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Indian Handicraft Shopping

 
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Indian Handicrafts
 

Indian handicraft is not only popular in the country but the world over. There are places in India that specialize in one or the other craft. Artisans from different corners of the country from time to time come together to display their skills and sell their wares in various craft haats and art melas. Here are some of the popular places that are known for their exquisite handicraft items in the country.

 
» Bishnupur – Terra cotta Work

If you are looking to buy the best of Indian handicrafts made of terra cotta, there is hardly a better place than Bishnupur. Located in Bankura district, some 150 km from Kolkata, Bishnupur is popular for its terra cotta temples and Bankura Horses. The red coloured Vishnu temples were built by Malla rulers in terra cotta because the city had no stone for construction.

Terra cotta Work

Bankura Horse of Bishnupur is the identity of the district. In fact, the Bankura Horse has Bankura on the handicraft map of India. Such is the popularity of the Bankura Horse that it is the symbol of Indian Handicrafts. Each part of the Bankura Horse is made separately. The legs come first, which are followed by the torso and then the neck. All these parts are separately made and then glued together. Once the horse is dried it is put in the kiln and painted. These horses are of different sizes and can range from 6 inches to 4 feet.

Some of the popular place to buy best Bankura terracotta horses is Panchmura (10 km away from Bishnupur). Kamardiha, Biboda, Nakaijuri, Jaikrishnapur and Keyaboti are other places were terracotta horses and terra cotta handicrafts items are made. Terra cotta horses are not the only popular handicraft item of Bishnupur, the place is also known for its Baluchari Sarees. These sarees are hand woven silk sarees with intricate designs, usually based on miniature paintings.

Find more on Bishnupur

 
» Hodka – The Hub of Kutch Handicraft

Not too far from Bhuj is Hodka, an artist village located on the edge of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Besides being an exciting place to shop for some exquisite Indian handicraft items, Hodka presents a wonderful opportunity for a traveller to get the first hand experience of village life in the Kutch region.

The Hub of Kutch Handicraft

The name ‘Hodka’ comes from the Gujarati word hodi, which means ‘boat’. Since, the villages here are called jheels, where potable water is available, the jheel here resembled a boat and hence the name. The village located at the heart of the Banni area, Hodka features the best of Banni craft, architecture and lifestyle. The region is famous for its finest embroidery styles practiced by women, which is also known as Kalmkari.

The Kalmkari art of Hodka has its own distinctive style and it differs from one community to another. The style can range from the mutwa embroidery, catab, sebha-kudi, chopad, to the geometrical kambhira, pakko, mokka, neran, chitki (appliqué) designs all of which is best seen in the kanjris (long embroidered blouses), quilts and batwas (pouches), hand fans, mirror frames, wall pieces, and even in belts and embroidered mojadis (footwear). And all these handicraft items can be purchased from Hodka.

Find more on Hodka

 
» Bastar – Exotic Handicrafts

Famous for its exotic handicrafts, Bastar makes for an exciting holiday destination as well as an excellent place to shop for some exquisite Indian handicraft items. The tribal society of Bastar is skilled in making metal handicrafts and wood crafts. Bastar in particular is popular for its bell metal work or dhokara art. The artifacts are crafted using the vanishing wax technique. Some of the bell metal items that one can buy include elephants, horses and beautiful figurines of deities.

Wood craft is another famous art of Bastar. These wooden crafts are made out of the finest teak wood and white wood. The woodcraft items include models, Idols, wall panels, furniture items etc. Wrought iron handicraft is also an important craft of tribals in Bastar. Wrought iron art is an indigenous Bastar tribal craft made by black smiths of the region.

Craftsmen in Bastar sell their handicrafts to various co-operatives, which have their outlets in Parchan Pal, Kondagaon and Kumharpara villages. Nagarnar (20 km from Jagdalpur is well known for terracotta work; Kondagaon (70 km away on NH43 en route to Raipur) has many bell-metal artisans. Close to Kondagaon is the Bastar Aadi Shilpa craft centre in Bhelvapadar. Kumharpara, 74 km away, 1 km from NH43 on Narainpur Road has beautiful terracotta items at Saathi Samaj Sewa Sanstha where one can also see artisans at work. At Chilkuti, 20 km from Jagdalpur, one can pick up bell-metal craft items.

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