Monday, 16 March 2015

Four Traditional Indian Dolls and Toys To Look Out For

“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my toys will break.
So none of the other kids can use 'em....
― Shel SilversteinA Light in the Attic

well, this is how much a child loves his/her toys....But it saddens me when I see little boys and girls surrounded by heaps of toxic plastic which adds little value to their thoughts and life. So lets turn over a new leaf...lets peep into the enchanting world of traditional Indian eco friendly toys

a kondapalli  doll from andhra

There are a bucket full of reasons why you should give your kids these traditional dolls to play with....but the most compelling one for me is that these toys double up as beautiful home decor accessories ...adding the much needed desi zing to your shelves. As for your little darlings these plastic free toys promise safety and increased sensitivity towards eco living. More importantly these toys bring them closer to their culture. When you buy one of these hand made toys you give hope to many artisans who put in their love and labor into these toys.

KOndapalli toys
Kondapalli, Nirmal and Etikoppaka toys are the most significant wooden toys made in the Andhra Pradesh. Out of all these most popular Kondapalli toys are made of wood available locally called as Tella Poniki (White Sander wood and botanically called Jiuotia Rotteri Fromis).
The Kondapalli craftsmen use this particular wood because this wood is soft, light weight and can be easily carved. The wood is brought by the craftsmen from the nearby forests of Gangineni, Adlapadu, Konduru, Chevuturu and Madhavaram. Most of the times, instead of cutting down the entire tree, they just cut the branches so that the tree develops the branches again and the wood is available for more time.Kondapalli toys in bright and vibrant colors portray and depict themes relating to spirituality and village life falling under any one or more of the following distinct categories namely:

1) animals and birds, 
2) rural life, 
3) mythological figures, 
4) contemporary designs and 
5) paper maché doll
you can find them easily at lepakshi emporium, vizag

channapatana toys
Channapatna which has been known as the “Toy Town” of Karnatakais a small city located 80 km south-west of Bangalore, on Bangalore-Mysore state highway and has a legacy of toys which goes back to more than 200 years. Centuries ago Tipu Sultan invited artisans from Persia to train the locals of Channapatna. They started by carving toys out of ivory initially then switched to rubber, cedar, and teak.   The art has gone global in the recent years and there has been a great demand of toys from the UK and The US. Rocking horses, jumping clowns and the clapping monkeys have recently become one of the favourites amongst the children in India and abroad.


a channapatna rocking horse toy

wooden toys ( katwa dolls} from poush mela shantiniketan
Katwa dolls
Ethnic looking dolls handmade from Katwa (Bardhamaan District, West Bengal); carved in wood and decoratively painted by a group of rural artists. These artisans are referred to as 'Sutradhars' (meaning 'narrator' or 'story teller'), probably because they make characters from ancient folklore and mythology and tell stories through their dolls. People bring these dolls home as an auspicious element, like Lord Krishna with Radha and the owl, the 'Vahana' (Vehicle that carries a deity) for Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth
you can find them at-
POUSH MELA- An annual fair and festival that takes place in Santiniketan, in Birbhum District in the Indian state of West Bengal, marking the harvest season. Commencing on the 7th day of the month of Poush (around 21/22 December), the fair officially lasts for three days, although vendors may stay up until the month-end. 

terracotta toys west bengal 
Clay toys of bengal
West Bengal is also famous for its clay toys. Clay toys are also made in Jainagar and Rajgarh and Krishnanagar in Nadia district and in Shantiniketan. The features of Krishnanagar toys is that they are very sharp and beautiful where as the toys from Shantiniketan in Bolpur are very realistic. The designs are predominantly rural and have scenes and figures of the rural houses apart from temples and domestic animals. Clay Dolls depicting religious deities are commonly made. Making clay figures involves a lot of detailing and has been done using hand since ages. Once the moulds are made by hand, the toys are dried and then fired. The fired clay toys are then painted with bright colors. This is a hereditary art form. The toys are smooth and shine due to the application of an extract of tamarind seed.
you can get them at

tanjore dolls

channapatna toys from karnataka


  1. Hi
    Reading your blog for the first time. Lovely...and am sure you have found a reader in me...

  2. Thanks this stage encouraging words like yours mean the world to me

  3. I'm amazed to see such a tasteful collection. Where can I buy these beauties?

  4. We also make handmade dolls for more info kindly visit the

  5. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.