THIS TIME, there are quite a few artifacts at the ongoing Lucknow Mahotsava that have mind-blowing price tags. In fact, this time, there is a kind of glut of costly, handcrafted items.
A pair of woodcraft is up for sale at Rs 65,000. Yes, if one passes by a row of handicraft displayed at a stall, one is likely to find his eyes glued to a pair of wooden pillars. Exquisitely carved and coloured in a traditional pattern, the pillars are an art piece that anyone would want to possess. The craftsmen have come from Kalahasti near Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The set of pillars, both identical, are 7-feet tall and are made to be fixed in a main entrance or lobby.
“They can be put up at the most modern of buildings as rare interiors,” said the stall owner. Each pillar is chiseled and carved and made out of a single piece of wood that can be seen at stall no S-89.
Going a little further, at stall number C-56, there are Kota sarees which are known to be reasonably and affordably priced. But, if you ask them to show you their most exquisite ones, they dig into their bag and take out some, each of which costs Rs 18,000. “To make a simple Kota saree it takes only two days, but to make these intricate ones it takes three months and two craftsmen make it. It is on cotton and silk mix fabric and has real Zari work which is very intricate one too,” said this weaver from Kota, Rajasthan.
A wall unit, modular one, by multinational furniture giants come for Rs 7,000. But, a wooden wall unit of the same size made in Saharanpur comes for Rs 18,000. It is carved intricately like the furniture made of Sheesham wood. In Saharanpur furniture, everything is handmade, says stall owner Amjad Khan.
Another feast for the eyes at the Mahotsava is offered at stall selling idols carved out of a single piece of Sheesham wood. These have been flown in from Pondicherry and are exquisitely. And exorbitantly priced too: between Rs 18,000 and Rs 20,000. They are in their natural colour and come with a coat of varnish for shine. See also Page 3