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Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys


Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys

Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys

Kondapalli toys are colourful, hand-crafted and have been around for over five centuries.

  • Kondapally Toys are the toys made of wood in Kondapalli of Krishna district, a village nearby Vijayawada in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Bommala Colony translates to Toys Colony in Kondapalli is the place where the art of crafting takes place.
  • Kondapalli toys have carved a niche of their own in the world of handicrafts. Nimble-fingered artisans carve with aplomb, as characters emerge and evolve from light soft wood.
  • The wooden piece is heated to make it moisture free. Different parts of the image are carved separately. 
  • They are then glued together with an adhesive made of crushed tamarind seeds. Both water and oil colours are used to paint the toy or figurine. Painting is done with soft and thin paintbrushes made of goat's hair. The toys depict scenes from actual life, animals, rural folks. 


Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys

  • Deities and characters from the epics. Kondapalli soldiers, pen stand, Dasavatar set and the Ambari elephants are among the famous items produced by the artisans.
  • The toy-makers migrated from Rajasthan around the 16th century, bringing their toy craft to Kondapalli. The artisans have maximum sales during Navarathri, when Bommai Kolus on various themes are exhibited.


Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys

  • The dolls are crafted from “Punki” a wood which is obtained from local forests and seasoned for years. 
  • The legs and the torsos are done from a single piece of wood, then the arms carved separately and joined to the main body. 
To give a seamless effect, makh - a paste made of sawdust mixed with cooked tamarind seed powder - is applied over defects, and to build up features like hair knots and turbans. This is smoothened on with the horn burnisher.


Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys

  • After the figure is filled, it is rubbed with batana - cooked tamarind seed powder in paste form - on a cloth. The gold paper is stuck on with resin gum from the tumma tree and the figure is painted with powder paint mixed with the same gum. Men do the carving while women mix and apply the paint.
  • Small changes have crept in, like using Fevicol instead of gum. Originally, natural dyes were used, making the Kondapalli toys safe for children, indigo used for blue, turmeric powder for yellow, and both mixed to create green. In recent years, some artisans use enamel paints to make them look shiny with less effort. Gold and silver foil for embellishments have been replaced by strips of silver and gold paper.


Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys

  • The themes vary from mythological to the modern. Some deviations are present, where miniature household utensils are made for the children to play with. The Krishna theme and the Dasavatharamare popular with the artisans, and there is reverence in carving these figures, considering they are better crafted.


Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys
Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys
Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys
Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys
Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys
Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys
Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys
Kondapalli Toys - Beautiful and Colourful Hand-Crafted Wooden Toys