueness, heritage and lay out. One art form that can easily be labelled as one of the oldest yet famous form of painting, especially in south India is the Tanjore Painting.

    Tanjore paintings can be traced to the town of Thanjavur in present day Tamil Nadu. Over time its popularity and adoption spilled across the adjoining and geographically contiguous Tamil state.

     Let us look at the rich legacy of one of India’s finest painting forms.

    Tanjore paintings can be traced back to early 17th century. This period was dominated by the Nayakas of Thanjavur under the patronage of the Vijayanagara Rayas. They encouraged art—chiefly, classical dance and music—as well as literature, both in Telugu and Tamil. Additionally, they also significantly promoted paintings of chiefly Hindu religious subjects in temples. However, it can safely be surmised that Thanjavur painting, as we know it now, originated in the Maratha court of Thanjavur (1676 - 1855). The Government of India has recognized this as a geographical indication in 2007-08.

    So what makes Tanjore Paintings so distinct and unique?

    Tanjore paintings are characterized by vivid, flat and rich colors. Furthermore, their simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso work add wonders to the main content of the painting. One can definitely overlook the inlay of glass beads and pieces or very rarely precious and semi-precious gems!

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    Tanjore paintings clearly reflect the influence of paintings style, particularly of Deccani, Vijayanagar, Maratha and even European or Company styles of painting.

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    This form of paintings is dominated by the depiction of Hindu gods, goddesses, and saints. Several instances of Jain, Sikh, Muslim, and even secular subjects have had the honor of being depicted in the heritage-rich Tanjore paintings.

    Words would not do justice to describe the beauty of Tanjore paintings in mere 26 alphabets. Yet, if a fair attempt was to me made, Tanjore paintings undoubtedly can be described as a perfect reflection of the rich and age old culture of southern India. It is an amalgamation of south India’s legacy, presented on canvas by the imagination and ingenuity of its greatest practitioners and patrons.

    You can grab the best deals on the finest Tanjore paintings on our website tnpoompuhar.org

  • Evolution of Indian Handicrafts

    Indian handicrafts represent the dignity, style and beauty of Indian culture. Indian handicrafts are as diverse and rich as Indian history. The crafts from each part of India are unique and have been admired since centuries all over the world and reflect the influence of different Indian empires and eras.

    The evolution of Indian handicrafts is rooted in the lap of Indian history and goes back to 5000 years ago where the tradition of hand made items used to whirl around religious values and they were designed to impress the rulers of the time. In 3000 BC, since Indus-valley civilization, several forms of arts and crafts have originated which can be found in museums today. Since then a significant development took place in crafts like textile, stone, metal, painting, pottery and wood. The art of making hand made items initially began as an expression of inner creativity and evolved for trade and commerce, royalty and common people, in the later course. The tradition of using hand made products flourished and evolved as per the needs of common people. Most of the handicraft and its technique have come from the land of art and craft-Iran. Different dynasties and empires witnessed different handicrafts and patronized the respective art to help it evolve and rise. One of the oldest (more than 4000 years) handicrafts of India that is still being used is Dhokra (a distinct style of metal casting).

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    Domestic and foreign trade also played an important role in the evolution of Indian handicraft industry. Since time immemorial Indian artisans and their innovative ideas have left the people across the globe spell bound and amazed by the distinct and appealing pieces of art. Lets have a quick look over the various periods in history where the beautiful art of making hand made items survived and evolved over their machine made counterparts:

    Development of Indian Handicrafts

    Vedic Era 

    The Indus Valley civilization was followed by the Vedic age. In Rig Veda and in Upanishads, reference to a variety of crafts like pottery, wood and metals is found. Although there is no evidence of hand made item found during the time when Vedas were written.

    Harappan Era

    A rich tradition of craft and a high degree of technical excellence in the field of pottery, sculpture (metal, stone and terracotta) and wood can be seen during the Harappan period. It is the time where the craftsmen designed products according to the needs of local people and supplied them to other countries too via sea route.

    Mauryan Era

    Mauryan age witnessed the beautiful art of sculpturing in the 3rd century B.C. During this period a number of stupas, including the world famous Sanchi Stupa with beautiful stone carving was built. Making of contemporary jewelry was also one art that flourished well during this period. The iron pillars of Vaishali (Bihar) and Delhi created during the reign of Emperor Ashoka are the finest example of metallurgy.

    Post Mauryan Era 

    In the period between 1st century BC and 1st century AD the handicrafts of jewelry, sculpture, textile, leather products and metal working ushered reflecting more of British influence but later on changed as per the Indian craft scenario.

    Gupta Era 

    The Gupta (AD 320-647) age is referred to as the most classical period in the evolution of Indian handicrafts and includes the spectacular rock cut temples of Ellora and Ajanta. The craftsmen during Gupta period excelled in jewelry making, woodcarving, sculpting, stone carving and weaving.

    Medieval India 

    The Medieval period of Indian history in the context of handicrafts showed a marked shift from north India to Deccan and southern parts of the country. A high amount of royal treasure used to be spent in carving the walls of temples, and the sculptors too earned a handsome amount. The finest example of stone carving of medieval times can be seen in Khajuraho temple of Madhya Pradesh. Rich and ornate wood and stone carving can be found in Jagannath temple at Puri in Orissa.

    There are lots of different types of Indian handicrafts conveying their history and story of struggle. For example the beautiful art behind some famous Indian paintings like Madhubani, Thanjavur, Warli and Miniatures has evolved and adapted well with time. These paintings mainly portray Mughal style. Another good example is the appealing wooden handicraft items from our country which faced all highs and lows and evolved gracefully thereafter.

    Today Indian handicraft has an unsurpassable position in the global market, after suffering a lot of struggle. As a result, along with the Indian craft, Indian craftsmen are also in great demand all over the world. The products that are commonly admired by other countries and are exported from India are hand crafted jewelry, hand printed textiles and scarves, embroidered and crocheted garments, bags and purses, Mysore and Banarasi silk ,Kashmiri  shawls, leather belts, toys and an array of household and decorative items.

  • Indian Wedding Gifts bring a surge in orders at Poompuhar

    Weddings in India hold an important place and are celebrated with full enthusiasm and joy. The tradition of marriages in India reflects regional, religious, cultural and traditional diversity of our nation. Indian weddings are never complete without the gifts, and with it come the confusion as to what should be presented to the newly wed couple and the family. If you take a glance over the handicraft collections at Poompuhar you will never be left in any dilemma when it comes to selecting gift items for any occasion.

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    Starting from metal handicrafts to Thanjavur art plates, you would find an array of wonderful gifting items at Poompuhar at reasonable price. Last year Poompuhar received an order of 1300 Thanjavur plates for wedding of a Coimbatore based industrialist’s daughter despite tough competition from corporate companies. This wedding gift order took Poompuhar to new heights and gave a boost to the all over Coimbatore based Poompuhar sale to Rs 3.15 crore. From the rich architectural perspective and scenic beauty of Coimbatore a large number of tourists keep visiting throughout the year. Coimbatore, which organized two outdoor sales and several indoor special sales, last year saw tremendous response for sales of traditional handicraft items in both. Thematic exhibition-cum-sales were organized during the festival season last year here where items worth Rs. 85 lakh to Rs. 90 lakh were being sold. The artisans got a chance to directly interact with the customers in such exhibitions held during festivals like Navrathri, Deepawali etc. This helps them sketch a clear plan about the items in demand and their respective sale, which otherwise are returned back to the organization for sale throughout the year. These exhibitions are also supported by Central Government where the artisans get financial assistance from the government to put up their handicraft stalls at many more such cities.

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    A surge in handicrafts and wedding gifts is taking Poompuhar to new heights in many South Indian cities where the customers and tourists want to buy traditional as well as contemporary hand crafted items to gift their loved ones. A large number of non resident Indians (NRI) visiting Coimbatore during summer holidays have shown special interest in Indian handicrafts and wished to take back some, to their country . Very soon an exhibition will also be organized in Coimbatore especially for foreigners and NRIs very soon by Poompuhar.

  • Akshardham- The eighth wonder of the world

    Akshardham is a unique cultural complex that celebrates the past, addresses the present, and blesses the future. Built on the banks on river Yamuna in the capital of India, Delhi, Akshardham is an abode of God which symbolizes glorious Indian culture and upholds the universal value of humanity. Designed in according to vastu and pancharatra shastra, is an architectural marvel of this century. Akshardham is constructed using thousands of rajasthani pink sandstones and Italian carrara marble that have been placed together with outstanding skill and incredible accuracy. It does not make any use of cement, iron or steel.

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    Akshardham is a seat of art, culture and finesse. A 100 acre spiritual cultural complex that can stir the soul from within with its breathtaking sight, sound and silence. It is artistically mesmeric, scientifically stunning and an eternal place conveying timeless spiritual messages. It combines traditional stone art reflecting great Indian culture, ancient values and civilization. The entire complex was completed in just five years with the hard work of over 11,000 workers dedicating 300 million man hours. The auspicious monument has various entry gates with 869 beautiful peacocks to welcome the visitors. It is a matchless example of laborer’s love and therefore also considered as eighth wonder of the world.

    The main attraction of the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is the outstanding Akshardham Mandir which is 141 foot (43 m) high, spans 316-foot (96 m) wide and extends 356-foot (109 m) long. Made up of paanch dhaatu or five metals, the temple consist of 234 ornately carved pillars, nine domes, thousands of  idols of sadhus, devotees, acharyas and 9 huge floors of sculpted flora and fauna. Akshardham is an amazing revival of stone art and sculpture and depicts authentic Indian historical carving. The temple features 11 foot high intricately carved centrally placed Golden idol of Lord Swaminarayana (its founder) along with his successor’s ands many more inspirational architectural masterpieces. It contains 148 life sized elephants placed upon Gajendra pith featuring intense craftsmanship, graceful beauty and timeless wisdom. It also houses idols of Lord Sita and Ram, Radha Krishna, Shiv Parvati, and Lakshmi Narayan. Upon Gajendra pith lies the huge glorious mandovan, a 600 foot long, delicately carved wall of over 200 stone murtis honoring the great deities, rishis, acharyas and philosophers of Indian culture including 48 different forms of Lord Ganesha. A unique 2 story parikrama envelops the monument like a garland of red stones. It has the world’s largest step well with 2870 steps consisting of four corners with five separate spiritual gates to welcome the Gods of earth, fire, water, air and space.

    The major attraction of the magnificent monument is a 40 minute water show that takes away the breath and reunites your soul to God. The captivating light and sound show reveals India’s ancient secret and concept of life and death. It display the cycles of life through creation, sustenance and destruction through a wonderful 3D diorama which make use of state of the art robotics, fiber optics, light and sound effects, dialogues, dance and classical music. Popularly known as sahaj anand ,the spectacular multimedia show transforms the step well into the courtyards of heaven and fills the atmosphere with emotion and energy. It is a unique and educational evening program that leaves you spellbound through brilliant light and sound work.

    Akshardham also features Sanskruti Vihar, a thrilling 15 minute boat ride that makes you travel through 10,000 years of glorious India. It takes place over the peaceful narayan sarovar (name of the lake) that surrounds the complex and carries holy water of 151 sacred Indian rivers and lakes. The boat ride displays the Indian Vedic era using life size figures and robots and shows the contribution of popular scholars and scientists to various fields of science, astronomy, art, literature, yoga and mathematics.

    The garden and lawns of Akshardham comprises over 9000 different shrubs and trees and are considered as a centre of environmental preservation. A lotus shaped garden called as yogi hradya kamal reflects good thought and conveys the message of peace and unity. To promote Indian art, culture and values, Swaminarayana Akshardham temple also houses a grand educational and research center. Many people visit to seek inspiration from this temple daily. They also meditate and experience the silence and spirituality prevailing inside the wonderful complex.

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