UttarPradesh Crafts

 

 

Pottery

Khurja and Cinnahat near Bulandshahr and Lucknow produce pottery, which is popular with young homemakers and single working men and women. Modern abstract or traditional animal, paisley, and floral designs decorate tea sets, dinner plates, coffee mugs, soup bowls, serving dishes, and indoor pots. Bhadoi offers stylish black pottery, which few seem to know about.

Doll Making

Handmade Indian cloth dolls dressed in colorful regional costumes are other popular, inexpensive souvenirs and gift items. Uttar Pradesh's dhoti clad peasant farmer, fez capped Nawab, sari draped bride and jeweled Kathak dancer dolls are usually in great demand by children, collectors and tourists.

Leather Craft

Leather craft in Uttar Pradesh, though largely rural based, has developed links with well-known metropolitan designing and manufacturing units having good marketing outlets, show rooms and export tie-ups.

Kanpur and Agra are the main centres for shoes, sandals, chappals, country jooties, saddles, harness, leather jackets and other garments, gloves, handbags, wallets, belts, puppets, and musical instruments. Indian leather goods especially shoes and handbags are very reasonably priced compared with similar designer items available in the West.

Natural Fragrances

Shakespeare may have identified perfumes with Arabia (Macbeth), but India has been the prime producer of natural fragrances since civilization began. Uttar Pradesh in particular produces not only the attar of roses popularized by the Mughal Empress Noorjahan, but also Heena, Chameli (jasmine) and Khas. Rose and jasmine farming is done at Agra, Aligarh, Meerut, Lucknow, Ramnagar, Saharanpur, Gazipur, and Kannauj. Most of this attar goes to satisfy the colossal domestic and foreign cosmetic and perfume industry demands. But tiny phials and large flagons are available from stockists.

Stone Carving

Agra's long association with the fabulous Mughal Court gave rise to many arts and crafts including stone carving. Replicas of Taj Mahal, marble boxes, wall plates, table tops, coasters, and ashtrays inlaid with semi-precious stones and mother of pearl in pleasing pietra dura designs taken from Mughal monuments and paintings are very popular purchases. The simpler Gurara stone carvings, paperweights, and Rubic cube like candleholders, which take four different sizes, make excellent gifts and mementoes.

Carpets

Quality and price wise, Indian carpets give you great value for money. The Mughal emperor Akbar established carpet-weaving centers at Lahore and Agra to supply his imperial court with good hand-knotted carpets in Persian, Turkish and Central Asian designs. These are still being made and sold in Agra, a major tourist center. The carpet weaving centers of Varanasi, Bhadoi, and Mirzapur were set up by a Persian master weaver in the 17th century. The handmade carpets, rugs and prayer mats from Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir, and Rajasthan are finding their way into Arabian palaces and American mansions.

Bangles

Firozabad's colorful glass bangles find their way into every Indian home. Opaque, clear, or decorated with silver and gold metal wire, artificial seed pearls, beads, or glittering kundan, glass bangles are must for every Indian bride.

The color and cut glass items of Firozabad include glasses, jugs, bowls, vases, animal figurines, ashtrays, and chandeliers. They don't have the perfection of Belgian, Bohemian, or Venetian crystal and cut glass, but are certainly more easy on the pocket. And the hand blown milky colored glass items are sophisticated and pretty enough to be displayed.


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