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  • Surprise your beloved with traditional pith work Tajmahal

    For over decades, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal has been depicted as the epitome of love to the earnest lovers. This epitome of love was build with white marbles by the River Yamuna as an ode to Mumtaz the deceased wife of the emperor Shah Jahan. Built and supervised by the emperor’s best architect named Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, this masterpiece boasts of intricate craftsmanship for which people from all over the world gather here to celebrate the spirit of love.

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    For a lover and his beloved, the Taj Mahal is a vivid example of expression of love and hence, gifting a miniature model of Taj Mahal built of wood, fiber or stone is quite popular. The Tamil Nadu Poompuhar is one of the leading craft industries, which specializes in Taj Mahal models in Pith work.

    Take a souvenir after visiting the Taj Mahal

    After being a witness to this architectural marvel, the definition of love is changed to the lovers out there. While Shah Jahan had the lavish treasure to spend around 32 million at that era to build the Taj Mahal, you can take a souvenir of this wonder to gift your beloved. No matter if you could not experience the magic of Taj with your lover; you can still give him the essence of Taj through the pith work Taj Mahal, which is crafted to perfection.

    The Pith work Taj Mahal –Why It Is Special

    The intricate detailing of the Taj Mahal is beautifully depicted through the carving on Pith. Now, what is Pith? Pith is collected from the Netti Plant, an aquatic reed growing in marshlands, tanks, inlakes etc. The soft and spongy parenchyma cells of the roots and stems of the reeds are dried and made solid before incorporating it to make this masterpiece, which looks nothing less than the actual Taj Mahal, only smaller!

    The model is encased in glass frame on a thick base. The whole package is not so huge, neither too small. Moreover, handling is convenient as it weighs only 0.30 kilograms. The full dimension in inches is designed as 4 x 6 x 6. With an affordable cost of just INR 375, anyone can buy it for their beloved to reciprocate their feelings.

    Your Interior Will Get a New Dimension

    With the traditional artwork of the experienced artists from the Puhar or Poompuhar village in Tamil Nadu, this handicraft industry has spread these miniature epitomes of love to various corners of India. So whenever you visit any Poompuhar store, make sure to check this pith work Taj Mahal. This is quite unique as most miniatures are made of either stone or hard plastic or clay. Pith is light, yet with its light yellowish tint, it looks sober. Keeping it on the center table or on a wall rack or on a shelf will make your home interior look different and attractive.

    Undertaken by the Tamil Nadu government, Poompuhar seeks to promote the traditional artworks of the artists who visited different corners of India to provide you the perfectly crafted decors to gift your loved ones.

  • How Poompuhar is bringing life in traditional Indian Art?

    'Indian Art' is a term which encompasses various mediums and styles perfected over centuries by artisans and handicraft workers. Yet this ancient art form is somehow losing its prominence in society. Tamil Nadu Poompuhar aims to showcase those talents which have been unappreciated for long.

    The catrgories have been mapped out keeping in mind the varied artforms which have existed:

    What are our Metal offerings?

    Difficult to carve and yet a beauty to behold, the array of metal designs have been constructed and polished by superior craftsmen.

    The designs are available with antique polish and you can select from the collection like Reshabadevar Set, Boga Shakti, Arthanari, Shivalingam, Arthanarieshwar sets and much more.

    Arthanarieshwar Polish Shop For This Arthanarieshwar - Click Here

    Poompuhar offers Brass items as well, like Brass bowls, Brass Peacock Bead Stones, Brass Nataraj statues, Brass Uruli Weight, Brass Uruli Light Weight, Brass Coloured Weights and a lot more which you can browse through as well as choose from the official website.

    Wood: The most intricate style

    Wood carvings are richly detailed constructions and the products of Poompuhar are made with selected Rosewood, Sandalwood and more.

    They offer various wooden figures like that of the Buddha, Radha-Krishna, Ashoka Pillar and more. But apart from mythological and historical designs they also offer everyday handcrafted wooden products like clocks, pens etc.

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    What are our designs based on Stone?

    The most significant artwork of South India is undoubtedly that of the stone sculptures.  Thanks to the craftsmen of the Pallava Empire who had intricately crafted these stones to create some masterpieces which still enchant tourists from all over the world. The Indian culture and emotion is reflected in various Indian religious monuments dating back to time immemorial.

    To celebrate this achievement and promote its growth among the masses, they offer statues made out of granite, red stone, soap stone along with clay and much more. The life-size figurines and fountain sculptures speak a thousand words about the Indianness.

    Earthware -fragile and precious

    The most widely available type of crafts is the earthenware products like bowls, statues and more. The workers make various masterpieces out of clay and ceramic like that of Nataraj, Lakshmi, Parvati, Saraswati, Kalinga Krishna and more. These statues are available in oxidized variants as well.

    The designs available on Clothing and Leather

    Cloth and Leather Prints have been in use long and are still quite popular in traditional fashion. Keeping with the tradition Poompuhar offers handcrafted textiles like Kalamkari purse, lamp shades and lots more which can be browsed in our website.

    Paintings: What do we offer?

    Indian paintings speak of style and technique in a nuanced and yet simultaneously bold manner. The collection has paintings of the gods Krishna, Lakshmi, Ganesh along with others like Perumal and Ramar as well.

    If budget is not an issue for you, then check out the Thanjavur Paintings which are one of their Big Ticket items.

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    Poomphar aims to reinstate traditional Indian art to the position of prestige it once enjoyed by showing its vitality to others. Appreciating and supporting these creations as well as their creators who are on the verge of losing their skills is the goal.

  • Some exceptional facts about the royal art of India-Meenakari

    We all are huge fans of this beautiful and subtle art form which is known as Meenakari. It is one of the very old and distinguished art forms of the Indian culture and tradition which is famous for its exclusive designs.

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    Meenakari is basically an enamelling of metals. It is the specialty of ornamenting and enamelling metal surfaces by painting and enriching them with beautiful designs, and after that, they are heated in the Klein to give them a required shape. The heating process helps in hardening the colours and fusing the metal. It is an ancient art form which is passed from one generation to the other. Hence not only we Indians like Meenakari designs and works, but the demand of these products is high in the global market too.

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    Here are a few lesser known facts about this colourful handicraft:

    • Meenakari is not actually an Indian art form as it is Persian art which was brought to India by the Persian enamellists in the 17th century when Mughals were ruling the country.
    • Meena or Mina is known as the feminine form of the Persian word “Minoo” which means heaven, and it signifies the purplish blue shade of paradise.
    • The art of meenakari looks best on gold metal because gold has a natural sheen. This helps the natural colours of meenakari to set beautifully in the metal as it also holds the enamel wonderfully and also adds a sparkle in the same.
    • Do you know that the colours of the meenakari work can be cleansed through a mixture of lemon and tamarind? Well yes, it helps in cleaning the colours of the art piece naturally and also preserves its natural look and texture.
    • Besides jewellery, Meenakari is also being used in crafting the designs of jewellery boxes, gods’ idols, crockery, trays, cupboards, bowls, sculptures, paintings and many more things. Hence the modern form of this traditional art has a very vast scope and is not limited to one particular area or region.
    • At first, Meenakari was only done on gold, but now silver and copper are also being used for creating it.. While gold is mainly used for designing Meenakari jewellery, silver and copper are used for bowls, spoons, brightening ancient rarities, icons, sculptures, etc. The remains of Mughal era show the signs of meenakari on hookahs and paan-daan (traditional boxes for keeping betel leaves) too.
    • There are mainly 3 types of Meenakari: “Ek Rang Khula Meena” in which only one color is used to engrave the piece of metal, “Panch Rangi Meena” in which 5 primary colours are used which are white, light blue, green, dark blue and red, and “Gulabi Meena” in which rose pink is used. Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is renowned for gulabi meena works.

    Artisans at Poompuhar produce Meenakari handicrafts combining traditional techniques with modern ideas. Visit the Poompuhar e-commerce website to view our collection of Meenakari products and get them delivered at your home.

  • Creativity and Artisanship are coming together to make homes eco-friendly.

    With the aim of empowering the rural strata of Indian artisans, the government of Tamil Nadu came ahead with a unique platform named Poompuhar. Realising the rising craze of handicrafts in the western world, the Poompuhar team imbibed the core ideas of handicraft training to the rural strata of Indian society. A struggle of about decades has brought Pompuhar to a position where it stands today. Poompuhar is the perfect example of the saying “Effort never dies”.

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    Empowering rural artisans was the motive which brought to life the lost creativity in this section of society. Firstly, Poompuhar emphasised on educating the locals of Tamil Nadu about the handicraft articles. Slowly the team introduced the locals in the process of creating beautiful handicrafts. The training sessions were conducted under the guidance of trained professionals to promulgate the rising importance of handicraft production and export as a source of living for the rural dependents.

    Slowly the rural inhabitants of Tamil Nadu started attending these sessions in huge numbers and gained a thorough understanding of the entire process. The constant and dedicated efforts of the Poompuhar team began owing sweet fruits. Slowly and steadily handicraft production became the identity of locals of Tamil Nadu.

    Now with the handicrafts produced by these rural artisans needed a guiding platform to exhibit their creativity. Poompuhar came ahead with a unified solution to connect the artisans with the nation. It also bridged the gap between the local creativity of Tamil Nadu and the western world. Fair trade practice was the prime objective behind the evolution of the online platform of Poompuhar. Today, it exhibits the rich handicrafts crafted by the poor hands. Moreover, one can say, Poompuhar presents the eco-friendly products by nurturing the creativity of these local artisans.

    The handmade products or the handicrafts are carved out by human hands. It reduces the consumption of energy involved in the manufacturing of the industrial product. Also, the raw materials included in the production of these handicrafts are majorly planted materials which are sustainably harvested. Pine needles, stone carvings, metals, wood carvings are some of the raw materials employed in the handicraft production.

    Handicraft products use is gaining popularity owing to their recyclable materials. As the name suggests, handicrafts are mostly carved out of used materials to raise their allure and worth.

    Introducing the eco-friendly gift ideas which bring the creativity and artisanship together

    Some of the eco-friendly gift ideas are inclusive of the following:

    • Applique Thombai
    • Kalamkari Thombai
    • SandalWood, Yelaka, and Tanjore Garland
    • Antique Finished, polished or 3D printed bronze structures
    • Bowl, Nataraja, Peacock Beed Stone, Uruli and other carved out of Brass
    • Lamp, Hanging Lamp, Deepam carved out of Brass
    • Wooden, Motif Stand
    • Thanjavur Art Plate
    • Wall Hangings, Flower Vases, god and goddesses idols carved out of white metal, black metal, copper
    • Side corners, peacocks, horse, wall hangings, gods and goddesses idols carved out of wood or stone carvings.
    • Wall Hangings, Dolls, Bowls, Antique Carvings, created from Sandalwood or other wood types
    • Thanjavur Paintings of Krishna, Lakshmi, Ganesh and other gods and goddesses.
  • Popular places in India to experience the perfect blend of authentic art and famous regional cuisine

    When it comes to travelling one wants to get the best from his tour, especially to such incredible country like India. Tourists are eager to experience both local cuisines and get authentic handicrafts. Of course, certain Indian states are really famous for their food and art. You can start your gastronomic adventure in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Kashmir, Gujarat, West Bengal or Himachal Pradesh.

    Colourful Rajasthan

    This state is really famous for its unique authentic handicraft. If you find yourself in the capital of Rajasthan Jaipur, you will definitely explore local souvenir shops which have a lot to offer: handmade jewellery, carpets, paintings, quilts, pottery, textiles, and even wooden furniture. The first thing that visitor notice about local art is its bright colours! Of course, it is worth trying local cuisine. Foodies will be happy to try various curries and sweet, and certainly, vegetable dishes like extremely popular GovindGatte (a gravy with dumplings), and healthy Khichdi (a type of lentil and rice soup). As for non-vegetarian dishes, one can discover mouth-watering hot and spicy Laal Maas and Mohan Maas.

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    Gujarat: a western jewel of the country

    One more fascinating state to visit is Gujarat located in the Western part of the country. Local food is vegetarian, and seafood isn't prepared, despite the state having access to the sea. Almost everywhere a tourist can try various curries (potato, bitter and bottle gourd, black-eyed peas, beans, and ladyfinger). It is definitely worth trying different types of homemade bread (PuranPoli, thepla, and famous puri) prepared with various combinations of spices, pulses, and flour. Apart from local cuisine, it is really interesting to discover regional handicrafts: world-famous Patola sarees, embroideries, unusual wall hangings, needlework, pottery, handmade jewellery, wooden products, pillow and cushion covers, and exquisite patchwork with tiny mirrors.

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    Himachal Pradesh: unique authentic crafts

    Visitors like Himachal Pradesh for its awesome nature, unusual cuisine and authentic crafts. They include rugs, carpets, shawls, wood carvings, paintings, metal and stonework, lamps, and jewellery. Being a vegetarian state, local cuisine is ready to offer you delicious Madra (chickpeas with veggies), famous tudkiyabhath (a rice dish), and exotic they (spicy lotus stems). In this state, tourist can try various dishes from traditional Tibetan cuisine too.

  • How to use inherited art and furniture to decorate your home in a modern way

    It is not that easy to make the best from inherited art and furniture, especially when you have an emotional connection with such art objects. Unfortunately, some people just decide to get rid of such items by donating or selling them out. It is certain that others definitely struggle to incorporate them into a modern design of a flat or a house. Of course, there are few good ways to make your home look modern even using such precious pieces of art and furniture. Expensive antiques pieces made of silver, brass, walnut, bronze, maple, and marble are really worth including into your house.

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    Modern vintage 

    This term appeared only few years ago and has already become quite popular everywhere in the world. In fact, it means mixing old with modern. Sometimes unexpectedly good trendy combinations may come up with a little bit of mixing experimentation. Who knows, maybe your grandfather's antique clock will be in the limelight in your modern sitting room?

    Change the color and material

    It may really happen that a faded color is the thing which doesn't let you include a vintage object into your room. Actually, it is the easiest way to make old furniture look modern. Try to choose carefully a new trendy color. One more way is to change the main material of a treasured sofa or an armchair. However, you can have it done from a professional workshop. Don’t be scared to pick bright stylish shades, floral and striped patterns, and unusual brand-new fabrics to make it look and feel cozy.

     The right balance

    Already existing objects in the room should be in proper balance with inherited art and furniture. A single antique mirror or cupboard will look gorgeous when it is surrounded by contemporary furniture. It is advisable to keep only one vintage piece in each room decorating it with bright clothes, plants or even flowers.

    If you are a lucky one who inherited treasured old ceramics, silver plates, paintings, mirrors or clocks, don’t get discouraged. Do your best mixing vintage objects with contemporary ones and exploring new color and textile combinations.

  • Five Ways to Differentiate between Fake & Authentic Handicrafts and Artworks

    Each year, hundreds of artists and craftsmen go out of business. Marginalised by intense competition and a lack of sufficient administrative support, these unrecognised heroes who have played a significant part in the preservation of the cultural heritage that the Indian people are so proud of are losing out. Counterfeiting and the mass production of cheap imitations have also hurt the industry.  You can make a difference - support the artists and craftsmen preserving India’s culture by purchasing authentic art and craft.

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    1)    Chikankari

    This beautiful craft comes from Lucknow, a royal city located in Uttar Pradesh, and is used to signify femininity and royalty. The pastel colours and detailed embroidery. When shopping for authentic handmade Chikankari, look for shadow stitch, crisscross embroidery and French knots. If there is any unevenness in the fabric or lose threading, it hasn’t been handmade. This also applies to most hand weaved and embroidered fabrics.

    2)    Silk.

    At times, it is possible to differentiate real silk from artificial silk by rubbing it in your hands if it emits a clear sound, it’s most probably real. Real silk is also highly susceptible to wrinkling. Crumple it up and release it, if the fabric doesn’t spring back to its original state quickly and wrinkles, it’s likely that it is silk. Burn it. You could take a small piece of the fabric from the fringe or pull a knot if the item is a rug, burn it. Take care to note the smell of the smoke and colour of the residue. If the sample is authentic silk, the ash should form a crisp black ball of ash and the smell should be similar to that of burning hair.

    3)    Gold

    For any handcraft made from gold, make a small indentation on the surface and add a drop of liquid nitric acid. If the area turns green, then whatever you're about to buy is not real gold. If it turns milky, then the product is made from over sterling silver. Only pure gold will not react with nitric acid.  Though effective, these tests do have their weaknesses. Besides the tests, it is often advisable to seek the advice of a professional before acquiring gold handicrafts.

    4)    Silver

    When silver is tapped with a metallic object, it produces a clear ringing sound, cheaper metals will only produce a dull sound. As with Gold, it is always wise to seek the qualified opinion of a certified professional before making a purchase.

    5)    Paintings

    For paintings, the buyer must know the artist and their style of work. Watch for inconsistencies in the framing and signature. Observe the colours in the painting. Not all the colours available today were possible in the past. Art enthusiasts often use colour charts to identify a colour that didn’t exist at the time the painting was supposedly made. Turn the painting over, what kind of surface was it painted on. Does it look and feel aged enough? Considering these factors could help avoid paying a small fortune for an imitation.

  • Celebrating Spirituality of Lord Krishna with Sanjhi Art

    Sanjhi is a traditional art form from Mathura, the hometown of Lord Krishna. Widely appreciated for its spiritual outlook that conveys much more than aesthetic beauty, it is rightly recognised as one of the greatest forms of spiritual expression. The art form rose to prominence in Indian culture in the 16th and 17th centuries, when the floors and walls of the places of worship were adorned with Sanjhi inspired motifs and designs. The word Sanjhi comes from the Hindi word sandhya. This was chosen as a name because it refers to the period of dusk which Sanjhi artists often portray in their paintings. The art form often portrays stories from Indian mythology often focusing on Krishna’s Leela. Folktales suggest that the first Sanjhi art designs were made by Radhe who used flowers, natural colours and pigmented stone to make Sanjhi rangolis. Others soon copied his initiative, creating detailed designs to please Krishna. According to the tale, Sanjhi art became popular from that time on. The influence of the Mughal era added a contemporary outlook to the art form.

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    After the ancient tradition of Sanjhi art was adopted by Vaishnava temples in the 15th and 16th century, it was developed further into a highly complex form of a painting by uniquely trained Brahman priests. Sanjhi art can mostly be seen in the temples which are made using dry colours applied onto an eight-sided earthen platform to symbolize a lotus with eight petals. The heart of the design symbolizes a seat for the divine couple. A detailed design in the sanctum sanctorum will often portray complex interlocked diagonal patterns meant to expand divinity in all eight directions. The modern Sanjhi art piece is created using stencils made from specially designed scissors. The stencils are placed on a level surface where the Rangoli is to be applied. Dry colours are then sifted onto the stencil. Horses, peacocks, trees and butterflies are some of the most common designs. Sanjhi artists' attention to detail is meant to signify intimate love and devotion to Krishna.

    Modern Sanjhi art is popular all over India. It is displayed in public areas such as train stations and is used in interior decor. Recently, Sanjhi art also featured in the pictograms used for the commonwealth games.

  • Gond Art Tribal Vibes

    Gond painting is a tribal art form practised by one of the biggest tribes in India of the same name. The word Gond is derived from an expression in a Dravidian language known as Kond, meaning the green mountain. Though Gond art is perceived as exclusive to Madhya Pradesh, it is also practised in areas such as Maharashtra, Odisha, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Gond art is ancient-The Gond people have lived in India for nearly one and a half millennia have practised this art form for the entire duration of their existence. Some sources suggest that the art form itself may be much older as the gonds could have simply imitated cave paintings made by their ancestors in the Mesolithic era.

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    The gonds believe that all naturally occurring objects, such as trees, rivers, rocks or hills are inhabited by a divine entity and that they are consequently sacred. The Gond, therefore, make paintings of them as a way of showing reverence and respect. Viewed this way, the Gond art form is a unique but accurate example of the closeness between man and his natural environment.

    Besides nature, Gond artists get inspiration from traditional Indian mythology and folklore. Some painters focus on scenes from daily life and abstract ideas such as dreams, imaginations and emotion. The style is often categorised as a form of line art. When making paintings, Gond artists draw inner and outer lines with great care to achieve a level of perfection and detail that is bound to draw the user's attention. Dashes and dots are utilised to add a greater sense of motion and detail. Artists utilise vivid colours such as yellow, red and blue on and white. Dyes are obtained from plant sap, animal manure, coloured soil, leaves and charcoal. Brown and yellow are derived from a type of locally available sand.

    Gond art was typically applied as a finishing for newly built houses. But starting in 1980, talented painters transformed this ancient style with a new narrative and figurative ideas using various modern media such as ink, acrylics, animated film and silkscreen prints. Rich in humour, colour and mystery, Gond paintings effectively make use of modern media to evoke the primordial psyche.

  • The Timeless Art of Wood Carving in India

    Woodcarving has been one of the most universal handicraft techniques around the world. Be it intricate pulpits inside Gothic churches in Europe, delicately carved panels in Persia or massive columns from Japan depicting aquatic plants, wood carving is an eternal, timeless craft appreciated across the world.

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    India itself has a rich wood carving history and contributes prolifically to the array of carved handicrafts produced in wood. Being a climactically diverse nation, India is blessed with a variety of soft and hard woods — each being used to produce a different family of wooden crafts. Moreover, the cultural, lingual and religious diversity is reflected in the different handicrafts that emerge from different regions. In Assam, they are reflected in the unusually carved thrones in the shape of peacocks which are called ‘namghar’ or ‘kirtanghar' and the figures of the one-horned rhinoceros. In Uttar Pradesh, we see elegantly chiseled screens or ‘jaalis’ patterned with floral and vine-like details reminiscent of the Kashmiri origins of the craftsmen who first brought them here. Large, chests called ‘pataras’ carved out of rosewood, teak or sandalwood in Gujarat are part of wedding trousseau for brides to this day.

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    Although wood carvings in Tamil Nadu come in a variety of themes such as animals, mythological creatures and dance forms, one of the most prominent of these themes is the depiction of mythological scenes with gods and goddesses mounted on their chariots. From doors to wooden brackets and panels, one can find this theme running across different handicraft items produced in the state. Idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Dashavtara idols of Vishnu are some of the most highly demanded products in the region.

    When creating a wood carving idol, the artisan begins with a single large block of wood. Designs are first drawn on paper which is then imprinted upon the wooden block. Then, using a hammer and chisel, the artisan carves out the wood from the appropriate places in the design, layer by layer. Soon the idol begins to take shape. When the artisan is satisfied with the carving, he buffs the wood so that its natural shine appears. Then it is painted or polished suitably and is ready to go on the market. The whole process takes days and even months depending upon the complexity and size of the idol. Rosewood and sandalwood is most commonly used for creating wood articles produced in Tamil Nadu.

    Over 2 lakh artisans in Tamil Nadu work behind the scenes to uphold our cultural heritage through sheer hard work without proper recognition and appreciation. Poompuhar, in collaboration with the TN state government is proud to be observing March 5 as Artisan’s Day in order to bring these gems to the forefront in the handicraft making process. The video of artisan P Subrayan below is just a small initiative in that endeavour.

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