Channapatna city is famous as “Gombegala ooru” (toys town) in Karnataka. the name itself suggests what it is famous for- wooden toys. it is located in between Bangalore-mysore highway. Channapatna toy makers keep one of our oldest traditions alive, Channapatna is a small city yet it has a prominent name in the field of art and handicrafts. The lacquered channapatna wooden toys are known for their highly fashionable appeal which is made with bright and vivid colours. The finishing of these wooden toys is very smooth and eco friendly.
History indicates that the origin of these toys can be traced to the reign of Tipu Sultan who invited artisans from Persia to train the local artisans in the making of wooden toys. Bavas Miyan is the father of Channapatna Toy. He is the one who sacrifice his life for channapatna toys. He adopted Japanese technology for toys making and help the local artisans improve their art.
Channapatna toys are made of a specific type of wood called “Aale mara” (Ivory- wood). For nearly two centuries, ivory-wood the main wood which were used in the making of these toys,though rosewood and sandalwood were also occasionally used.
Geometrical instruments like the vernier caliper and the divider is used frequently to measure the size and maintain the accuracy.at this stage the product is removed from the lathe and in case of two different parts they are assembled together and then followed with suface embellishment which involves other decorative adorning on the surface of the toy.
the natural vegitable colour extracted from natural element as yellow from turmeric, blue and black from indigo, orange from kanchi kum kum power, red from natural alizarin and kum kum power, green from indigo and turmeric, light brown from katha, dark brown from ratanjyot. Vegitable dyes has high permanence and durability and ensure that the toys and dolls are safe for the use of children.
The real charm of channapatna is that the craft is not practiced in large-scale industries and factories,but within the confines of small homes.In reality, the entire toy making industry is a small scale industry. Some are so small that the work is done right outside the homes of these skilled artisans. But the majority of them shop are where four to six people can work together. This aspect has certainly made a mark on the international circle.