Have you ever played with a Channapattana toy? I have, and there are many children in South India who have grown up playing with Channapattana toys. During Dasara, 70 percent of the doll arrangements in many households comprised of Channapattana toys!
Chennapattana is located on the banks of Kanva River, 60 km from Bangalore in Ramanagaram district. The City was ruled by the King Timmapparaja Urus. Jagadevaraya made Chennapattana his capital and built the fort in 1580. In 1630 Mysore Wodeyars occupied and ruled Channapattana region. Tipu Sultan captured Channapattana and destroyed the fort in 1790.
Channapattana is popular for its wooden toys, lacquer ware, and silk. The toys are colorful, safe, and environment friendly. Kitchen ware, wells, dolls, trains, motor cars, and many more are popular among children.
The same wood used to carve out the toys are used to make door curtains, key bunches, jewelry, and powder boxes. The napkin holder is very popular among foreign tourists. The toys and articles are made using Aale Mara (Wrightia tinctoria) tree. In recent days due to the shortage of Aale Mara, Lantana wood is used by the artisans.
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The history of making toys dates back to Tipu Sultan who invited artists from Persia to train the local artists on making wooden toys. Many small scale industries manufacturing the wooden toys have given employment to the local people.
This toy art is protected by World Trade Organization and administered by the Government of Karnataka.
So, the next time you enter a Channapattana toy shop, take time to browse through the various articles and buy something for yourself or as a gift. This will be your contribution to save this art from extinction.
Many mathematical games and puzzles are made by the toys manufacturers, which can keep young minds occupied. Microsoft is one of the star customers of the mathematical games, which their foundation uses to impart educate under privileged children.
Places of interest around Channapatna:
Kanva Maharshi Math and Brahmanya Theertha Brundavan is 6km away from Channapatna on the way to Kanva Reservoir
Bettada Timmappa is 13km away from Channapatna
Igloor Barrage is 20km away from the Channapatna
Revana Siddeswara Betta
Kokkare Bellur bird sanctuary
Type of place: City
Situated: Ramanagar District, Karnataka
Distance: 60 Kms from Bangalore
Transport: Well connected by road, rail
Facilities: Many restaurants line the highway between Mysore and Bangalore