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From the craft villages

`Gnapika' the A.P. Tourism souvenir shop offers a collection of handicrafts and handlooms sourced from different parts of the State.



HANDLOOM MARVELS: From the looms.

AMIDST CONCEPTUAL designs, modern hues and the rest of the contemporary approach towards interiors, urban homes still have the traditional knick-knacks, from vibrant thoranams that usher in good luck to propitious filigree boxes, which add warmth to the living space. In spite of the metropolitan musings, ethnic roots have always held an appeal with the urban populace. And to add colour to the interiors with a pick from handicrafts sourced from different parts of the State as well as to choose from some handlooms for the summer wardrobe, walk in to `Gnapika'-- the A.P. Tourism souvenir shop of handicrafts, handlooms and more pieces that hold the aesthetic and functional elements combined.

Located in the Ravindra Bharati premises, the ethic cottage reflects the unchanging folk facade— of a traditional sit out at the entrance and a tiled roof above. " `Gnapika' stands for souvenir in Sanskrit. This is meant to be a souvenir shop for tourists and local population as well. The idea is to promote handicrafts in the State. The artisans are scattered all over the State. We go to their villages to get the products and we are in touch with district tourism offices to check new products coming up in their areas. Also much exchange of artefacts has happened in the region. For instance though Bidriware is from Karnataka, it is more popular here. Overall, we are showcasing crafts from the State. On the artisan front, we are encouraging them to create tourism motifs and at the same time motivating them to innovate and make products keeping in view the utility perspective," says an official from A.P. Tourism.

Thus one finds Bidri handicraft-penholders, flower vases, tiepins, hair clips, key chains, boxes, hookahs, paper weights, local lac products such as petite mirrors for the purse and bangles (check out the stone studded penholders for Rs.60), pearl jewellery, hand made silver jewellery from Visakhapatnam and more in the trinkets. Bamboo craft-hats and baskets and papier-mache masks are some of the things you could pick up while here. For toys, check out the Nirmal lightweight birds and fruits or the regal Kondapalli line featuring palanquins, the `ambari' elephant backs, Dashavataras and village scene.

For home interiors one can choose from leather tholubommalata puppets, lampshades and leather figurines from Anantapur or the woodcarving pieces from Chitoor. If you are a metal aficionado, the DWCRA brass decoratives by the Gonds of Adilabad featuring popular bells and birds, decorative chains, Pembarti divinity in brass, the regional Kakatiya motifs such as the lofty gateway from Warangal, silver filigree boxes and plates from Karimnagar are sure to enthuse the art lover in you. In furnishings, on offer are Banjara diwan sets, thoranams and wall hangings, bedsheets and panels in Kalamkari from Sri Kalahasti and Machilipatnam, Pochampally bedsheets and pillow covers and tablemats, television covers and tabletops in Narsapur lace.



TOYS 'n' STUFF: Choose from the wide collection. Photos: K.Ramesh Babu.

One can also check out the childrens' skirts and tops in Narsapur lace. For the ensemble, check out the Kalamkari salwar kameez set priced at Rs. 570 and Kalamkari sari in rich burgundy tone for Rs.1,020. The Kalamkari tops, apt for summers, are available in various lengths — as short and medium tops and long kurtas. From the Mangalagiri and Pochampally looms one finds the salwar kameez sets, saris and shirts here.

T-shirts with local designs such as Kondapalli dolls or a Lambadi visage can sure be a walking advert about the State. The ceramic souvenirs comprising plates and spoons featuring a Charminar illustration are apt as souvenirs.

You can also check out the Gnapika souvenir shop at Qutub Shahi Tombs in the twin cities, apart from those at Araku, Rishikonda and Srisailam as well, open from 10 a.m to 8 p.m on all days (Qutub Shahi tombs closed on Friday). For further information contact 98480-44901, 98483-09828.

SYEDA FARIDA

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