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

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

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

Chennai.NIFT. We extend our gratitude to Mr. Sambaji Bhonsle of the Thanjavur Royal family for his gracious support and his generousite in teaching us the ancient art of Thanjavur Painting. During our time learning the Veena manufacturing process we received help from Mr. 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.e would like to thank the department of Fashion & Lifestyle Accessories. w Acknowledgement . Narayan .

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

About Thanjavur Map of Thanjavur .

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

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

The city acts as a focal point for food grains transported from the adjoining areas of the Cauvery Delta. T . C F Schwartz and was the first school in South India which taught English to the local populace.000 rare manuscripts.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. has a population of a 2. Agricultural Cultivation has been the major occupation of the local inhabitants of Thanjavur as the land is ideal for growing crops like Rice. an asurain Hindu mythology. Thanjavur’s economy is mainly agro-based. 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 nearest seaport is Nagapattinamwhich is 84 kms from Thanjavur. who is believed to have to have been killed at this spot by the Hindu god Vishnu. gingelly. coconut. sugarcane and maize. The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airportlocated at a distance of 56 kilometres. Like many Tamil Nadu cities. Peter’s school at Thanjavur was established by Rev. In order to maximize agricultural produce organic farming is being implemented.90. The institute conducts many training programs and also delivers training to Research Scholars every year. The Institute tests a variety of Food Processing Technologies that suit cultivation of the crops and Consumers. The average high temperature in the summer is 40°C with a slight decline to 38°C in the winter. The town sits at an elevation of 77 metres about sea level and has a landmass of 36 square kms. The Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT) is located in Thanjavur. Christian Missionaries have played a prominent role in promoting education in Thanjavur. green gram. Also the name is believed to have been derived from Than-sei-oor. The St. The Thanjavur Medical College was established in 1959. banana. red gram. ragi. 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.Modern Thanjavur he name Tanjavur is believed to have been derived from Tanjan. Organic farming is gradually being known to the farmers of Thanjavur. which is the eleventh largest city in Tamil Nadu. The city is known as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. 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. In fact Thanjavur is well-known for its education. The major crops other than paddy include blackgram.

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

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

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

O Contact Information: Swamimalai Icon Indl. Coop. The general cost of the brass is Rs700 with the metal work production at Rs 15. After baking.000 per piece.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. otherwise the workers prefer the primitive mud mixture).000.00. bronze or brass is poured into the mud mold. 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. In the casting process. The images of gods and goddesses in different postures are made by a wax process of casting. Society North East Rajaveedhi Swami Malai Tel: 0435-2454433 . The largest icon made is a 3 ton horse that takes four months in production costing Rs 25. Hollow bronze/brass icons take more work than solid icons. This craft has attained its supremacy during the rule of the Guptas.

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

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

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

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

and generally are of Hindi deities ornamented with gold foil on an embossed surface. The tradition is now maintained by the fifth generation of the Marathan King Sefoji II. The painting’s colours are strong and vivid applied with a flat bush stroke. Thanjavur . 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. The paintings take the name of their place of origin. East Raja Veedhi.

Thanjavur Paintings .

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

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 .

List of Employees including Job Title or practice in this painting. F Name Bhaskar Karthi Raghavan Job Title Embossing and Design Work Gold Foiling Painting/Colouring Bhaskar . at least two years of training is need. Each of them earns Rs 10. two other working work along side. each of them earning Rs 4. Ragahavan is in charge of the overall production.000 monthly wage. Three trained craftsmen head the production with some additional assistant in gold foiling from less trained workers.000 monthly wage. As help to Karthi with the gold foiling work.

Karthi Raghavan .

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

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

Chalk paste embossing .

Finished Detailing .

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

Cleaning edges with thin razor Deepening impression with pen .

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

First layer of paint .

After adding shadow .

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

Process Chart of Painting Making .

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

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

W.O.T. 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 .S.

Veena Manufacturing .

Once the basic structure of the Veena was formed. 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.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. further changes took place to bring about a distinctive sound. Veena is a popular Carnatic music instrument that is said to be many centuries old. This 1. which is about 1500 BCE. as it has been described in many sacred texts that as goddess Sarawati playing this instrument. 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. Today. Besides this. this art form is almost on the verge of being extinct. . Western music scholars believe that the instrument has many characteristics that belong to European style lute. The history of Veena dates back to the Vedic period. the influences of western music diminished its importance in the country. 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 instrument also has religious association. The music concert does not only help retain an ancient culture but also cater to a global audience. despite efforts to revive it. 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.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. She is also represented as the Goddess of Knowledge. The curious hunter tried various grass roots and animal fiber to create music. 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. With growing globalization. It soon became an important source of entertainment as many musicians where seen playing them in royal courts and in temples.

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

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

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

Components of Veena .

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. 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. 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 .




Anurag Raroliya. V. Narayanan Muthu Kumar R. Name M. Rayar Sandep Kumar Shekhar V. the following did the majority of the work. Shanker . Muthu Kumar. 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. Of the workers we met. Vijay Kumar.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.

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

Even the smaller parts like the vallarm. 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.2. There are no guides for the work. Chiseling the Kudam. gaddi sakai and dandi are given detailed chiseling. Neck and Head In a small workshop.

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

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

5. 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. The gum is heated and applied between the two parts. then allowed to cool for a strong joint. Assembly Nearly completed Veena . The strips are nailed inside the dandi. Assembly All the joints are stuck by a natural tree gum.

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

Honey comb wax is melted and fixed on the gaddi sakkai. 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.7. Tuning At this point the Veena construction is complete. Heating coal to soften wax Tuning .

Process Chart of Veena Making .


Anna Salai. Assembled Veena’s can be purchased at several local Thanjavur crafts stores in the district. Railway Station Road. which is capable of evoking a meditativeatmosphere. Chennai 600 – 002 Tel: 044-28520624.000-15. Thanjavur veenas are manufactured in great numbers. Gods and Goddesses are often depicted playing various instruments. 108. There are around 30 families in the town dependent on making this musical instrument for their livelihood. the Goddess Saraswati. while many still remain rural and a small-scale industry. Pricing is from Rs 12.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. 28550157 . Its main attraction is the mellow tonal quality. Coop. Thanjavur Tel: 0436-2237213 Thanjavur Showroom. The Veena still maintains its religious function and is often used for religious events and festivals across India.000. particularly the Goddess of learning and the arts. Thanjavur – 613 302 Tel: 04362-230060 Chennai Showroom. Society South Main Street. T Contact Information: Musical Instrument Workers Ind. whose image is never seen without a Veena.

B Constructing our Veena model . With our own improvisation. we replaced the Yali with a spiral like design and added one additional engraving for oil. we were unable to construct one for the cluster documentation. an essential tool for playing the Veena.Our Veena Model ecause of the highly labor intensive nature of the Veena. As a variation of the original shape. we created a small Veena model using a coconut shell and spare wood. 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.

e. 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. reduing Veena lifespan and quality) • No advertisement or promotional activities (i. 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.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. 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.

The delicious food of Thanjavur. This also gave us a chance to work as a group. and because of this we learned more about the process and history of the crafts rather the acquiring the craft’s skill. This customs is a result a belief in conserving the natural. people prefer eating on banana leaves. made-man materials. abundant materials rather than sparse. making group decisions and acclimating to the regional environment. Although serving plates are abundant in Thanjavur. is not only impressive but gives both physical and mental rejuvenation. patiently considering the opinion of others. Thanjavur is peaceful and serene. Each required practice and patience. presented on a banana leaf and completed with betel leaves. 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. The art of Thanjavur is produced with the same techniques and in the same spiritual context used by its ancient craftsmen. The unique techniques’ in Thanjavur paintings we had a chance to learn include gold foiling on embossed detailing. It is an example of intricate work and construction without modern technique and tools. While our efforts were genuine. it became obvious we needed more experience and a proper mindset to reach the skill level required for the paintings. 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. The Big Temple is a truely awesome example of the Chola dynasty’s craftsmanship. The twelve days spent Thanjavur gave us exposure to the origin and art of the district’s craft cluster. Veena manufacturing gave exposure to both wood working and construction of musical instruments.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. Again. God-given resources by using natural. During our cluster we learned the general skills of the Thanjavur paintings and Veena manufacturing. the delicate application of chalk paste and the flat application of paint. of Thanjavur. T . both required years of practice and the patience of a spiritual mind. The crafts of the area require years of experience.

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

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

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.Food ll meals during the trip were eaten at local restaurants with most our lunch being a typical south India meal. A . 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 first day we got to Thanjavur we immediately visited the temple. made of a single block of black granite. The temple stands encircled by a huge courtyard with cloisters. The inner walls are decorated with excellent paintings and frescoes reminiscent of Ajanta cave paintings. is enshrined a huge Shiva Lingam. D . under the superb tower. the second largest of its kind. In the sanctum of this temple. 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. Before the sanctum lays the Nandi Bull.Sites Visited uring our stay we had the chance to visit the Brihadeshwara Temple.

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

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