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  • Must-visit Places in Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu

    Every part of India has something unique to offer to its visitors, and the plush beauty of South India in no exception. If you are planning a trip to Tami Nadu, then the city of Poompuhar is where you desire for nature as well as history will be satiated. The place is quite famous because of its rich culture and traditions still being preserved by the natives.

    Following are the places that any visitor to Poompuhar cannot afford to miss:

    • Silappathikara Art Gallery: The art gallery is well renowned owing to the awe-inspiring structures that add to its grandeur. At the entrance of the building stands “Magara Thoranavayi” which is 22.5 ft in height. Sculptors from Mamallapuram Art College have carved most of the structures here. The gallery comprises seven stores with the first storeseing 12ft in height while the rest of the stories are 5ft each. It has Kalasams of 8ft which takes the overall height of the gallery to 50ft.
    • Danish Fort:

    The fort was erected in 1620 AD in the Danish architectural style. The walls of the fort bear beautiful carvings and decorations.  A Museum has also been added to the fort by Tamil Nadu Archaeological Dept. which takes care of this structure. Entry to the fort is free of cost.

    Image Credit - wikimedia
    •  Zion Church:

    Among the most popular pilgrimage places in Poompuhar, Zion Church is the one visited by the people of almost every religion. It was built in the year 1701 by the Danish community. It has also received care from the British Government for its renovation from 1782 to 1784. Just like the Danish Fort, Zion Church also has architecture and carvings in the Danish style.

    • Town Gateway

    This historic structure was constructed in 1792 and its construction is quite similar to the gateways that existed in Europe during the era of renaissance. Though the gateway was built by British Government, it bears the Danish style of architecture because Danish architects were hired to design it. No entry fee is charged form the visitors.

    Image Credit - wikipedia
    • Masilamani Nathar Koil

    Masilamani Nathar Koil is an ancient temple in Poompuhar. Maravarma Kulasekara Pandiyan ordered the construction of the temple in 1305. The beauty and grandeur of this temple lies in its ancient architectural style. Natural calamities have somewhat damaged the façade of the temple due to which religious activities are no longer practiced here.

  • Evolution of Thanjavur Paintings

    Thanjavur paintings are a significant part of from Indian art and culture, named after its place of origin called Thanjavur in South India. It dates back to the 16th century during the Nayak and the Maratha reign.

    Thanjavur Painting Lady with Fruit Plate Shop For This Thanjavur Painting Lady with Fruit Plate - Click Here

    Exceptional characteristics of Thanjavur Paintings

    • Rich and intense colours
    • Iconic Jewellery details
    • Dreamy iconic masterpieces
    • Use of gold foils
    • Dense gesso craft
    • Glass beads inlay
    • Use of rare gems
    • Panel paintings on wood
    • Commonly portray religious texts from books and stories

    Thanjavur Painting Yasodha Krishna Shop for this Thanjavur Painting Yasodha Krishna - Click Here

    However, with time, the art of Thanjavur painting has also evolved and few of the common practices have also changed. We will discuss the changes that this art has experienced over the years. The ingredients of an authentic painting have transformed in current times as per the availability, price, and artists interests.

    Major Changes noticed during the evolution of this art –

    • The base of the paintings – Presently ply boards are been used commonly instead of the original base from the jackfruit tree
    • Colours – Chemical paints are used frequently as opposed to the natural colours made by the artists in previous times.
    • Paintings nowadays cover all kinds of subjects. Earlier, the themes used to be divine figures, deities etc.
    • Use of rare and precious gems and stones has been replaced by semi-precious gems

    Thanjavur paintings are still in style and inspire many modern-day artists. Tanjore or Thanjavur paintings are popular handicraft item in the markets around the galleries across the globe and make the best souvenirs. This art gives a new look to the house with its radiant work. These paintings have stood the test of times and bounced back to create their place across every households and professional venue.

    Shop for this Thanjavur Painting Mirror - Click Here Shop for this Thanjavur Painting Mirror - Click Here

    At Poompuhar we understand the value of a genuine art and try to offer our customers the best options. You can visit our online store for more options and deals.

  • Popular Upcoming Handicrafts Exhibitions in India 2018-19

    How would you like if we tell you that we have got brilliants plans for you to indulge in your favourite interest of admiring new and trendy handicrafts? Below are the upcoming art and craft shows in India. Every one of them has something special to offer with their diverse collections.

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    1. Index Trade Fair

    Index trade fair will be held from 3rd May to 6th May 2018 in Mumbai. This is an international event which displays beautiful home furniture from various countries like Italy, Malaysia, Turkey,  and India. The event is organized by UBM plc and only professional visitors are allowed. It is a great platform to admire trendy designs from the furniture world.

    https://www.tradefairdates.com/Index-M7229/Mumbai.html

    1. Art & Design Fair International Event

    Art & Design Fair International event will be a four-day exhibition in Mumbai from 22nd to 25th August 2018. The event will offer innovative and exceptional handicrafts designs in various niches such as home décor, gifts, jewellery, candles & so on. The popular Bombay Exhibition Centre is the largest exhibition centre in the country.

    https://www.tradefairdates.com/Art-Design-Fair-International-M10792/Mumbai.html

    1. The Handcrafts and Handlooms Fair

    The Handcrafts and Handlooms Fair will be organized by IIMTF which will showcase the handicrafts, handlooms and various jute items including jewellery, statues, textiles, carpets, décor pieces, bags, accessories, wall hangings, and fibre products. The exhibition will be a platform for artists and manufacturers to introduce their work and to do business. Check out the given link for browse exhibition calendar.

    http://gsmktg.com/handicrafts-and-handlooms-fair/

    1. IHGF Delhi Fair Autumn

    IHGF Delhi Fair Autumn will be Asia's biggest handicrafts trade fair and will offer gifts and latest handicrafts from around the world such as stonework, jewellery, ceramics, copper work, decor pieces, ethnic items, gifts, metal objects, sculpture, paintings, etc. The event will be held from 14th to 18th October 2018 in Greater Noida.

    https://10times.com/handicraft-gift-fair

    1. India Art Festival

    India Art Festival is a four-day event and is said to be the perfect blend of a modern and contemporary craft. Next year it will be hosted from 17th to 20th January 2019 in Mumbai.  The event will create a dialogue between art collectors and artists in the presence of leading industry experts. This festival aims to display the beauty and value of the elegant and modern art of current times.

    https://10times.com/india-art-festival

  • Where to find authentic handicraft items while travelling to Tamil Nadu

    Almost all tourists know that India is an ideal place when it comes to authentic handicraft products. Frankly speaking, the country is so rich that each and every single state in the country has plenty to offer. If you are travelling in South India you will be surprised how many handicrafts you can find just in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for various marvellous arts: genuine silk and cotton fabrics, awesome jewellery, metal and stone statues, and Palmyra fibres.

    World-famous Kanjeevaram silk sarees

    Tamil Nadu can definitely boast of exquisite silk and traditional sarees made of it in the region called Kanjeevaram or Kancheepuram. At the moment more than 5000 families are involved in saree production in this place only. There are approximately 75 yarn and dyeing workshops in Kanjeevaram only! Pure mulberry silk is used to create these sarees with wide bright and contrast borders. If you want to buy a genuine Kanjeevaram garment, you should remember that the main feature of these sarees is that the border and the main body of the saree created separately. After that, they get gently but tightly interlocked together. One can buy this garment directly from the outlets in Kanjeevaram itself and in various shops of Chennai.

    Palmyra fibre products

    These authentic and eco-friendly handicrafts can be found in Tamil Nadu. Palmyra tree is an official symbol of the state. It is widely used in the life of common people but also there are plenty of authentic handicrafts created from its leaves and fibre. Brooms, brushes, baskets, pen stand, gift boxes, mats, wall hangings, and even pencils cases of different styles and colours are easily available in the state almost everywhere. The traditional and unique art of palm leaf basketry exists today, thanks to the rural craft culture of Tamil Nadu.

    Shop for this WHITE WOOD ELEPHANT PEN STAND PLAIN - Click Here Shop for this WHITE WOOD ELEPHANT PEN STAND PLAIN - Click Here

    Kumbakonam metal statues and ware

    The place called Kumbakonam is famous for its brass and bronze statues of different deities. Made in a traditional way, these authentic handicrafts of high quality and elaborate designs are really worth buying. Gods, goddesses, bells, glasses, dishes, and home decorations can be bought in not only in Kumbakonam but almost everywhere in Tamil Nadu.

    Shop for this BRONZE GANESH SITTING POLISH WITH BOX - Click Here Shop for this BRONZE GANESH SITTING POLISH WITH BOX - Click Here

    You can also buy handicraft items online from Poompuhar, The Tamilnadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, which has its Emporia in almost all district towns of Tamilnadu including others cities across the country like Bangalore, New Delhi and Calcutta.

  • 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.

    Shop for this Undercut Camel - Click Here Shop for this Undercut Camel - Click Here

    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.

    Shop for this Wall Hanging Om Ganesh - Click Here Shop for this Wall Hanging Om Ganesh - Click Here

    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.

  • Amazing and easy DIY wall painting ideas

    Looking for some simple and awesome DIY ideas to decorate your plain walls? There are a lot of interesting and creative ways to do that even on an extremely tight budget!

    Shop for this Elephant At The Jungle - Click Here Shop for this Elephant At The Jungle - Click Here

     

    1. A piece of fabric in the frame

    If you are lucky to have several old empty frames, you can use them in your astounding DIY project immediately! Take a frame, put some interesting fabric sample inside, and it is ready! Instead of fabric, you can use wallpapers with different prints.

    1. A colorful honeycomb

    This type of an art object may be applied to the whole wall of any size. The best to make it look awesome in to combine the neighboring shades leaving few ones just blank.

    1. Glow in the dark paint

    If there is any possibility for you to make such a paint available that glows in the darkness, then a lot of experimentation will be needed. With such tool, starry night with a moon won’t be a problem anymore! This type of a paint is easily available in local shops and online stores.

    1. Paper butterflies and other creatures

    A lot of creative people prefer working with paper as it is extremely versatile and eco-friendly material. For this incredible cheap project, you should cut a number of butterflies from colorful paper and attach them to the wall directly with glue or to a special frame with a attached canvas. This DIY idea doesn’t require any painting skills but at the same time, there is no limit to creativity and colors.

    1. Stylish polka dots

    Classy polka dots don't only look awesome on your T-shirts or dresses, but also on the walls of your bedroom. They can be just painted with the help of a ready-made pattern or one can directly attach special sticky adhesive circles imitating various textures. If you use paint for this project, make sure that the circles look neat and really round.

    1. Amazing graffiti

    Graffiti once appeared in the streets of big cities and for a long time, people didn't accept it as an art. Fortunately, now graffiti can be on the walls of your living room or a loft. And of course, it will look fantastic! This DIY idea looks quite affordable, but it may require experience, patience and certain skills.

  • 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.

    Shop for this Round Table - Click Here Shop for this Round Table - Click Here

    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.

  • Mamallapuram Joins the League of Craft Cities of the World

    The rock-cut city of Mamallapuram has recently added another feather to its hat. Three years after being crowned the 'World Stone Carving City' by UNESCO’s World Crafts Council, the city has finally earned a plaque for the same. On 8th March, 2018 which was observed as Artisan’s Day in the state, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Mr E Palaniswami formally announced the installation of the plaque inscribed with 'World Stone Carving City’.

    With this move, Mamallapuram has become one of the 19 craft cities across the world and joined Jaipur to occupy this prestigious place. Mamallapuram is an open handicraft museum, owing to the rich collection of rock cut figures, temples and especially monoliths that dot the city. With this new recognition, the artisans of Mamallapuram would be recognised on the international platform on par with other similar cities, and hopefully, benefit from this exposure.

    Image Credit - TimesofIndia Image Credit - TimesofIndia
  • 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.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    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.

    Image Credit - pinterest Image Credit - pinterest

    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.

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