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Shopping itch?

Here is another exhibition where you can find great bargains

— Photo: C.H. Vijaya Bhaskar

If you're an avid collector of crafts items, there are some interesting ones you can pick up.

WHEN YOU think of a Lepakshi crafts bazaar, you would expect all things handloom and handicraft from Andhra Pradesh. There is Kalamkari, Gadwal, Mangalagiri and other art and craft traditions of our neighbouring State. But Craft Bazaar 2005 is a potpourri of Andhra, Bengal, Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Kashmir and more.

It's one of those typical exhibitions that Bangaloreans flock to hunt for great bargains. And get them. And stagger under the weight of bulging bags. Only to turn up at the next exhibition, next week!

Sari wearers, this is the place to be. Exquisite Sambhalpuris, indigo-dyed and block-printed Jaipur cottons, wedding-worthy Gadwal silks and the famous Mangalagiris and Venkatagiris from Andhra, batiks in silk, the quintessential Pochampally, lovely silk-cotton prints and weaves from Madhya Pradesh, slinky mulberry silk saris, intricately embroidered tussar silk saris from Chattisgarh, and more jostle for attention at this exhibition organised by the Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd.

Never-ending yards

If you are a collegian looking for some neat salwaar-kameez, kurtis, shirts, junk jewellery, mirror-work and batik bags, dupattas and stoles, head to this place. Cotton dress materials of various genres come priced between Rs. 60 to 80 a metre. Ready-to-wear cotton kurtas make easy college and work-wear too. Kolkata's kantha work in combo with patchwork finds place on funky kurtas. Silver lovers, watch out for two stalls of sleek, contemporary designs with semi-precious stone-studded work. Hyderabadi pearls find pride of place at the exhibition. There's also a variety of traditional Meenakari worked jewellery and mirror-worked artefacts of Rajasthan.

For those doing up their home or adding to their crafts collection, there are wooden carved panels, puppets, wooden dolls, wooden jhulas, exotic bronze lamps and bells, contemporary bell-metal dhokra work framed as a painting, Kalamkari hand-paintings on cloth and the like.

Bed sheets, diwan sets, curtains, cushion covers and the works are also there to pick from.

Young children would definitely enjoy a gift of brightly coloured soft wooden toys and dolls, something the older generation may be nostalgic about. There are also traditional mirror-worked kiddie clothes to choose from.

Kashmir's embroidery finds place on readymade white kurtas for a change and not just regular material sets. The Lambanis of Bijapur have come up with some bright knot-wool and metal and glass bead chokers and necklaces.

Gastronomically speaking, chatpata churans, saunfs, pickles and papads are also there to take back home and store up in your kitchen.

The exhibition is on from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. till March 6 at the St. Joseph's Boys High School `Webbs' Ground, behind Tandoor Hotel, M.G. Road.

BHUMIKA K.

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