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The Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited is popularly called Poompuhar Handicrafts. It was established in 1973.  It is still ceaselessly working to preserve and promote the rich cultural and traditional history of Tamil Nadu.

This corporation offers handicrafts that are made using ancient and modern techniques resulting in an amazing array of metal crafts, wood carvings, paintings, bronze sculptures, Copper work, Textiles, utilities and more.

The patrons of Poompuhar keep coming back because of the quality and artistry of the products available at some 16 showrooms across India.  The products come from artists across Tamil Nadu. Variety and affordability are two other features that the show at Poompuhar is still going strong!

Check out some details of the amazing products in the Poompohar handicrafts showroom that you can purchase for your homes or offices…


  1. Textiles

Textiles from Tamil Nadu are popular across India. Few varieties are mentioned below:

applique work photo

Photo by andryn2006

  • Applique collage is done on Thombai, a cylindrical decoration, hanging from the temple cars of South India.
  • Batik printed textiles come from Chennai, Madurai
  • Sungudi sarees from Madurai are created by Saurashtrian artists in this city using the tye and dye method.
  • Kalamkari prints are sourced from Chickalnaickenpet.
  1. Thanjavur paintings

The art of Thanjavur paintings dates back to 1600 AD and flourished under the Nayakas. The paintings are rich in colors and are complemented by gold foils.

They are also embellished with precious and semi-precious stones. The themes are mostly of gods and goddesses like Ganesh, Balaji, Krishna, Gaja Lakshmi, and Saraswathi.

  1. Wood carvings

Lacquarware works come from Ambasamudram. Elaborate and huge Temple cars for important temples across India are carved in Nagerkoil.

Wood carvings at Poompohar also originate from Kallakurichi, Arumbavur, and Salem.

Some of the product you can buy in this division are toys, puja accessories, wall hangings, candle stands, , figurines, beautifully carved wooden frames for mirrors,   pen stands, jalli boxes, coasters, napkin stands, the famous Marapachi dolls, paperweights, napkin stands, Puja mandaps, inlay work walnut wood jewellery boxes, statues of gods and goddesses, Nameplates and more.

  • Sandalwood and rosewood carvings
sandalwood statue photo

Photo by

Rosewood carvings display exquisite detailing in idols, chariots, kavachams, vhanam,  figures of elephants and more.

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Sandalwood carvings like the one above are made by artisans from Kallakurichi – Villupuram.

  1. Metal
  • Bronzeware
bronze nataraja photo

Photo by dalbera

Bronzeware crafts come from Swammalai, Thirovarur, and  Kumbakonam.  The art of making bronze ware is handed down from generation to generation of artists living in the above areas.  Bronze is used to make special and perfect idols of gods and goddesses here.

  • Brassware – Brass lamps

Brass lamps are made by traditional artists from Nachairkoil, Kumbakonam, Sivagangai, Madurai, and Tirunelveli. These are used for auspicious and ceremonious occasions in South India. The collection includes

  • Hanging lamps
  • Multi-layered lamps – plain lamp, panjathara lamp, Annam table lamp, Parabai lamp, Malabar lamp, Parrot hanging lamp
  • Traditional lamps – Agals, Paladais, small deeps, Navagraha lamp, Malabar lamp, Parrot agals and more
  1. Stone Carvings

Stone carvings carving is practiced in Mahabalipuram since the 7th century.  Presently, the artists from this place and Nammakkal display small stone sculptures, wall panels, incense stick stands and animal images made of marble, soapstone and soft granite at Poompohar.  You may also find big ones that are ordered by the temples across South India.

  1. Pithwork

Some of the most popular themes for pith work are replicas of ancient temples, structures, and artifacts of yore. These include exquisite replicas of a temple chariot, Taj Mahal, Kerala’s snake boats, Tanjore temple and more.

  1. Clay and Papier Machie

Clay and Papier Machie crafts come from Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Chennai, Nagapattinam, Kancheepuram.

Clay/Terracotta is used to make idols and crockery.

Papier Machie gained popularity only in recent years.  Paper glue, water varnish, these are the only ingredients used to create amazing pieces of art such as puppets, idols, Christmas decorations, masks, animal figures and a slice of life pieces. Other products with papier machie sold at this art outlet are Letter racks, frames, wall hangings, decorative coasters, and wall panels.

  1. Craft from Plant Extracts
  • Coconut shell is used for making crockery, cutlery, and products like candle stand and other decorative objects for living rooms
  • Screw pine art creates versatile pouches, pencil boxes, bottle holders from Kanyakumari
  • Palm leaves are used to make amazing baskets
  • Tailspot stalk craft refers to stalk extracted from palm trees and is used to create broomsticks and even handlooms.
  • Vetiver crafts – Vetiver is a type of long grass used for making caps, slippers, wall hangings, blinds and decorative pieces like sun, elephant etc.
  • Jute is used for textiles, making carpets
  1. Others
  • Silver jewellery is sourced from artists living in Salem and Kanyakumari
  • Toda embroidery from Ooty
  • Covent and Lace embroidery from Kanyakumari
  • Kalamkari purse
  • Meenakari
  • Sea shell art from – coastal areas such as Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ramabad and Mamallapuram.
  • Stationery
  • Narkuravas crafts
  • Mat weaving – from Tirunelveli, Dindigal, Kanyakumari, Tiruvannmalai, and Karur
  • Thanjavur Art plate – Thanjavur
  • White metal, Black metal, Copper, Oxidised crafts
  • Wollen druggets come from Wallajapet
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There are many more that you can explore at the Poompohar handicrafts showrooms or on the online website. One can also visit Handicraft Exhibitions of Poompuhar that are held on a regular basis to check out the latest designs and products

Featured Photo by raj_nair81

Poompuhar Handicrafts – Arts And Crafts Corner Of Chennai

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