The art of toy-making has evolved greatly in recent times. The ubiquitous Kondapalli toy is not only a decorative piece, but also an article of reverence to most Telugus across the world.Handicrafts have thrived for generations in this village located close to Vijayawada.
Kondapalli toys are world-famous for their special wood. Kondapalli toys add a touch of aesthetics to drawing rooms with their finely created figurines. The toys are made of white Puniki and painted with natural colors like vegetable dyes, which sets the tone for an aesthetic ambience.The multi-staged process for making these toys is very interesting. The artisans etch out the shape of the toy they create from the white Puniki wood. This particular variety of wood is grown specially in the lands earmarked for this purpose in villages near Kondapalli. Lappum, sawdust and tamarind seed paste are mixed together to give the right look to the toy. Vegetable dyes are used for painting the toys of export quality. Oil paints are used for coloring the toys sold within India and enamel paints are applied to the toys made for special occasions.
Some of the iconic toys of Kondapalli are Ambari elephant, farmer couple, palanquin-bearers, and many others pieces of artistic wonders created from Puniki which entice the buyers. The artisans’ associations and few self-help groups also market them to buyers. Kondapalli artisans' also have a mutually-aided cooperative society with growing customer patronage for such hand-made artefacts.
The toys are sold by artisans in the range of INR 10 to INR 10,000 in quite a few shops near Vijayawada. Decorate your drawing rooms with a few Kondapalli toys and you will be thrilled to see the beauty they add. For those who plan to carry these brittle toys abroad, the artisans can also pack them for safe transportation.
Kondapalli toys are also available at the Lepakshi Emporiums run by the Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation across major towns in the State. Kondapalli railway station is located on the Kazipet–Vijayawada section while NH-221 connects Vijayawada to Kondapalli, making it accessible by road and rail transport. If you visit Kondapalli to buy some of theseamazing toys, take time to explore the beautiful Kondapallifort which has been developed into a tourist attraction by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.