The premises of Bapu Museum on M.G. Road here is a buzz of creative activity as a 16-foot tall Ambari, the universally popular elephant toy from Kondapalli, is nearing completion. By early next month, it will be adorning the compound of the international airport at Gannavaram.
More than half-a-dozen artisans are working overtime to complete the towering art piece under the supervision of Rangachary, an expert with four-decades of experience from Srikalahasti.
Incidentally, Mr. Rangachary had earlier given shape to several art pieces including palanquins, horses and elephants in various temples in and around Chittoor district.
“We started in April, and we have used more than 100 feet of teakwood and three tonnes of iron,” he said and added that the Ambari was being made of teakwood to make it durable and not the traditional soft wood, Tella Poniki, found in Kondapalli hills.
The award-winning artisan said Ambari was like a palanquin over an elephant. “This piece shows a beautifully decorated elephant with a mahout sitting on top and a carriage behind him.”
The artisans are presently busy painting the elephant and they intend to give the natural grey shade of an elephant.
“We will also reproduce the other aesthetic designs used in the making of the original toy,” he said.
Archaeology & Museums Department Executive Engineer Umamaheswara Rao said the project was taken up by the tourism department, and his department provided space in the museum to carry out the work without any interruption. He observed that the colossal art piecewould enhance the brand image of Amaravati.