Lepakshi Handicrafts – The Art Treasure Trove Of Andhra Pradesh

Here is a craft treasure trove that you should not miss!  Lepakshi handicrafts is a  world of ancient and modern handicrafts that range from Children’s toys to Tribal paintings to Brassware to wood works and even carpets.  A special island of handicraft, where you can admire as well buy exquisite, out-of-this-world, one in a million artifacts for your homes and Places of work.

Kondapalli Toys photo
Kondapalli Toys Village, Andhra Pradesh by Harsha Vardhan under CC BY-ND 2.0

An Andhra Pradesh government undertaking, Lepakshi is a repository of traditional arts and crafts of Andhra Pradesh.  The objective of this endeavor was to promote the dying handicrafts of the State.

What is inside Lepakshi Handicrafts

Here is what you will see and get to buy in their amazing showrooms

  • Kalamkari paintings and Adivasi paintings

Kalamkari refers to the art of painting on cotton fabric with pointed bamboos. The showrooms have artists from Machalipatnam and Srikalahasti displaying their kalamkari skills on Sarees, Dress material, Pillow covers, cushion covers and bed sheets.  Lepakshi also has Adivasi, Nirmal and Tanjore paintings in their showrooms.

  • Woodworks

The wood works section is vast and consists of various products such as:

  • Statues

Wood statues come from Tirupati and Settigunta.  The availability of wood in the area helps artists create exquisitely designed wood statues themed on mythology.  Red sanders is a popular form of wood used to create statues of Lord Ganesh, Venkateshwara, Krishna, Buddha, and Lakshmi.

  • Wall panels

kalamkari photo
A painting at a kalamkari exhibition by Anuradha Sengupta under CC BY 2.0

Wall panels from Lepakshi have both decorative and utility value and are much sought after for homes and Hotels.

  • Cutlery

Wooden craft in Andhra Pradesh dates to the 14th century when it received the royal patronage of Gajapathi Kings.  If you are wary of plastic in your kitchen just try the wide range of knives, salad bowls, forks and spoon on display at Lepakshi. You will be glad to know that the intricately designed Udayagiri cutlery that you have chosen from Lepakshi also carries a GI tag.

  • Musical instruments

You cannot but admire the aesthetics of the musical instruments at this Handicraft undertaking.  Sitar, Mrudangam, Bobbili Veena, Nadaswaram, Violin, Tambura and Tabla are some of the musical instruments that you can get here.

  • Stone carving works

Stone Carvings at Lepakshi come from Allagadda and Tirupathi.  The artisans make figures of Gods and Goddesses, characters from mythology and sometimes designer products that can grab eyeballs at your house parties.

  • Leather puppets

Leather puppets in Andhra are also called Thollubommlu.  These beautiful Shadow puppets trace their history to the Satavahana dynasty, 200 BC.  Most puppets are based on characters and themes of Ramayana and Mahabharata.  The artists who make them belong to Nimmalakunta in Ananathpuram district, Narasraopet.

  • Kondapalli Toys

Kodapalli Toys are world-famous for their artistry.  Made with wood from the area around Kondapalli by nimble artists, these toys depict day-to-day life in Indian towns and villages.

  • Etikppaka toys

Etikappka is a small village in Vishakhapatnam, AP.  This village is home to Lacquer ware toys called Etikopka.  A lac dye is used to color the toys. Spinning tops, figures of boys and girls, bird figures, musical instrument figures, wall hangings, figures of gods like Hanuman, Balaji, Ganesha are some products from this area in Andhra Pradesh.

  • Natural fiber crafts
  • Palm leaves are dyed and dried in the sun. They turn into baskets, basket sets, closed boxes, Hats, Garlands and trays in hands of expert artisans from certain localities in AP. Also, the shoots of the Palm tree are used to make sturdy and ornamental walking sticks.
  • Bamboo: Artists from Ramkuppam, KVbpuram, Madanapalle, Aholobilam and Ramapachodavaram make beautiful lamps, cups, wall hangings, wall decorations, trays, Pen stands and holders from Bamboos. These are highly sought after by the people who regularly visit this AP Craft center.
  • Metal crafts

Metal crafts refer to the creation of crafty vessels and ornamental brassware.  Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Lepakshi stocks exclusive brass items such as lamps, flower vase, Kalash, pendants, Urli stand, Drum and other ornamental brass made by artisans of Onipenta.

  • Carpets

Handwoven carpets are another specialty here.  The artisans of this category are residents of Eluru, which lies in West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh.  The intricately handwoven carpets came in natural colors of white, black, brown, black and grey earlier.  Now they come in myriad colors.  They are given brand names such as Hussainikhani, Ramachandra Khani, Gopalrao Khani, Amarkhani and  Reddy Khani based on the artisan family that makes them.  Popular motifs are fruits, flowers, and geometric designs,

Other products at Lepakshi include

  • stunning Imitation Jewellery from Chilkalpudi village near Machlipatnam;
  • Appliqué and crochet work in bags, overcoats, children’s clothes, handbags and wall hangings;
  • Terracotta pottery from Chittor;
  • Silver Filligiri from Telangana and Karimnagar
  • Uppada Handlooms and more

Exhibitions coming up December Jan

  1. Lepakshi cotton & silk fab in Tirupathi – 28th Dec to 11th Jan
  2. Lepakshi Sanskrit cum sale 30th Dec to 11th Jan 2019

Lepakshi Handicrafts has its Showrooms in many cities in Andhra Pradesh and at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi and Garihat, Kolkata.

Featured Photo: Kondapalli Toys Village, Andhra Pradesh by Harsha Vardhan under CC BY-ND 2.0

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