Life & Style

Learn about Mysuru’s rich crafts heritage

Dekho Apna Desh (DAD) is a series of webinars organised by the Ministry of Tourism. Started during the lockdown in April, Dekho Apna Desh brings places of tourist interest inside our homes. “The latest edition of Dekho Apna Desh is ‘Mysuru: Craft Caravan of Karnataka’ by NIFT, Bengaluru,” says Susan Thomas, Director NIFT.

“At NIFT we have a strong handicraft and handloom focus in our design curriculum. Our students stay and interact with the artisans. It is a give-and-take, where students learn age-old techniques and in turn help artisans contemporise their products.”

Learn about Mysuru’s rich crafts heritage

The speakers at the webinar include Susan, Yathindra Lakkanna and Shipra Roy — both NIFT Faculty. Susan says, the craft trail has not received attention it deserves despite the richness of this country’s looms and craft. “Such exercises are an attempt to build an alternate narrative around craft tourism and help indigenous craft find a spot on the tourist map.”

Susan says Mysuru was picked for the number of tourists it attracts. “Everyone knows about the grand Mysuru Dasara and the palace. A tourist who travels by road from Bengaluru to Mysore misses Channapatana town. We want to tell tourists to stop and spend a day with the artisan, learn more about the craft and take back memorabilia. Its proximity to Bengaluru was another reason to choose Mysuru.”

Talking of the other crafts Mysuru is justly famous for, Susan says, “How many people know about Mysuru’s rosewood inlay using different coloured wood?" Rosewood inlay is a GI-tagged craft that uses rose wood as the base and inserts different-coloured wood, ivory or mother of pearl to produce a picture. “While you have seen inlay work in Taj Mahal and other places, rosewood inlay is unique to Mysuru.”

Learn about Mysuru’s rich crafts heritage

The webinar will also stream videos of the creation of craft pieces. "We have extensively documented the crafts since many batches of NIFT students have spent time both in Mysuru and Channapatna. There are short films, pictures and products that we will utilise to whet the appetite of the viewer.”

The design aspects of Channapatna toys and the declining scene due to the diminishing of deft hands to do the famous lacquer will also be discussed. “We would drive home the point that these crafts need tourist patronage. We have designed fridge magnets in rosewood inlay. Rather than buy a plastic variant, we would prefer the tourist to take back one of these, or a rose wood inlaid mirror or Channapatna chess board. They say hand-made is the new luxury. The craft clusters of Mysuru offers a glimpse into age-old traditions and techniques. Join us for a virtual glimpse of Mysuru's delicate world of crafts.”

Dekho Apna Desh is a free webinar and will be streamed using Zoom on May 14 at 11 am. Register on

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 8:09:19 AM |

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