The Indian Toy Story

Antique Beaded Jewelry The story of Indian toys and dolls is timeless as the land herself. Creative urge and boundless human imagination had crafted dolls and toys of various shapes and sizes from prehistoric times. Wood, stone, clay, cloth, fur and leather are used to recreate figures and events from the palpable world and also from the imaginary world of folklore, legends and myths. They are the repositories of traditional wisdom and cultural heritage.Playing with handmade toys and fondling the

collectible dolls, the child learns his first lessons of survival and conduct. Replicating both the tangible and fantasy worlds, the toys and dolls map the socio-cultural history of any given society. From the simplest human figures carved out of stone, to the most modern G.I.Joes and Barbie dolls, civilization has moved on and on reflecting itself in its toys and dolls.

In India, the earliest dolls, unearthed from the site of the Indus Valley civilization, date back to five thousand years. The culture of dolls and toys still survives and keeps mutating itself according to time and space. Each region in India has its own distinct style of making toys and crafting dolls. Each toy, every doll, has its own story to tell.

Assam and West Bengal make dolls out of pith, the soft stem of a plant growing in marshy and waterlogged areas. West Bengal is particularly famous for terracotta toys. Varanasi, Lucknow, Mathura and Vrindavan are known for their brightly painted wooden dolls and toys, and Rajasthan for dolls of unbaked clay. Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is also known for lacquered toys and miniature utensils for children to play with. In some places dolls are even made of a kind of grass called sikki. At times, a mixture of cow dung, sawdust and clay is shaped into toys and dolls and coated with bright paints. Orissa has a long tradition of wood crafted dolls, which is said to have originated out of the cult of Jagannath. Kondapalli in Andhra Pradesh is known for beautiful wooden toys. Toys in the shape of birds, animals, mythological characters, models of fruits and vegetables etc are chiseled out of locally available wood.

Nirmal, a village in Andhra Pradesh, is yet another toy making centre. Andhra Pradesh is also known for leather puppets. These are generally mythological figures, and some of them are about five feet tall and use vegetable dyes. Tirupati is famous for dolls made out of red wood, depicting the figures of the local deities. Madhya Pradesh is known for dolls made out of small cloth pieces. Craftsmen of Madhya Pradesh also make stuffed leather toys, which are gaily painted and generally depict various wild animals.

For Urgent Assistance :

Arts In India

Textile In India

Handicrafts In India
Craft From States
Sculpture In India

Jewelry From India

Gift Ideas In India

Accessories In India



Explore the colors and images of incredible India at this rare online gallery of Indian Paintings, consisting magnificent Madhubani paintings, mysterious Warli paintings, Patachitras, Tribal Paintings, Thangka Paintings and also contemporary Indian art paintings.