Surajkund Mela brings heritage crafts to forefront

Surajkund Mela brings heritage crafts to forefront


Chandigarh-2 Feb,One look at the Cherial scroll painters from Telangana stationed outside their state’s Apna Ghar creating amazing masks, paintings and decoration plates catch the eyeballs of every visitor at the 30th Surajkund International Crafts Mela. D. Vaikuntam Nakash, national merit awardee, practicing the Cherial art explains, “This art dates back to the 15th century and these paintings are prepared by only Nakashi caste people in Telangana. Hundreds of years ago, the story telling communities used to travel through the villages of Telangana, singing and narrating stories using their scroll as their visual aid. These paintings are unique pictorial presentation of numerous tales from Hindu epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana and the various Indian Puranas.”

The technique of these paintings is unique, adds Nakash, “The painting is drawn on khadi cloth while the mask is made on the coconut shell. The processing of both is same which involves applying a paste of tamarind seed along with a tree gum and white clay. Once it dries, the artist draws the outline using a squirrel haired brush in a phased manner. The striking red colour fills the background and the colour of the face and skin is decided by nature of the character like blue and yellow for Gods and Goddesses respectively.”

Only natural colours are used to make these paintings like white colour is obtained from grounded sea shells, black from lamp soot, yellow from ‘pevidi’ stone, blue from indigo leafs, red from ‘inglikam’ stone and the other from various vegetable dyes and ground stones. His works range from Rs 600-9000.

Nakash recently participated in the expos and demonstrated this heritage art at China and Switzerland as a part of the Make in India initiative of Government of Ind