Events

Many worlds of Karnataka

Bright and beautiful: Each art had a story to tell. Photo: Murali Kumar K.  

As someone new to the State, I am always surprised by how little the handicrafts of this region are recognised globally. Sure, there is the world-famous Mysore silk and sandalwood, but there are hundreds of crafts from other parts of the State that don’t get the attention they deserve.

Take for instance Bidriware, the black metal work of Bidar which originated in Persia, with its fine attention to detail and intricate geometric patterns.

Or Ilkal saris, weaved in a small village in Bagalkot district of the same name, made by looping together different fabrics — cotton for the body, and art silk for the border and pallav.

At the Karnataka Habba, concluded recently at Chitrakala Parishad, many art forms were given a space to come alive. Artisans displayed their wares, some gave live demonstrations for the benefit of the crowds. One such man was Kenchaih from Channapatna, who gave the visitors a peek at how the world-famous Channapatna toys were made. He ground a stick of lacquer against a block of wood rotating on a lathe, colouring it a bright orange.

Another few turns, a streak of green to offset the orange, and he created a shiny new whistle to add to his collection.

Another stall, was brimming with bright oranges, bananas, coconuts, and custard apples.

“Don’t taste them by mistake,” says Keshappa, because they are all made from the wood of nugge kaayi (drumstick).

This craftsman, from Kinhal in Koppal, a village known for its wood carvings, sold each fruit for Rs. 50.

Sharda from Hassan was there with her small dolls made from silk cocoons. “I received training from the Agricultural Department on how to make these,” she says. Visitors flitted from stall to stall, taking in the wide variety of crafts.

Exquisite Gangifa paintings, murals, wooden carvings and bell metal work adorned the lanes.

“I studied ceramics and textiles in university so I find all this very fascinating,” said Erin, visiting from Canada. For the ‘Indi’ shopper there was lots to choose from: tribal jewellery, hand-woven silks and cottons, Banjara jholas.

Millet pizza, anyone? The focus of this year’s habba was is the traditional food of Karnataka, with stalls dishing out Jolada roti, Mangalore bhajji, masala dosa and other scrumptious delights. For those with a sweet tooth, there was also beetroot payasa, kashi halwa and halaneeru phirni on the menu. One stall attracted all the attention for its all-organic natural grain fare, which included navarne bisibele baath, ragi pakoda and millet pizzas.

“We source our products from estates in Nelamangala and Coorg,” said Sibichen Mathew, whose company hosted the stall. “Everything is sugar free, maida free and completely organic,” he adds.

The next edition of the fair will be held in will be held in Mumbai in the coming weekend.

Millet pizza, anyone? The focus of this year’s habba is the traditional food of Karnataka, with stalls dishing out Jolada roti, Mangalore bhajji, masala dosa and other scrumptious delights. For those with a sweet tooth, there was also beetroot payasa, kashi halwa and halaneeru phirni on the menu. One stall attracted attention for its all-organic natural grain fare, which included navarne bisibele baath, ragi pakoda and millet pizzas.


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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 9:15:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/events/karnataka-habba-gave-visitors-a-peek-into-the-world-of-traditional-handcrafted-fare/article8296104.ece

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