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Sri Govindarajaswami Temples

One of India’s iconic metal crafts is Bidri, popular in the region Bidar, which is proximal to Hyderabad, now in Karnataka. An art of inlay or outlay designs on metal is the basis of this Bidri metal craft. Historians record that Bidri craft is a migrant art popularized by artisans from Persia who moved to Bidar during the reign of Bahamani and Baridi Sultanate during 13th century. The products were once used in the palaces of Royal Sultans and homes of popular merchants and Bidri metal craft was in existence since 7th century across Persia and Iran.

Have you come across the word Gun Metal? It is nothing but the metallic combination of Copper and Zinc and it is mainly used in Bidri Craft works. Lead is also used at times to make the polish look better. The entire process involves different steps like casting, polishing , engraving, inlaying and blackening the alloy of metals used to craft the final product.

There has been a reference to such similar products from central India where Buddhism widely used products with Lord Buddha as inlaid in the alloy products. Jainism also followed the style and this has been in practice since 7th century onwards.

After the initial stages of processing is over, pure silver is used for engraving the patterns on the moulded item. Leaf patterns with Three and Five points, fish shapes, poppy plants with flowers and mango shapes are some of the popularly used designs influenced by the style of Persian artisans. After all polishing works are done, blackening of the alloy is done to brighten the silver against dark background.

The technical jargons used in this art is interestingly in Persian even today. To name a few, inlaying of wire is termed as “Tarkashi”, low relief as “Zarnishan”, high relief as “Zarbulund” and cut out designs are termed as “Aftabi”.

Out of all products made using Bidri craft, huqqa is said to be very popular since centuries used by royal men and even women. You can find one such painting in Salar Jung Museum where a royal woman is found smoking with Huqqa. Interestingly, more than 600 such gorgeous artefacts are exhibited there.

Flower vases, motifs, religious idols, lamps, home décor items, ash trays, wall hangings are the popular items made using Bidri Crafts and are popular across boundaries over the years. The innate talent and craftsmanship exhibited in every article receives universal admirations.

Include the list of Bidri craft items to be purchased while you are planning a tour to Telangana this time.

 

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