An array of terracotta figurines characterised by vivid features and expressions welcome customers at the entry to the ‘All India Crafts Bazaar’, the national handicrafts expo, currently under way in the temple city.

Organised by ‘Vishwakarma’, a voluntary organisation working for artisans’ welfare, the expo boasts of a fascinating range of handicrafts supplemented with a judicious mix of artisans and craftsmen from across the country. The artistic quality of exhibits like terracotta earthenware, wood carvings, textiles, beads craft, jute bags, metal jewellery, lacquered wooden toys and other collectibles clearly reveal the talent and potential of artisans of the handicrafts sector.

“With the holiday season round the corner, the sales have been brisk. We owe this to the continuous encouragement given by locals and tourists visiting Tirupati,” says T. Rambabu, meticulously folding his ‘Kalamkari’ fabric. The art of Kalamkari paintings is one of the oldest art forms practised in Srikalahasthi and can also be traced to the surrounding villages of Chittoor district. Artisans engaged in this craft use natural and vegetable dyes to colour the fabric. Others focused on putting forward a wide variety of summer specials for adults and children alike, in the form of cotton dresses.

Besides this, women can choose from an assortment of exquisitely designed jewellery like wooden bangles, beads, metal chains, crystals and much more. “We brainstorm on what design and elements to incorporate in the jewellery. We have to be creative and trendy, otherwise the items would be unappealing,” says Dilip Chakraborty from Kolkata.

The exhibition-cum-sale will be held till March 28 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., everyday, at Thyagaraja kalyana mandapam.