Thursday, April 12, 2012

Channapatna toys


Channapatna toys are a particular form of wooden toys (and dolls) that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka state, India. This traditional craft is protected as a geographical indication (GI) under the World Trade Organization, administered by the Government of Karnataka. As a result of the popularity of these toys, Channapatna is known asGombegala Ooru (toy-town) of Karnataka. Traditionally, the work involved lacquering the wood of the Wrightia tinctoria tree , colloquially called Aale mara (ivory-wood).

History
The origin of these toys can be traced to the reign of Tipu Sultan who invited artisans from Persia to train the local artisans in the making of wooden toys. For nearly two centuries, ivory-wood was the main wood used in the making of these toys, though rosewoodand sandalwood were also occasionally used.

Growth

With no proper backing or marketing, the Channapatna toy industry faced a financial crunch for more than a decade and was almost on the verge of dying out. However with the help of KHDC, the craft has been revived and the artisans involved are being trained on changing trends in the industry, to help them keep abreast of the current scenario. Prototypes designed by master craftsmen are introduced to the local artisans, who use them to create well-designed toys and dolls. The Government of Karnataka has also provided help by constructing a Lacquerware Craft Complex, which has a manufacturing centre with 32 turning lathe machines, at Channapatna. Financial assistance to the artisans, with help from the Dutch Government and the Karnataka Government'sVishwa scheme has also been provided.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mysore Palace



The Palace of Mysore or the Amba Vilas Palace (Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು ಅರಮನೆ or ಅಂಬಾ ವಿಲಾಸ ಅರಮನೆ ) is a palace situated in the city of Mysore in southern India. It is the official residence of the Wodeyars - the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, and also houses two durbar halls (ceremonial meeting hall of the royal court).

Mysore is commonly described as the City of Palaces, however, the term "Mysore Palace" specifically refers to one within the old fort. The Wodeyarkings first built a palace in Mysore in the 14th century, it was demolished and constructed multiple times. The current palace construction was commissioned in 1897, and it was completed in 1912 and expanded later around 1940.


Mysore palace is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in India after Taj Mahal with more than 2.7 million visitors. Although tourists are allowed to visit the palace, they are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace. Price of admission for foreign tourists is 200 INR., and for Indians 40 INR. All visitors must remove their footwear to enter the palace.

The regent of Mysore, Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhna, commissioned a British architect, Henry Irwin, to build yet another palace in its place. The construction was completed in year 1912. But slowly the beautification of the fort was also taken up and the inhabitants of the fort were slowly shifted out to newer Extension built outside. The present Public Durbar Hall wing was also added much later around 1940.