Artisans and Beauty of Channapatna Toys
Welcome to the fascinated world of toys at Channapatana, a small town in Bangalore Rural district. Channapatna toys are a very popular form of toys globally. Channapatna is just an hour's drive from Bangalore, on the way to Mysore. The distance from Bangalore is just 60 km. This town is also referred as Toy Town (Gombegala Ooru in local language). Channapatna Taluk has Artisan Training Institute (A.T.I) which was established 94 years ago.
Specialty of Channapatana Toys
Channapatana toys stand apart from the innovative toys. These toys are made out of wood using hand tools and they are eco-friendly. These are traditional crafts in bright colours. They are made from vegetable color dyes, which are non-toxic and are put on display after being polished.
What is the origin of these toys? Tippu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, the present Karnataka State, was a great admirer of wooden toys. He invited artisans from Persia to train the local artisans in the making of wooden toys. Rosewood and sandalwood were also occasionally used in making the toys, but the main wood used was ivory woods for almost two centuries. They also use teak, pine, rubber and cedar woods.
The Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation does their part by providing the artisans the necessary training and teaching them about the changing trends. 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
Where Channapatna toys are available for sale
These beautiful toys come in almost 400 varieties such as bangles, ear rings, wooden cars, dinosaurs, crocodiles, elephant, aircraft, trains, snails, watches, wall clocks, dolls, rattles and whatever else that you can think of. They are available for sale at Cauvery Emporium at M.G. Road, Jayanagar and Majestic branches.The artisans also make education toys to meet the needs of the new generation kids.
The tourists and visitors to this garden city (Bangalore) visit Cauvery Emporium on M.G. Road, and during their visit to Mysore from Bangalore they can also easily shop at Channapatna on the way.
The artisans make their own toys. In addition, they do take orders to make custom made toys for the customers, as per their requirement.
Many people work on motorized lathes, but there are a few still using manual hand-driven lathes to make small parts of these toys. For many artisans their entire family is involved in making these toys.
What is so special about these toys?
Another interesting fact is that the customers can even witness of the making of these toys by the artisans, right in front of their eyes. In addition, these toys are simple and bright in color, which attracts many kids.
Other than doll toys, they make various other things as toys such as bullock-cart, train, car, motorbike, cradle, wall hangers, flower vases, jewellery, earrings, key chains etc.
The visitors can see the work in progress and even buy the toys from there.