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Glimpses of a rich tradition

Neem wood panels, Narsapur lace, Kondapalli toys. Pochumpalli and Mangalgiri saris... all these and more are available at Lepakshi's Heritage Collection exhibition, on till September 4.

LEPAKSHI'S `HERITAGE Collection Exhibition' of traditional handicrafts and handlooms from Andhra Pradesh unfolds a richly textured and distinctive craft experience.

A certain charm in the sculpted figures sets the carved neem wood panels apart, the toys from Kondapalli tell their own colourful tales, the Narsapur crochet lace is Andhra's legacy from a colonial past, and the State's leather puppet craft casts bewitching shadows on both puppet shows and serrated leather artefacts.

The great cotton and silk weaving tradition of the State is reflected in the saris and textiles — Pochampalli and Gadhwal, Mangalgiri and Venkatgiri, Chirala, Guntur and Dharmavaram.

All these and a lot more, are available at the exhibition. Apart from the finest of Mangalgiri, Venkatgiri, Pochampalli, Chirala and Dharmavaram saris and lightweight Chanderis, which weigh less than 40 grams, the exhibition offers a wide choice of dress materials in Pochampalli ikkat, Chirala and Mangalgiri cotton.

Also attractive ikkat bed and table linen, Banjara embroidered cushion covers and artefacts, Narsapur lace bed and table linen as well as exclusive khadi material.

An exquisitely carved neem wood panel or table base to leather puppet lampshades or a beautifully woven Warrangal dhurrie... the artistic tradition of the State comes to the fore. Silver jewellery and Hyderabad pearls are also on show at the exhibition.

Hand crafted artefacts and textiles from other parts of the country lend colour and variety. Dhokraware artefacts, crushed gem paintings from Rajasthan, block printed saris and chikan work from Lucknow as well as Gwalior's stuffed leather animals attract attention. Minakari work artefacts and furniture from Jaipur add a touch of flamboyance as do velvet and silk paintings also from Jaipur.

For the table there is an array of attractive ceramic tableware from Khurja along with decorative vases, lamp stands and so on. And don't miss the wealth of terracotta items, cutwork linen from Nagercoil and Saharanpur's pretty brass inlaid sheesham wood artefacts.

The Heritage Collection Sale is on at Sri Sankara Hall, TTK Road, Alwarpet, till September 4.

PUSHPA CHARI

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