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Spring time fest

`Vasantotsavam', the ongoing festival at Shilparamam, presents handlooms, toys, cuisine and cultural programmes from the State.

COLOURFUL FARE: Wire dolls at the exhibition.

SPRING USHERS in a whole lot of activities. As the winter ends, it is time to come out and enjoy the colours of the earth. `Vasantostavam', the ongoing Cheneta and Toys Bazaar at Shilparamam Crafts Village, Madhapur is a pleasant offering where you can combine the shopping bit as well. The stalls offer small wire dolls, jute mats, bed sheets, handloom saris, unstitched sets of salwar kameez, readymade kurtas and more besides the traditional cuisine of the State.

The toy stalls here bring vegetable-dyed contemporary Kottam wooden toys— trains, tops, cars, Russian dolls, bangle stand and the veena (Rs. 45 - Rs. 300), Kondapalli toys featuring rural scenes— houses with courtyards, palanquins and musicians made in light wood (Rs. 35-Rs. 120), stuffed toys and more. Check out the wire doll key chains for Rs. 10 or a small pot with dried flowers (Rs. 5).

HANDLOOMS GALORE: The festival presents bright weaves.

Choose from the shell craft of Andamans --starfish (Rs. 150), mirrors (Rs. 300-Rs. 500), earrings (Rs. 50), shells, cowries and shell strings ideal as partitions. Check out colourful lamp shades (Rs. 220) and umbrellas (Rs. 50) from Puri, Tussar silk paintings (Rs. 350) and palm leaf carvings (Rs. 250) from Village Art & Crafts Society, Orissa and also the vibrant Madhubani paintings (Rs. 10 - Rs.1,500) on handmade paper.

From the looms, the expo brings Pochampalli silk saris (Rs. 1,650 - Rs. 2,000), cotton saris from East Godavari (Rs. 175 - Rs. 400), Rajasthani block print kurta (Rs. 150), salwar kameez sets from Chirala presenting jacquard work (Rs. 275-Rs. 550) and from Mangalagiri (Rs. 575) in rich crimson and maroon hues. Bed sheets from Karimnagar, jute door mats and carpets from Warangal and crocheted tablemats from Palkulu are some of the other buys here.

TOYS & STUFF: From Kondapalli.

Wooden spoons (Rs. 10-Rs. 30) and coloured glassware from Firozabad--a six-piece glass set for Rs. 80, and more are some of the interesting things you can check out for the table.

And for the taste buds, the festival brings appetising ethnic fare such as punugu, jowar roti, masala wada and chekkar pongal, junnu and bobbatlu for dessert served in a rustic ambience. There is a food festival (7 p.m.-11 p.m.) too lined up. Music and dance recitals from 6.30 p.m. onwards form part of the cultural entertainment at the crafts village.The festival (10.30 a.m. onwards) closes on April 20.


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