Kondapalli Toys And Fort On Krishna River Banks

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Kondapalli is a small city situated a number of kilometers from Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Traditionally situated on the banks of river Krishna, it has a mighty fort on a hilltop guarding it. Nonetheless, instances modified and plenty of issues modified. Nonetheless, what stays an unbroken custom is the making of Kondapalli toys by conventional artists.

Kondapalli Toys

Kondapalli toys (or Bommalu within the Telugu language) you may need seen within the type of dancing dolls, with wiggling heads. They’re the marquee toys of this small artisan village of Andhra. While you go to the village, you see many different forms of toys being made in homes, largely with open doorways.

Kondapalli Dolls
Kondapalli Dolls

Artisan homes announce their presence with aesthetically painted entrance partitions. They sometimes had pink partitions with whereas Kolams or Rangolis drawn over them and borders enhancing the boundaries of doorways and home windows. Some conventional toys like Bullock carts have been displayed proper outdoors the homes and little outlets. A few of them have been loaded with sacks of grains, depicting them because the mode of transportation. It jogged my memory of the carts discovered at Indus Valley civilization websites that I had seen at Nationwide Museum in Delhi.

As we walked across the village, we noticed carved picket frames in glowing white mendacity round within the Solar. They have been being dried earlier than they are often given colours to make them look vibrant.

Scenes from Kondapalli Village
Scenes from Kondapalli Village

Within the verandah of homes, we noticed women and men patiently portray one toy at a time. They not often seemed as much as see us passing by, or standing subsequent to them to admire their work.

Toys for Navratri

Kondapalli toys are used for festivals like Navaratri when these toys are displayed as Golu on a tiered show. In Andhra, they’re additionally part of Makar Sankranti celebrations. I assume not directly they’re part of each Indian competition.

Collage of Wooden Toys from the village Kondapalli
Standard Picket Toys from the village

We noticed lovely Ganesha, Krishna, Dashavatar, and another deities. The dancing dolls, generally often known as Thanjavur dolls are the signature toys of Kondapalli. Then there are animals and birds. We noticed a whole lot of on a regular basis life in these toys depicting rural professions. Then there have been up to date toys like vehicles and jeeps. I additionally noticed the nationwide emblem of India carved in wooden. You’d have normally seen these at authorities places of work. I’ve an analogous one from Nalanda. You’ll be able to at all times request a custom-made toy or a picket reward.

Kondapalli toys have been awarded GI or Geographical Indicator Tag in 2006. This implies these toys can solely be made on this village.

Historical past of Kondapalli Toys

It appears the artisans got here from Rajasthan some centuries in the past and settled right here. Keep in mind the Kavad there’s additionally made from wooden and equally coloured with vivid colours.  It’s believed that these artisans hint their lineage to Rishi Mukta, who’s the patron Rishi of many artist communities. Regionally they’re often known as Nakarashalu and in classical phrases, they might be known as Arya Kshatriyas. In addition to toys, additionally they create vahanas or automobiles and Rathas or chariots for temples and deities.

Ganesha in Wood
Ganesha in wooden

As I sat watching the toys being made, I used to be advised {that a} domestically out there gentle wooden known as Tella Poniki or Ponuku is used to make these toys. Being a light-weight wooden, it retains the toys gentle regardless of their large dimension. They’re type of made in an meeting trend. Wooden is handled by drying earlier than it’s given a form.

Kondapalli Dolls
Kondapalli Dolls

Totally different elements are minimize out individually. Later they’re joined utilizing a standard paste produced from sawdust and tamarind seeds. A coat of white lime is utilized earlier than colour is utilized to them. Within the good outdated days, vegetable dyes have been used to paint the toys, however now they invariably use commercially out there water, oil or enamel colours.

Males sometimes do the wooden chopping and carving half and girls deal with the portray. That’s precisely how I noticed the work being divided within the steel craft village of Ektaal in Chhattisgarh.

You should purchase these toys at state handicrafts emporiums like Lepakshi or on-line.

Kondapalli Fort

Kondapalli Fort near Krishna River
Kondapalli Fort

When you are at Kondapalli for toys, it’s also possible to go to the fort that’s fairly shut by. Initially, this area got here below the western Chalukyas and Kakatiyas of Warangal.  This 14th CE fort although constructed by the Reddy Kings – Anavema Reddy and Pedakomati Vema Reddy. Later it handed into the fingers of Gajapati Kings of Odisha, Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara, after which Qutub Shahis of Golconda. It briefly got here below the French earlier than passing on to the British who established a coaching faculty for troopers.

Map pf Kondapalli Fort
Map pf Kondapalli Fort

Although in absolute ruins, it nonetheless offers you glimpses of its superb previous from a excessive vantage level. It was strategically situated on the commerce routes resulting in the east coast, particularly from Golconda. No marvel artisan villages flourished in its neighborhood with straightforward choices to commerce.

Fort consists of a Durbar Corridor, a Gajashala or elephant secure, a market space, a spot the place ammunition was saved, a jail, and a few non secular buildings. An arched corridor here’s a large attraction for vacationers. Classic pictures now adorn the partitions of this corridor.

Arched Hall with Vintage Photographs
Arched Corridor with Classic Pictures

Solely in a number of locations, I may see the patches of carving the place the plaster has managed to outlive. Bushes have grown across the crumbling partitions of Kondapalli Fort.

Whereas right here you may go to the Kanakdurga temple, monolithic Undavalli Caves, Kuchipudi village the place everyone seems to be engaged in classical dance, or stroll alongside the Krishna River.

Journey Ideas for Kondapalli village

Kondapalli village is about 20 km Northwest of Vijaywada. You’ll be able to simply drive from the town. Vijaywada is nicely related by air, practice, and highway.

I didn’t see any eateries at both the village or the fort, so carry your water and meals or plan to return to the town for that.

You’ll be able to spend 45 minutes or so on the fort.

On the village, it actually relies on your curiosity stage.


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