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Home > Discover Hyderabad > Art & Culture > Bidri
Bidri -A Dazzling metal inlay art  

A Bidri item An exquisite art is being practiced in India since many centuries. Named after Bidar town in Karnataka, the world famous Bidri art has attracted the attention of connoisseurs of art with its charm, beauty and grandeur. Zealously guarded by its practitioners, the art has successfully expressed the experiences of the Sufis, the aesthetic values of the Moghuls and the yearning of warriors to decorate their ornaments of valour - swords, daggers, lances and shields. Today, Bidri has been aptly contemporised producing cuff links, name plates, vases, bangles, bracelets, dishes, bowls, betel boxes, water bottles, book stands, mirror frames, ash trays, plates, jewellery boxes and more. But always retaining the old grandeur that won the heart of many a king, warrior, scholar and commoner.

Glittering Bidri itemsBehind the breathtaking beauty of Bidri lies hours of painstaking effort by the artisans. Broadly speaking, there are four main stages in the manufacture of Bidri which includes casting, engraving, inlaying and oxidizing. The articles are first first cast with the help of moulds of red clay into which the molten solution of copper and zinc prepared in the ratio of 1:6 is poured. The surface of the rough cast of the articles is filed and smoothened with sand paper and then rubbed with a solution of copper sulphate to impart a dark surface to provide a suitable base for the next stage of tracing the design and engraving. The designs are traced by hand, by the craftsmen with the help of chisels. Next, pure silver wire or sheet (gold in rare cases) is hammered into the grooves of the design and the surface smoothened with the help of a buffing machine. In the ultimate interesting stage, the aArtifact made of Bidrirticles are heated gently and treated with a solution of sal-ammoniac and earth taken from old fort buildings which has the effect of making the entire surface turn jet black providing a distinct contrast to the shining silver inlay. It is this contrast that lends Bidri a uniqueness that no other metalware could possibly claim. Finally, oil is rubbed on the piece to deepen the black matt coating.

A jewellery boxBut how did the Bidri art originate in India? This dazzling art of silver inlay on metal has always kept historians guessing. Various accounts exist about its origin and entry into India and subsequently Andhra Pradesh. If one were to believe the craftsmen themselves, they say that the art originated in Iran seven centuries ago and was brought down to India by migrants from the Persian country.

Given below are addresses of some of the shops where one can find the exquisite collection of Bidri crafts.

1) Mahboob Bidri Crafts, 10-5-1/2 Masab Tank Lane, opposite Diamond Sweet House, Hyderabad. Phone: 329 1592.

2) Bidri Crafts (Manufacturers, Exporters, wholesalers & retailers) 5-9-322/4 Gunfoundry Hyderabad.
323 2657/323 3663

3) Lepakshi Handicrafts Emporium, Gunfoundry, Hyderabad. Phone: 323 5028 / 321 2902


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