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Enticing craft collection

WARANGAL DHURRIES in attractive design, Thanjavur paintings, Rajasthani miniatures done in silk and handcrafted Kolhapuri chappals come together in an eclectic mix in a `Kerala Handicrafts Exhibition' organised by the Kerala State Government emporium, Kairali.

And bringing a touch of classicism are the great bell metal `kuthuvilakus' and urulis of Kerala, beautifully crafted and in a range of sizes.

There are some lovely wood sculptures from Kerala too, including an exquisite wide cedar Krishna, a variety of rosewood icons and Kerala maidens, along with miniature sandalwood deities and artefacts. The detailed, nuanced workmanship of artisans is evident in all the exhibits from Kerala, which include typical gold-bordered off-white saris. The exhibition has a little handcrafted something for everyone. Brass inlaid Saharanpur sheesham wood artefacts beckon one with their delicate charm. One can pick up a pretty jewel-box, a delicately carved tray or a pair of candle stands for a very reasonable price. For sheer colour, there is little to beat the exuberance of Orissa's Pipli work torans, wall hangings, and handbags. From Chennapatna comes a sack full of toys and Pondicherry entices with its typical terracotta lamps, animal forms, diyas and so on.

There are cotton saris from Madurai and Hyderabad, bedspread and curtain material from Rajasthan and Haryana and a selection of exquisitely painted Madhubani art from Bihar. The Kerala Handicraft Exhibition, which offers a discount of 10 per cent on all purchases, ends on June 23.

PUSHPA CHARI

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