A variety in jewellery is the highlight at the ongoing Gujarat handicrafts exhibition at Ernakulam Women’s Association Hall

Meenakari jewellery from Jaipur offers a visual treat. Neatly arrayed in rows, it is an explosion of colours—royal blue, lime green, shimmering red, translucent yellow and varying shades of purple. Some of them have been made of precious and semi-precious stones. The stall owner displays a dazzling necklace of amethyst, which costs about Rs. 4,000. Strings of topaz, emerald and rubies, too, are available in addition to precious stones from Africa and Russia.

The handicrafts exhibition and sale organised by the Gujarat Emporium is back with its share of goodies from all over the country.

Jewellery seems to be the highlight this time around with an impressive collection of pearls from Hyderabad. They come in white, pink, graded and gold-plated forms. Rounded and rice pearls, too, are available. Loose pearls cost from Rs. 40 a gram to Rs. 200 depending on the size and quality. They come as sets too, which are priced between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 6,000. Corals from Taiwan are a special attraction. Then comes the terracotta ornaments from Orissa. This handmade, eco-friendly jewellery is a rage this season and comes in brilliant hues. Lacquer bangles from Rajasthan, with sequins and mirrors embedded in them, glass and metal bangles, earrings in silver and metal, anklets, bracelets and necklaces, the collection presents a joyful variety.

Cotton saris from Bengal and Gujarat, kurtis from Kashmir and Orissa, skirts and tops, dress materials and bed sheets comprise the fabric section. The pure cotton saris from Gujarat start at Rs. 350. The Gujarat Emporium stall boasts a choicest collection of traditional Gujarati block prints, batik, tie and dye salwar sets, cushion covers and wall hangings. A stall dedicated to Pattachitra paintings from Orissa has been drawing a steady stream of visitors. The traditional paintings, which are engraved using a needle on palm leaf, require time and effort, says artist Banamali Barik from Bhuvaneshwar. Of late, Pattachitra designs are done on tussars and silks, too, he says. The paintings start from Rs. 200 and go up to Rs. 22,000. Patchwork wall hangings, too, have been displayed at the stall.

Wooden products from Uttar Pradesh take up considerable space at the fair. Hand, back, foot, face and finger massagers seem to be popular. “These are made out of Assam teak and are very effective for tired limbs,” says Amar, who makes them. These start at Rs.120 and go on to Rs. 720.

“The products are sold on a government rebate of 20 per cent on handlooms and a ten per cent on handicrafts,” says K. Arunachalam, manager of Gujarat Emporium. The exhibition is on till May 12 at the Ernakulam Women’s Association Hall.