National Institute Of Fashion Technology,Chennai

2011 Cluster Documentation Fashion & Lifestyle Accessories Department Semester-V
Documented by: Anurag Raroliya April R. Thompson Neetu Susan George Pratyaksha Sonam Kumari Vijay Kumar

Thanjavur Thanjavur Painting and Veena Construction

• Preface …………………………………….....…..………….............. • Acknowledgements …………………………................………….… • Thanjavur Distrct…….…………………………..............……..……. • About Thanjavur ……….…………………..…………..............……
• Map of Thanjavur • History of Thanjavur and Chola Dynasty • Modern Thanjavur


• Crafts Bowl of the Thanjavur District .…………………............……
• UNESCO • Thanjavur Handicrafts • Brief Description of Thanjavur Crafts • Root Carving • Pith Work • Icon Craft • Thalayatti Bommai (Thanjavur Dolls) • Metal Casting Craft • Thanjavur Art Plates • Veena craft • Thanjavur Painting

• Thanjavur Paintings ……………………………………..............
• Royal Family Maintaining the Tradition • Basic Characteristics of Thanjavur Painting • List of Tools and Materials including Souring • List of Employees including name and Job Title • Steps of the Process • Canvas Preparation • Chalk Paste and Kundan Stone Application • Gold Foiling • Painting • Framing • Marketing and Cost of Product • Our Thanjavur Painting • S.W.O.T. Analysis of Thanjavur Painting

• Veena Manufacturing ……………………………….............……
• Religious Significance • Aim of Playing Veena and Science in Veena • Basic Characteristics of a Veena • List of Tools and Materials used including Sourcing • List of Employees including name and Job Title • Steps of the Process • Wood Sourcing and Carving Initial Shape • Carving Resonator, Neck and Head of Veena • Filing and adding Carved Embellishment • Assembly • Finishing • Tuning • Process Chart of Veena Making

• Marketing and Cost of Product • Our Veena Model • S..…………………………….T..W.... Analysis of Veena • Learning Outcome • Travelogue ……………………...O. .. • Climate • Lodging • Transportation • Food • Sites Visited • Bibliography …………………………………………………….

Herewithin is an attempt to an ordered recollection of our memories. paintings and temples. as well as the historical and religious significance of our chosen craft. Along with this. of which Thanjavur was the capital. craft and history of Thanjavur. This document may be called a basic study of art in the Thanjavur region where traditions and values have remained predominately unchanged by the influence of modernism. The beautiful handicrafts of Thanjavur reflect is its strong cultural heritage. including our own time spent in Thanjavur. to create a modern product unrelated to the traditional art form.Preface raft documentation is the study of the craft of a particular region. from which the Thanjavur Royal family descends. For our cluster documentation we studied the art. focusing on the Chola Dynasty. This book is a compilation of information on the Thanjavur Craft Cluster Bowl and general history on Thanjavur/ Tamil Nadu. we took inspiration from the production process. We have collected the basic history of Tamil Nadu. C . techniques and refinement handed down from one generation to another. hurried notes and a selection of enthusiastic photography. After which we made minor alterations to the traditional craft to make it more appealing to a larger market. Thanjavur is known as the art capital of Tamil Nadu and that can be seen within its rich history of bronzes. production process and marketing of the two crafts we chose for our main focus: the famous Thanjavur Paintings and Veena manufacturing. along with a in-depth description of the history. and Nayak Dynasty. a gathering of endless pages of disjointed. a documentation of both Thanjavur paintings and Veena Manufacturing and a narrative of our stay in Thanjavur for 15 days. we have a brief description of life in ancient and modern Thanjavur. These crafts bear testimony to the areas rich past along with the culminations of skills. Finally. We have done a basic research on the primary handicrafts of Thanjavur.

e would like to thank the department of Fashion & Lifestyle Accessories. Sambaji Bhonsle of the Thanjavur Royal family for his gracious support and his generousite in teaching us the ancient art of Thanjavur Painting. for giving us the oppurtunity to have a cluster study and also for the support of the department during our trip. we thank him for his readiness to share his knowledge and letting us work along side his crafts men. w Acknowledgement . We extend our gratitude to Mr. During our time learning the Veena manufacturing process we received help from Mr.Chennai.NIFT. Narayan .

which devotees in thousands flock to the city to have a holy dip. Thanjavur is Tamil Nadu’s rice bowl and is most known as a tourist city for its Brihadeshwara Temple. Kumbakonam on the banks of the River Kaveri. one of the oldest cities in south India. jewellery. The quite and dreamy town is noted for it magnificent temple sculpture. religious festival and the betel leaf. The strong arts history in the city as led to it being the center of the District. which dominates the skyline nsylandscape. Thirty-six kms north of Thanjavur and about 70 kms south-west of Chidambaram is. The most notable city in the district beside Thanjavur its self. and all crafts are sold in the city of Thanjavur. Once every 12 years a festival is held here at Mahamakkam sacred Tank. The district is grouped into the Thanjavur craft cluster.Thanjavur District Tamil Nadu’s Rice Bowl he Thanjavur District consists of Thanjavur itself along with Kumbakonam. T . Natchiarkoil and Swami Malai.

About Thanjavur Map of Thanjavur .

It is today a small town. The Cholas occupied present Thanjavur and the Trincnopoly districts with some adjoining areas. He built a magnificent temple in Thanjavur that is in his namesake. Then it was also a great centre of trade and commerce and is rightly called the rice bowl of South India because of its agricultural prominence. Brihadeshwara Temple.’ The art traditions originated here a millennium ago. Rajarajestwar. was built by the Chola King Rajaraja. the Chera and the Pandyas of which Cholas was the most famous kingdom. T . but still the ‘Art Capital of South India. was the capital of the prosperous Chola Empire. Tamil Nadu is flanked in the east by the Costal plains of the Bay of Bengal and bounded by Kerala in the vast and by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the north. was placed under one of the three Nayakships during the Pandyas kingdom. the Maldive Islands and Sumatra and other places in Malay Peninsula. Territory south of rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra extending up to Cape Comorin is known as South India. The most important ruler of Chola was Rajaraja I. Maratha and Bristish period. which dominates the entire landscape. Rajaraja defeated the eastern Chalukyas of Vegi. The temple. fort and palaces of Thanjavur have been silent witness to the great cultural and artistic awakening that once it had experienced. and which extended 6 kms in length. Dedicated to Lord Shiva this masterpiece of Dravidian art has its Viman crowned with a dome of monolithic rock granite weighing over 81. He was one of the greatest kings of the South India and was known as ‘Rajaraja the Great. Kaveri is the main river that drains through Tamil Nadu before it merges into the seas with its wide delta. He conquered Sri Lanka.5 tons. Until eight century the Chola kingdom was very small but gained importance from the ninth century onwards.’ Rajaraja I. with two others at Madurai and Gingee. are still continued.5 meter high tower of the temple marks the crowning glory of the Chola architecture. and in January every year a great music festival is held when master musicians in Carnatic music assemble here. The Chola dynasty placed its capital in modern day Thanjavur. South India is divided into three kingdoms namely Cholas. The 6.History of Thanjavur and Chola Dynasty hanjavur. also known as Tanjore or Tanjavur. This was hauled up inch by inch along an eastern ramp especially built for this purpose. Thanjavur. The bronzes made here are still the best. the Pandyas of Madurai and the Ganges of Mysore. an important city during the Vijayanagar. He was not only an able administrator but also a great builder. His kingdom extended from Cape in the north to Comorin in the south.

It is Serfoji II who was ruler in Thanjavur during the eighteenth century. but the Royal Palace Compound is still maintained by the Thanjavur Royal family. On his way he built a new capital called Gangaikondacholapuram and was the only Chola ruler to move the capital from Thanjavur. None of the Nayak secular buildings survive. after the Thanjavur Nayakship lost it’s royal authority.His son. During his reign the kingdom was called the ‘Golden Age of Cholas. Thanjavur is roughly split in two by the east west Grand Anicut Canal. Unfortunately. the Marathas made additions from the end of the seventeenth century onwards. He was victorious up to the Banks of Ganges. Around the compound are several reminders of Thanjavur’s past under these two dynasties. that the current Royal family of Thanjavur descends. Work on the palace began in the mid sixteenth century under Sevappa Nayak. The old town north of the canal was once entirely enclosed by a fortified wall. the founder of the Nayak kingdom of Thanjavur. . His successors were weak and so the kingdom started disintegrating. He assumed the title of the Victor of the Ganges. Rejendra Chola.’ After his death the capital was moved back to Thanjavur but the Chola kingdom began to decline. including an exhibition of oriental manuscripts and a superlative museum of Chola bronzes. many of the palace buildings remain in a sorry state. He even went up to Bengal. was also an able ruler like his father. despite various promises of funds for renovation.

has a population of a 2. coconut. an asurain Hindu mythology. The Institute tests a variety of Food Processing Technologies that suit cultivation of the crops and Consumers. The major crops other than paddy include blackgram. Thanjavur’s economy is mainly agro-based. red gram. The Paddy Processing Research Centre (PPRC) later became the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT) in 2008 has made Thanjavur a food processing hub. it means the place is surrounded by rivers and green paddy fields but is mostly made up mostly of barren uplands sloping towards the east. Thanjavurs limits are fixed and marked by some temple which housed the ‘boundary deity’ The city. The city acts as a focal point for food grains transported from the adjoining areas of the Cauvery Delta. ragi. The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airportlocated at a distance of 56 kilometres. The town sits at an elevation of 77 metres about sea level and has a landmass of 36 square kms. In order to maximize agricultural produce organic farming is being implemented.000 rare manuscripts. The nearest seaport is Nagapattinamwhich is 84 kms from Thanjavur. sugarcane and maize. In fact Thanjavur is well-known for its education. Peter’s school at Thanjavur was established by Rev. The Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT) is located in Thanjavur. Like many Tamil Nadu cities. Agricultural Cultivation has been the major occupation of the local inhabitants of Thanjavur as the land is ideal for growing crops like Rice. The city is known as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. The institute conducts many training programs and also delivers training to Research Scholars every year. The Tamil University is based in Thanjavur and is a home to the Saraswati Mahal Library which dates back to the end of the 16th century and contains over 30. The Thanjavur Medical College was established in 1959. banana.90. green gram. T .Modern Thanjavur he name Tanjavur is believed to have been derived from Tanjan. C F Schwartz and was the first school in South India which taught English to the local populace.732 as of 2011 and is well-connected by roads and railways with other with cities and towns in Tamil Nadu along with the rest of India. which is the eleventh largest city in Tamil Nadu. Organic farming is gradually being known to the farmers of Thanjavur. Christian Missionaries have played a prominent role in promoting education in Thanjavur. gingelly. The St. The average high temperature in the summer is 40°C with a slight decline to 38°C in the winter. Also the name is believed to have been derived from Than-sei-oor. who is believed to have to have been killed at this spot by the Hindu god Vishnu.

This scheme is implemented through the Small Industries Product Promotion Organization (SIPPO) which assists in organizing skill training. adopted by UNESCO in 1972. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Thalayattii Bomani (Thanjavur dolls) craft. bell metal craft. the local artisans are given input on manufacturing of customer oriented items and fusion of design of all works.V. Within this society. design development. provide emergency assistance for World Heritage sites in immediate danger.H. musical instruments craft and the Thanjavur painting craft. Beyond this initiative. The Thanjavur Brihadishwara Temple falls under the UNESCO initiative. Government of India under their ‘Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hatashilp Vikas Yojana (B. helping the cluster to operate successfully. .) scheme has promoted cluster via the pith work and root carving craft. T Thanjavur Handicrafts The office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts).A. The artisans have capacity to execute bulk orders of their particular craft. exhibitions and other market promotional activities for these crafts.Y.Craft Bowl of the Thanjavur District World Heritage Government Certification he United Nations Educational.Y. encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage and to encourage international cooperation in the conservation of our world’s cultural and natural heritage. Thanjavur art plates craft. create public awareness building activities for World Heritage conservation. the Thanjavur Handicraft Society has also been formed among the artisans of this cluster.V. Ministry of Textiles. metal casting/iron craft. along with many of the Thanjavur crafts. awards are given and the selling of each craft within a large craft showroom is coordinated. scheme. UNESCO’s World Heritage mission is to help each State Party to safeguard World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training. After the intervention of the B.A. Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification.H. This certification helps preserve the crafts of the area and our world’s history. protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

B . root carving features Erikammbu root wood carved into figures of Lord Ganesha. The figure is left as such without colouring. The root is shaped and designed with a simple tool knife. The outer skin is peeled out by using a sharp knife to uncover the roots natural white colour.Brief Description of Thanjavur Crafts Root Carving ased in Kumbakonam.

churches and temple carts. Production of a smaller work is only a day and pricing varies from Rs 300-2. Popularly known as ‘Chola Pith’ in West Bengal and Netti or Thakkai in Tamil Nadu. A.Pith Work nder the same production as root carving in Kumbakonam. U Contact Information: Thiru K. Chokkalingam. Prakasam Pithwork (OPP) Head Post Office Head Post Office Road. The craft as also been used by developers to make miniatures for production planning. this wood is used for making miniatures of real life architectures or monuments. chariots. This craft is a seasonal craft with most production occurring during the summer because the monsoon season makes the wood too damp to work on. pith work features the soft and pliable weed that grows underwater (mainly rivers. lakes and ponds) shaped into creative designs.000. Kumbakonam Tel: 0435-2421807 . Pith work was traditionally used to decorate palace walls.

000. The images of gods and goddesses in different postures are made by a wax process of casting. In the casting process. Coop.00. the icon first made of bee wax and then covered with a mud mixture (plaster of paris will be used if the order is rushed. After baking. otherwise the workers prefer the primitive mud mixture). Hollow bronze/brass icons take more work than solid icons.000 per piece. Society North East Rajaveedhi Swami Malai Tel: 0435-2454433 . The general cost of the brass is Rs700 with the metal work production at Rs 15. bronze or brass is poured into the mud mold. This craft has attained its supremacy during the rule of the Guptas. The largest icon made is a 3 ton horse that takes four months in production costing Rs 25.Icon Craft ne of the ancient traditions of Swami Malai in Tamil Nadu is the craft of making icon craft bronze icons made in the Chola style. O Contact Information: Swamimalai Icon Indl.

The dolls are made from Kaliman (clay) and then coloured. These dolls earn their name from the prominent swaying heads of the dolls that are balanced from the pointed neck. This craft requires a high degree of skill and product only occurs in the summer since the clay cannot properly dry during the rainy season.Thalayati Bommai (Thanjavur Dolls) hanjavur is known for its dancing dolls as much as the dancing dolls are known for Thanjavur. T Contact Information: Thiru Boopathy Saliya Street. Mariamman Koil . a craft that has been practiced since 1776 B. For that reason we were not able to visit the craft during the cluster trip.C.

These lamps are considered auspicious and are used regularly in pooja rooms and in all religious festivals. Natchiarkoil Tel: 0435-2466470 T . Apart from lamps. such as bells. These lamps are available in various designs and sizes. are being manufactured.Metal Casting Craft he metal casting craft. is used to primarily cast Anna Vilakku lamps (pooja lamps). Contact Information: Natchiarkoil Bell Metal Works Kamalar Street. traditional to Natchiarkoli of the Thanjavur district. many utility oriented items.

and occasionally have special motifs. Thanjavur Tel: 93-4460230 . wax is poured on the backside of the metal sheet so maintain impression. The metal sheets are heated up and hammered onto a mold.Thanjavur Art Plates he Thanjavur art place is the art of engraving and embossing beautiful figures and images of different sizes and shapes on metal. but is part of a cooperative society. this is a traditional art work handed down by generations. Generally the art plates are generally round and mounted on a wooded frame. Made popular by Sarbhoji Raja but found 200 years later for a Maratha King. The various pieces of metal sheets are attached with rivets and polished with a brass brush. mainly silver. T Contact Information: Thiru Gamesan Nanayakara Chetty Street. After. on request. The plate production is privately run by Gamesan in Thanjavur. and fixing them on brass or copper plates. karithol powder and drinking water for a good finish. mythological or nonreligious. The designs follow a theme. such as company logos.

Veena Craft Veena is a traditional stringed musical instrument used during religious ceremonies and festivals. the Veena has a detailed. The production is spread across several groups of artisans. Coop. A Contact Information: Musical Instrument Workers Ind. Thanjavur Tel: 0436-2237213 . and then connected to form the 6-7 kg instrument. neck and head shape. Society South Main Street. Popular in Chennai and Kochi. Jackfruit wood is carved into a belly. carved surface and is handed tuned. often making the instrument in their own homes.

The tradition is now maintained by the fifth generation of the Marathan King Sefoji II. The paintings take the name of their place of origin. East Raja Veedhi. Thanjavur . The painting’s colours are strong and vivid applied with a flat bush stroke. and generally are of Hindi deities ornamented with gold foil on an embossed surface. T Contact Information: Thiru Sambaji Palace Compound.Thanjavur Paintings he term Thanjavur painting refers to a certain style of painting which reached a characteristic form in the Thanjavur area during the Maratha period.

Thanjavur Paintings .

Today most of the product is handled by Sambhaji Raja Bhonsle. The paintings are exported to Singapore. who has been in business for twenty-five years. the United States and many European countries at buyer’s demand. In order to prevent the extinction of the craft. along with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Award and a Chandigarh Chief Minister Award. Serfoji ruled Thanjavur from 1798-1832 until his death and first popularized the paintings. a fifth generation descendant of the Marathas Serfoji II of the Bhonsle clan. and dedicated it solely to painting production.Thanjavur Paintings Royal Family Maintaining the Tradition he Thanjavur style of paintings started to gain popularity under the reign of the Marathas during the sixteenth and seventeenth century. ten government selected students have been chosen to receive painting production training free of cost. learned the craft under the palace painters at a young age. including his father and grandfather. then made a business out of the painting production. Malaysia. Sambhaji himself. T Example of early Thanjavur Paintings Another early Thanjavur painting . a masterpiece weighing 750 kg worth over Rs 25 lakhs. but the style originates from the Chola dynasty during the ninth century. He has taken one section of the Royal palace. Sambhaji has taken the craft that was merely a hobby for his ancestors. where the Royal family still resides. a dynasty that strongly promoted art and literature. He holds a Tamil Nadu State Award for one of his paintings.

Members of the Thanjavur Royal Family

Basic Characteristics
hanjavur paintings are known for their elegance, rich colours and attention to detail. The themes for most of these paintings are Hindu gods and goddesses and sense from Hindu mythology. The main feature of the paintings is the elaborate 24 carat gold foil pasted over textured detail (usually more floral motifs) made with a chalk powder mixture along with sparkling Kundhan stones in various colours. The early paintings were embedded with real diamonds, rubies and other precious stones; but as the paintings become more popular, the use of semi-precious and artificial stones became more common. Most paintings have a glass mirror border bordering the main image. A typical painting has one main figure, most often a deity, with a rounded body and almond shaped eyes. The background of most paintings is red, a distinctive mark of Thanjavur paintings, with the main figure depicted in white, yellow, green and blue. The deity is often surrounded by an arch or curtains covered in the gold foil. The gold foil is also used to highlight certain aspects of the painting like dresses, ornaments and jewellery worn by the deity. Each painting is framed before being sold.


Sambaji’s Gallery

List of Tools and Materials including Sourcing Name
Arabic Glue/Gum Carbon Paper Chalk paste Glass Mirror Herbal Solution Kundhan Stones Mirror Cutter Paint Brushes Poster Paint Sandpaper Tweezers Wooden Board 24 Carat Gold Foil

This herbal glue protects the wooden board and the painting from termites Used to trace sketch on canvas Mixed with Arabic Glue to create chalk paste, used for painting detailing and canvas smoothening Cut into rectangles and placed as a border on the canvas Crushed Chukkan (a hard rock) mixed with Tamarin seed glue Sized from 2mm-8mm A small sharp point with handle used to cut glass Size # 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 Used to create a matte finish Used to polish canvas surface Used to help lay gold foil Originally Jackfruit wood, now plywood is used. Glued onto a thin paper before application on the painting

Purchased from a nearby Medical Shop Purchased from a nearby Shop Purchased from a local shop Purchased from local shops Purchased from a nearby shop Purchased from local shops at Rs 1-10 Purchased from local shops Purchased from a nearby Stationary Shop Purchased from a nearby stationary shop Purchased from a nearby shop Purchased from a nearby shop Purchased locally from any wood working store. Purchased from Jaipur at Rs 20,000 for 160 sheets

Materials Arabic Glue/Gum Chalk Paste .

Gold Foil Kundhan Stones .

Tools Glass Cutter Tweezers .

Paint Brushes .

two other working work along side. at least two years of training is need. Ragahavan is in charge of the overall production.000 monthly wage.List of Employees including Job Title or practice in this painting. Each of them earns Rs 10. Three trained craftsmen head the production with some additional assistant in gold foiling from less trained workers. each of them earning Rs 4.000 monthly wage. As help to Karthi with the gold foiling work. F Name Bhaskar Karthi Raghavan Job Title Embossing and Design Work Gold Foiling Painting/Colouring Bhaskar .

Karthi Raghavan .

T 1. The board is covered with two layers of this cloth. Then Arabic glue is added. After surface is polished. two layers of an herbal solution are applied on the canvas to preserve the wooden base and cotton cloth covering. mixed and filtered. granite stone is rubbed on the canvas. To polish and smooth this surface. Next. Prepared Boards Photocopy of sketch that will be traced onto board Initial sketch showing plywood backside . Chalk powder is put in water and kept aside for two days. Before the painting begins. The batter is used for embossing has more water whereas the detailing work is a thicker mixture. a detailed sketch is traced onto the canvas using a carbon sheet. the chalk paste is prepared days in advance. Canvas Preparation The plywood is covered with a chalk paste-soaked cotton cloth and again layered with the chalk paste mixture.Steps of the Process he process of making a Thanjavur painting involves many stages.

Once both layers have dried.2. jewellery. green or white) are glued to the board. arches. Chalk Paste and Kundan Stone Application In select points on the painting. curtains. Kundhan stone application First layer of chalk paste . After the stone application. The first layer is a thinner chalk paste that creates a slightly elevated surface. weapons or any furniture in the initial sketch. usually on the border. pots. thrones. the chalk paste is applied as embossing on the decorative borders. dresses. the surface is rubbed with a damp cloth to remove any cracks. The chalk paste is applied in two layers. The second layer of chalk paste is thicker and used to create minute detailing. jewellery and pots Kundhan stones in various colours (usually red. Sandpaper is used to polish this layer after it has dried.

Chalk paste embossing .

Finished Detailing .

A thin razor blade is used to clean the edges. Finally. Creating initial impression . A pen is used to highlight minute detailing. The foil is applied by gently pressing with a cloth. Originally. the thin gold foil sheets were delicately applied. First an impression is made of the detail on the gold foil by plane the foil sheet of the detail and gently pressing with a cloth. the gold foil is glued onto thin paper so that the foil is less prone to ripping. That shape is cut out and Arabic glue (called herbal glue by Karthi) is applied to the back of the foil. Gold Foiling After the applied chalk paste dries. black paint is used to draw small lines on the gold paper to further show highlight the details. gold foiling is applied. In order to make this process for comfortable for the craftsmen.3.

Cleaning edges with thin razor Deepening impression with pen .

but poster paint is now preferred since it proves brighter shade contrast. In the past. the poster paint is diluted with water so that as it dries smooth and without visable paint strokes. . The third base is for detailing. artists used natural colors like vegetable dyes. The first step is a light base to create initial color.Applying black lines to highlight details 4. Painting Paint is applied in three steps. In each step. The second base is added texture and shadowing. mainly the background.

First layer of paint .

After adding shadow .

Two types of teak wood frames are used: plain style and the Chettinad style that has more ornamental design details. Framing At this point. Example of framing .5. the painting is completed.

Process Chart of Painting Making .

The paintings are sold at several show rooms in Thanjavur but can also be found in nearby cities such as Mamallapuram.000-Rs 1. 108. Tirunelevi and Chennai. Works commissioned can be purchased by contacting Sambaji at the Royal Palace compound directly. Salem. Anna Salai. Thanjavur – 613 302 Tel: 04362-230060 Chennai Showroom. East Raja Veedhi.000. A Current contact information for purchasing or inquiry: B. Sambaji Bhonsle. Railway Station Road. they now hang in offices and homes. The paintings size varies from a small ‘post card’ size to a three by four meter masterpiece. Ooty. Most of the painting sales are between Rs 5. as an ornate decoration of puja rooms.Marketing and Cost of Production lthough the paintings have a rich royal history. Chennai 600 – 002 Tel: 044-28520624. Some do seek the paintings for their original religious purpose. Director of Painting Production Palace Compound. Thanjavur Tel: 0436-2273127 Thanjavur Showroom.00. 28550157 .

We maintain the bright colours characteristic of Thanjavur paintings. we maintain the traditional embellishments with the chalk paste. we choose a peacock. In relation to Krishna. we echoed the floral motifs in the chalk paste embellishment to keep the main spirit of the Thanjavur paintings. we made one painting to better understand the manufacturing process.Our Thanjavur Painting uring our trip. but slightly changed the paintings main subject away from its usual religious context. D Our Thanjavur Painting . Within the peacock design. but also added the paste to all parts of the main image as to take advantage of the paintings unique raised surface. and another as a slight variation of the traditional technique. In our variation. the image of baby Krishna.

Analysis of Thanjavur Painting Strengths • World renowned painting since the eighteenth century • The paintings three dimensional texture and unique technique of gold foiling • Easy availability and handling of raw materials • Low capital investment and minimal man power required at initial stages • Easy establishment and development of production centres • High value added products Weakness • Low-quality paint used in painting • Lack of skilled labour due to low interest • Still confined to rural areas • Lack of promotion and marketing of the product Opportunities • Rise in demand for the craft • Promotional activities such as the national and state award events for the paintings • Training young students free of cost to preserve the craft Threat • Religious subject inhibits marketing to non-Hindu’s .O.W.S.T.

Veena Manufacturing .

Today however you can find several musical festivals such as the National Veena Festival in India and the Thayagraja Concert in Chicago and in Thanjavur to promote and encourage aspiring musicians. Besides this. Today. The music concert does not only help retain an ancient culture but also cater to a global audience. despite efforts to revive it. the instrument also has religious association. further changes took place to bring about a distinctive sound. With growing globalization. the influences of western music diminished its importance in the country. this art form is almost on the verge of being extinct. Veena is a popular Carnatic music instrument that is said to be many centuries old. Once the basic structure of the Veena was formed. which is about 1500 BCE. The curious hunter tried various grass roots and animal fiber to create music. The Veena has many discrepancies in sound and shape it has been customized and improvised over the decades to create a unique style from the lute. The history of Veena dates back to the Vedic period. It soon became an important source of entertainment as many musicians where seen playing them in royal courts and in temples. One who masters the art of playing this musical device is said to attain deliverance from the cycle of birth The Veena performance in the ancient times used to be accompanied during the chants of the Yagya as a way to please to the gods and goddess. it has to be the Veena. The legend states that it all began when a hunter first discovered a different sound from his bow when it began to vibrate. This 1.5 meter long instrument has two drones on both the side to give it an even balance and is connected with four different strings along with frets that give different harmonics than any other music device. which in turn gave birth to the formation of Veena. Western music scholars believe that the instrument has many characteristics that belong to European style lute.Veena Manufacturing Religious Significance and History If there is any instrument that has earned the status close to godliness and managed to mesmerize the audience with its soothing melodies. In the olden days this instrument had very few frets but today the Sarswathi Veena is said to have 24 frets on it. Veena being an age-old musical instrument holds religious importance and also symbolizes ancient culture and heritage in southern India. as it has been described in many sacred texts that as goddess Sarawati playing this instrument. She is also represented as the Goddess of Knowledge. .

Likewise. the productions of various seed-sounds in relation to various chakras starting from Mooladhara at the base are shown. The 24 frets of the instrument are analogous to the 24 cartilages in the spinal cord. as we seen above the number 24 also relates to the 24 syllables in the Vedic Gayatri mantra. The Vedic representation of the human spinal cord as the musical instrument (Veena) is shown in the next figure. the 24 frets representing 12 Sruthees in two octaves (24) indicate the 24 letters (Aksharas) of GAA Y A THRI MANTHRA.As we see in the universe the three states viz. The importance of various chakras in spiritual path is well known. The Sarva Raga Mela Veena of Raghunatha Bhoopala is today’s Saraswati Veena. Prior to Saraswathi Veena.. Shiti and Laya) even in Nada we see the same three states. creation. the Veenas which were used were not as convenient as Saraswathi Veena. sustenance and merger (Srusti. The 24 frets get their importance by the nada produced from them and not because of the metal used.Aim of Playing Veena and Science in Veena he musical instrument (Veena) represents the spinal cord important in physical. emotional and spiritual aspects of life. The production of Saraswathi Veena is the result of many experiments conducted by sages and vanikas. Below.“TAT SAVITUR VARENYAMBHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHIDHIYO YONAH PRACHODAYAT”. The 4 strings bear the Suddha Satvaguna. T .

According to the anatomy.In Veena the distance between each fret is broad in the lower octaves and becomes less while proceeding towards the higher octaves. Just like the 24 frets of the Veena. and for practising nada yoga Veena is an appropriate instrument. Many Gods have played many instruments but only Veena has been given such Godly sacred position. So it is definite that to attain Moksha nada yoga is a correct path. Hence Veena is considered to be Moksha dayaka liberating instrument. In the top of the head exists the Brahma Randhra.Veena has been compared to human body.Similarly the back bone is thick at the Mooladhara and the distance between each ring becomes less while proceeding towards the Brahma randhra. 12 thorasic and 5 lumbar vertibrays. the back bone has 7 cervicles. .This shows the resemblance between the Daivi Veena and man made Veena. The human back-bone (Spinal Chord) stands straight from the Mooladhara (the seat of the body) up to the head. human back bone has 24 divisions.

I . Rudra Veena which is said to be an instrument played by Lord Shiva according to scholars is now completely declined. To begin with. Every Veena has the basic shape of a Kuddam. most of us are familiar with the Saraswati Veena which is commonly played in many events even today. until date. Kolkata craftsmen have been well known for creating the best Saraswati Veena and Thanjavur artisans are famous for producing some of the finest Rudra Veena and Vichitra Veena in the world. neck and head along with some carving detailing and musical strings and 24 frets. There have been many versions of the Veena. However. the latter has a close resemblance to the guitar. There are many modern day versions to it such as Ranjan Veena and Mohan Veena. Veena continues to undergo various changes.Basic Characteristics of a Veena t's a known fact that the Veena is an ancient instrument that has undergone several changes. Vichitra Veena like the name suggests is a distinctive kind of veena that does not have any frets and looks similar to the Gottuvadhyam. While the former looks similar to the sitar.

Components of Veena .

used to cover gaps on the resonator Plastic colour stick that is heated applied to the Veena for decoration Oil stone-esque material used for sharpening tools Brush Chinna Sutti Katti Kuthusi Madal Uli Madu Mani Muppat Aaram Ona Koradu Patta Sali Pose Kambi Pudi Vetti Pudichiravi Rambam Rambatule Rojanam Saanakkallu . plaster of paris. 24 pieces for 24 tones Needle at the end of the Tamra Kudu Steel tool used to make the inside of the Veena hollow Used for hammering Pearle-esque material used to decorate the Veena Used to sharpen tools Used to tighten strings Emery sheet sand paper used for wood and metal Cycle Spokes used to attach strings onto Veena Scissor device used for cutting Clamp used to hold wood and metal pieces when cutting or filing Saw used to cut wood Mixed with Fevicol. manjal and kaaram.List of Tools and Materials including Sourcing Local Name Adi Gol Arak Aram Bitt Blade Description/Function Scale Glue heated up and then used to attach plastic sheets Filer Used to make decorate holes on the sides Hacksaw blade For touch ups Small Hammer The metal pieces on the Veena.

Sathuram Solution Sutti Tamru Kudu & Villi Kadi Varuvu Katta Vettu Koradu Yala Padi Handle made of dear horns (maan kombala Paliu) A rubber mixture that is used to stick plastic sheets onto the Veena Hammer Manual wood driller Used to mark straight lines Used to cut wire strings affixed to Veena Grater used to flatten and smooth surface .




Name M. Anurag Raroliya. the following did the majority of the work. Narayanan Muthu Kumar R. Of the workers we met. V. Muthu Kumar. Rayar Sandep Kumar Shekhar V. Shanker . Shanker Experience Job 40 years 25 years 30 years 7 years 28 years 7 years Owner of Veena manufacturing Veena manufactoring (head craftsmen) Sources wood for Veena and thabal a Meruthalam Wood carving and Veena constuction Wood carving and filing Tools management Skekhar.List of Employees and Job Title Within the group of craftsmen that we visited each had followed the same line of work as their father and had learned most of their skills in a family setting. Vijay Kumar.

The Veena carving is a road side venture under a shady tree right outside a local park. It is attractive and the highest quality Veenas have the entire body carved out of a single block of jackfruit wood. Wood Sourcing and Carving Initial Shape The Saraswati Veena is one of the most ancient and revered of south Indian instruments. The open space allows room for the craftsmen to carve the log into the initial Veena Shape. just years of experience. No molds are used for the carving. neck and head. The ordinary style is made of three sections.Steps of the Process 1. Carving initial shape Jackfruit wood before carving begins . kuddam.

gaddi sakai and dandi are given detailed chiseling. only skill gained through years of experience Chiseling in process One piece Veena after chiseling Yali Carved by Villi Kadi’s . the surface of the initial Venna shape is smoothed and given a definite shape. Chiseling the Kudam. Neck and Head In a small workshop.2. There are no guides for the work. Even the smaller parts like the vallarm.

Groves in the Veena for decorative embellishment are made by a needle and hammer. rojnam. onto a strip of mani glued to the Veena. The groves have no set width. Carved detail Melting colours into plastic strips . sizes and textures for each particular use. Colouring. Filers are used to make the surface even smoother. Filing and adding Carved Embellishment Before the grooves are carved on the Kuddam. it is scraped to make the surface even. Some Veenas have embellishment of melted colours.3. The filers used are of different shapes.

As this gum keeps melting. Repair of Any Defects Small pieces of rambatule are melted and stuck together on one end of a wooden stick.Majal and kava is also used to hide any cracks and given additional finish. When a natural defeat is too large to fix with a bandage. another piece of wood is affixed with a joint with Fevicol. the glue is left in water to cool. Kava (marron) and majal (yellow) . the bandage is place on any cracks and pressed quickly. one and half inch strips of cardboard are cut with a sharp chisel to create bandages. more pieces are stuck until a large lump is formed. Meanwhile. When the rambatule melts.4. After kneading.

Assembly All the joints are stuck by a natural tree gum. Assembly Nearly completed Veena . The gum is heated and applied between the two parts. The gaddi sakai (the part of the instrument that holds the frets) is fixed into the dandi by nails which fall over the wooden strip. then allowed to cool for a strong joint. The strips are nailed inside the dandi.5.

6. Finally the surface is rubbed with a fine powder that gives the surface an even. Then dark strokes are applied to mimic the appearance of wood grain. Smooth Finish . Finishing After the assembly of all the parts. Due to the nature of a natural material like wood. there are different coloured areas of the wood. the Veena surface is given a final smoothening with sandpaper. natural look. making the surface very soft and smooth. Sawdust is mixed with Fevicol and applied to the wood to create a even coloured surface.

7. At this point the 24 frets are pressed into the wax at particular places determined by the ear of a highly trained craftsmen and correct distances. Tuning At this point the Veena construction is complete. Heating coal to soften wax Tuning . Honey comb wax is melted and fixed on the gaddi sakkai.

Process Chart of Veena Making .


Anna Salai. the Goddess Saraswati. The Veena still maintains its religious function and is often used for religious events and festivals across India. whose image is never seen without a Veena. particularly the Goddess of learning and the arts.Marketing and Cost of Production his is evident from the innumerable treatises on music in ancient India and famous sculptures in ancient places of worship depicting musicians. Coop. Pricing is from Rs 12. which is capable of evoking a meditativeatmosphere. Society South Main Street. Assembled Veena’s can be purchased at several local Thanjavur crafts stores in the district. Thanjavur Tel: 0436-2237213 Thanjavur Showroom. T Contact Information: Musical Instrument Workers Ind. 28550157 . Thanjavur – 613 302 Tel: 04362-230060 Chennai Showroom. Thanjavur veenas are manufactured in great numbers. 108. Railway Station Road. while many still remain rural and a small-scale industry.000. Chennai 600 – 002 Tel: 044-28520624. There are around 30 families in the town dependent on making this musical instrument for their livelihood. Gods and Goddesses are often depicted playing various instruments. Its main attraction is the mellow tonal quality.000-15.

Adding the extra groove would give space for oil. We hoped that changing the Yali would give a modern touch to an ancient instrument so that music lovers could play it without the religious context. we replaced the Yali with a spiral like design and added one additional engraving for oil. an essential tool for playing the Veena. we were unable to construct one for the cluster documentation. we created a small Veena model using a coconut shell and spare wood.Our Veena Model ecause of the highly labor intensive nature of the Veena. B Constructing our Veena model . With our own improvisation. As a variation of the original shape.

e.SWOT Analysis Of Veena Strengths • Strong devotional and spiritual context • Low labour cost resulting in a competitive price • High value added product • Potential source of foreign revenue because of high export (ex. reduing Veena lifespan and quality) • No advertisement or promotional activities (i. education potiental customers • No competition Threats • Inadequate knowledge about the new technologies • Lack of interest in learning the craft • Still confined to rural areas • Youth less interested in religious music (tending toward western-style music) . low availability of whole piece jackfruit tree (as a result multiple pieces of wood are joined together. mass marketing) • Little knowledge of origin and purpose by both the craftsmen and consumer Opportunities • Rising demand for craft in developed countries • Inclusion in goverment school syllabus. high sales in Singapore) • Low capital investment • No reliance on electricty for any step in manufacturing • No excess pollution during the manufacturing process Weakness • Lengthly production time (10-15 days) • Due to vast deforestation.

including note placement and string tuning in which we had no previous musical knowledge. This cluster initiative taught us how to communicate without knowledge of the regional language. patiently considering the opinion of others. Although serving plates are abundant in Thanjavur. the delicate application of chalk paste and the flat application of paint. Modern man’s thought is often clouded by new technology and profit and is therefore unable to make the Thanjavur are in the same spiritual context with the same quality. people prefer eating on banana leaves. This also gave us a chance to work as a group. It is an example of intricate work and construction without modern technique and tools. both required years of practice and the patience of a spiritual mind. During our cluster we learned the general skills of the Thanjavur paintings and Veena manufacturing. Veena manufacturing gave exposure to both wood working and construction of musical instruments. T . The twelve days spent Thanjavur gave us exposure to the origin and art of the district’s craft cluster. of Thanjavur. and because of this we learned more about the process and history of the crafts rather the acquiring the craft’s skill. The delicious food of Thanjavur. While our efforts were genuine. making group decisions and acclimating to the regional environment. Thanjavur is peaceful and serene. The crafts of the area require years of experience. made-man materials. This customs is a result a belief in conserving the natural. The unique techniques’ in Thanjavur paintings we had a chance to learn include gold foiling on embossed detailing.Learning Outcome his cluster initiative was an opportunity for us to observe the art and beauty of the Tanjauvr craft while gaining knowledge of the craft techniques. is not only impressive but gives both physical and mental rejuvenation. The Big Temple is a truely awesome example of the Chola dynasty’s craftsmanship. presented on a banana leaf and completed with betel leaves. it became obvious we needed more experience and a proper mindset to reach the skill level required for the paintings. abundant materials rather than sparse. Each required practice and patience. The art of Thanjavur is produced with the same techniques and in the same spiritual context used by its ancient craftsmen. Again. God-given resources by using natural.

we stayed only a short distance from both the Palace compound and the Veena manufacturing. as a group. we escaped some of the heat in the Royal Palace compound. During our visit to Thanjavur the city remained dry and dusty with a desert like sun. We did experience some trouble finding a room. considering how popular the city is for filming Tamil movies.Travelogue Climate hanjavur is well known as one of the hottest cities in Tamil Nadu. and there’s very little choice at tvhe bottom of the market. Thanks to the central organization of the city. we dressed in ethnic wear which provided some relief from the heat because of the loose fit and dupatas covering the girls head from the glaring sun. We managed to book two rooms in the lodge equipped with fans. While Thanjavur was hot. M 93. we rushed to Ashoka lodge just down the street from the bus station. T Lodging ost of Thanjavur’s hotels are concentrated in the newer part of town. Immediately after arriving in Thanjavur. Thanjavur 613 001 Tel: 04362-230022 Ashoka Lodge . within striking distance of the railway station. The palace’s construction was mainly thick stone that acts a natural air conditioning. They tend to charge higher rates than you’d pay elsewhere in the state. In order to respectfully blend into the towns culture. a television and two beds each. Abraham Pandithar Road.

The railway station. We took a sleeper train to Thanjavur from Chennai that took roughly seven hours. During our stay we strongly relied on the close proximity of the town and mostly walked with the occasional late night auto. in the middle of nowhere. stop at the New Bus Stand. opposite the City Bus Stand. has a computerized system for booking trains to Chennai. Taxis into town here cost Rs 100. S . Tiruchirapalli and Kumbakonam.Transportation ome buses from Chennai and Puducherry pull in at the old-long distance State bus stand. in the south of the old town. Thanjavur is connected by rail with most important cities and towns in India. just south of the centre. or you can jump on one of the 74 buses that shuttle to and from the center every few minutes. Tiruchirapalli and Rameshwaram. Other services from Madurai. inconveniently located 4 km southwest of the center. Thanjavur is an important railway junction of the Southern Railways.

Food ll meals during the trip were eaten at local restaurants with most our lunch being a typical south India meal. That mixed with endless pack of biscuits and aloo bhujya was our main diet during the trip. Most of our meals ended with paan that was completely edible. The meals are characterized by banana leafs laid on Thali’s with cups of different gravies and sweet pongal. Rice was given in a heaping scoop with popards served to at crunch to the lunch. A .

The thirteen story tower is covered with fine sculptures including those depicting the one-hundred and eighty poses of Natyam enumerated in Bharat’s classical Natya Shashtra. The inner walls are decorated with excellent paintings and frescoes reminiscent of Ajanta cave paintings. is enshrined a huge Shiva Lingam. made of a single block of black granite. under the superb tower. the second largest of its kind. In the sanctum of this temple. The first day we got to Thanjavur we immediately visited the temple.Sites Visited uring our stay we had the chance to visit the Brihadeshwara Temple. D . Before the sanctum lays the Nandi Bull. The temple stands encircled by a huge courtyard with cloisters.

helloindiatravel.Biblography • • • • • • • Jacobson.m. 2007 Kishore. N.’ Jaipur (Rajasthan): ABD Publishers. 2008 Mehta. Arun.’ New Delhi: Fusion 2011. Pawan. 2004 Subrahmanian. Nov. .com/gifs/thanjavur-map. http://www.’ Jaipur (Rajasthan): ABD Publishers. 20th. ‘History of Ancient India.’ Chennai: Institute of Asian Studies. ‘A Travel Guide.gif. ‘Tamil Society History (Volume II).’ Korea: New Line Books Limited 2006 Kandpal. 1998 Thanjavur Government. 22nd 2011 UNESCO ‘http://whc. Nov.’ Accessed at 10:55 a. ‘India: Land of Dreams and Fantasy. Doranne. B.unesco. R. ‘Indian Culture and Civilization.

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