Private Arts and Crafts Tour of Hyderabad
You will be led around by the expert guide, Jonty Rajagopalan, who will showcase the Arts & Crafts side to Hyderabad.
The Crafts Private Tour (3 to 6 hours)
This region like so much of India has had multiple influences in the area of arts and crafts, be it handloom weaving techniques or metal crafts, paintings or toy making. The crafts have been influenced by the material available locally or the skills learned from traders or visitors to the area. Most of them flourished due to the encouragement received from the kings and noblemen of the time.
This private tour would give us a glimpse of some of the main crafts of the region
Traditional weaves: Andhra has been home to the most famous weaving techniques in silk and cotton; Pochampally, Mangalgiri, Upadda, Gadwall and so many more. These colourful weaves are used on saris, fabric and home linen.
There are other lesser known techniques which are far more complex. These are the Himroo, Mushroo, Paithani which are so intricate that two persons working in tandem all day will probably produce about an inch or two of fabric! These fine fabrics are mainly used for high-end furnishing and for traditional Indian wedding wear.
The Kalamkari technique, unique to this region came to Andhra in the 13thcentury through the trading route. It uses natural dyes on cloth either by using patterned blocks or by painting the pattern with a bamboo brush. This technique uses a process of washing away the excess dyes after each colour is applied, giving the fabric its distinctive look. This technique is used on cotton fabric, rugs and home linen.
Cherial paintings are based on the themes from the great Indian epics, employing traditional techniques with the use of vibrant colours. These paintings are created on cloth that might run to meters in length. Traditionally used as a backdrop for storytelling, today, they make brilliant, colourful pieces sure to add a splash of colour to a plain wall.
Other crafts special to the region that you will see will be wooden toys and other articles from Etikopakka and Kondapalli, coconut shell masks from Warangal. The private tour will take us to the homes of these craftsmen where you will see the intricacies and the finesse required to create these masterpieces. You will understand the deep involvement and passion of the craftsmen that helps keep these crafts alive despite all the challenges faced by them.
The art of miniature paintings has been practiced in India for over a thousand years. The Mughal rulers were especially known to patronize this painting form. The same style is seen in the south with the added influence of styles from Iran, Europe, and Turkey. These countries like some modifications took on a character of its own with a different usage of colours as well as the focus shifting from the technical intricacies to the representation of emotions.
We will visit the home of one of the most renowned artists of this school and see some of his unique paintings
The patronage of this craft started from the Bahamani rulers in the 14th century and was continued by the subsequent rulers. The process starts with the preparation of the desired object from the molten zinc and copper alloy. Then the object is dipped in copper sulfate solution for a coating. The artisan, with a kalam (needle), etches out motifs of flowers, creepers, animals and birds, or geometric shapes on the metal piece that is an alloy of copper and zinc. Fine silver and gold wires are delicately inlaid on the metal surface with a hammer and chisel. The object is then dipped in clay and aluminum chloride solution.
We will visit one of the few remaining workshops of this dying craft and watch the artisans at work.
The Jewelry Private Tour – 2 to 4 hours
Exquisite pearls, magnificent uncut diamonds, emeralds, shiny lacquer bangles…this city has it all! Meet some of the well-known jewelers of the city who have been in this trade for generations, and understand the different types of stone settings and traditional jewelry forms. Learn how to tell real pearls and assess their quality. You could even try on some exquisite antique pieces, and feel like royalty. If the sparkle of diamonds and the glint of gold is your thing, then this Detour is a must for you.
Weavers’ Private Tour (5 – 7 hours)
We will be visiting two villages famous for its tie and dye (or ikkat) weaving on silk and cotton. One of the villages (Pochampally) is famous for its silk weaving. Almost every house in the village has a loom where the whole family participates in the process. We will visit 2-3 houses and interact with the weavers and the family members. This tour will also give you an idea of village life around Hyderabad.
The next village which is about 30 minutes from Pochampally is known for ikkat weaving on cotton. We will see the complete process of dying and weaving. Some weavers still use the traditional dyes and one of the weavers that we visit will show us how he extracts dye out of certain flowers, leaves, the skin of the pomegranate, certain roots and seeds. He will also demonstrate how he extracts black colour using iron and jaggery.