The Timeless Charm of Channapatna Toys: A Glimpse into India's Rich Toy-Making Tradition

While traveling from Wayanad in Kerala to Bangalore about 60 km before reaching Bangalore, lies the picturesque town of Channapatna, renowned for its age-old craft of toy-making. Shops selling these vibrant, handcrafted toys dot either side of the road selling them at varied prices depending on the quality of craftsmanship and colors used. I was given a tip by a friend on where to get the same authentic chanapattana toys made in a process that was followed traditionally. I spend time visiting ArtisanPride Producer Company, an artisan-owned and managed Company.
You can buy the toys from their factory or order online here
But if you need to see the process of how this is made, you would want to set up a prior appointment by calling their number on the website contact page
Note that visiting hours are Channapatna Unit Visiting Hours are 10.30 am to 4.30 pm with prior permission and they don’t work on Sundays.

Channapatna toys trace their roots back to the 18th century, so it's a craft which is more than 300 years old, leading to its widespread recognition. This traditional craft got a geographical indication (GI) tag from the World Trade Organization in 2005. The toys made by Artisanpride also have ASTM, EN71-1, EN71-2 and EN71-3 and CE certifications.
They do care about safety standards and incorporate them in their design Read about safety standards here
Talking about sustainability, the toys are made of locally sourced wood The artisans of Channapatna primarily use a special type of softwood called 'ale mara' or Indian ivory wood. This wood is not only malleable but also eco-friendly, making it a perfect choice for crafting these intricate toys. The trees grow naturally in non-farm/non-forest lands. Hence no harmful chemicals were used. Once cut the branches grow back. All sections of wood and leftover sawdust are used or repurposed. Therefore no waste.
Colours used on these toys from artisans pride are vibrant hues from Nature - One of the distinguishing features of Channapatna toys is the use of natural dyes. Vegetable extracts and natural pigments are transformed into a vivid palette that breathes life into the toys. The result is a stunning array of colours that are safe for children and gentle on the environment.

Artisanal Expertise: A Time-Honored Tradition - The crafting process is a labour of love, beginning with the turning of the wood on a lathe. The skillful hands of the artisans sculpt the wood into various shapes, which are then hand-coloured with natural colours and polished with lac a natural tree sap. Each toy is a testament to the craftsman's dedication to preserving this traditional art form.

A Playful Ecosystem – along with the fun element, artisanpride designs toys with some learning component. The designs stimulate creativity and imagination, providing hours of fun and learning for children.

Beyond Play: A collectible Art for All of Us - These toys aren’t just playthings; they are collectibles, treasured by toy enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. The unique blend of artistry and playfulness makes them a cherished addition to any collection.

Empowering Artisans, Sustaining Communities- The legacy of artisanspride isn't just about craftsmanship; it's also about sustaining livelihoods. The artisans who create these masterpieces often inherit their skills from generations past, and their craft supports entire communities. Read about how artisanpride helps in ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

Preserving a Heritage- in a world dominated by mass-produced plastic toys, Channapatna toys stand as a testament to the enduring appeal of handcrafted artistry. By choosing these toys, we contribute to the preservation of a cultural heritage that has been passed down through centuries.

In conclusion: Channapatna toy is more than just an object. It is a piece of history, a celebration of craftsmanship, and a token of appreciation for the beauty that can be wrought from a simple piece of wood. In a world filled with fleeting trends, these toys serve as a reminder of the enduring value of artistry and tradition. They are not just toys; they are a legacy. So, the next time you hold a Channapatna toy in your hands, take a moment to appreciate the centuries of skill and artistry that went into its creation. It's not just a toy; it's a story waiting to be told.

If you want to buy authentic Channapatna toys online you can buy them from