Manali Metal Craft

Is Manali famous for metal craft?

Manali, one of the beautiful hill stations located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, is known for their varied types of metal craft. Almost every resident of the place use metal products for their different household necessities. Apart from metal ornaments, items made of sheet metals are in wide use in every Manali household. The durability of the metal wares has made them more popular than the earthenware.

Which kinds of metal crafts are found in Manali?

The skilled craftsmen of this hill station of the country of India cherish a tradition of this craft. Apart from the different household goods, some of the most famous products of metal crafts in Manali are as follows:
  1. Chariots: Royal chariots are among one of the specialties of the metal craft of Manali. Following their laborious techniques and age old practices, the craftsperson of the place construct these beautifully designed chariots.

  2. Masks: The craftsmen of Manali are known for producing metal masks. Besides beautiful designs, those masks reflect the expertise and creativity of the Manali craftsmen. This noteworthy skill has been handed down to the present craftsmen by their forefathers. These masks are either made of metals like brass, gold and silver or their amalgamations.

  3. Palanquins: Manali craftsmen are even trained to create traditional metal palanquins, which are mainly used for Gods and Goddesses.

  4. Traditional jewelry: Metal jewelry forms an integral part of the dressing pattern of Manali women. Though, in earlier days, even Manali men were fond of wearing varied metal ornaments, but nowadays, it is more popular among women. In addition to special ceremonies like marriages, festivals and fairs, women of this hill station of Himachal Pradesh love to wear ornaments made of silver or varied other low priced metals. These metal ornaments of Manali were previously featured with motifs of flora and fauna. Those heavy weighted boldly designed jewelry were worn in different parts of the body like head, forehead, ears, nose, neck, arms, fingers, wrists, toes and ankles. However, presently, keeping in mind the requirements of modern women, the craftsmen have started creating light weighted traditionally designed jewelry. Nowadays, apart from silver ornaments, gold jewelry has even become popular among Manali women. Many goldsmiths have involved themselves in this profession. To name a few of the mostly used ornaments are Bali, Balu, Bichhwa, Boomani, Chandrahar, Chhalai, Fuli, Ghungroomala, Guthi, Jaumala, Jalibandh, Jhanjar, Kangnu, Khundi, Laung, Mendkumala, Sikkamala, Tilli, Tika, Toka, Tora, Tunki etc. Besides beautiful anklets, hair ornaments, iron headed solid bangles, leaf shaped ornaments for forehead, pendants with designs of mother goddesses and necklaces or Chandanhaars, the contemporary coin necklaces is another worth mentioning form of metal craft in Manali. Chokers, silver bracelets and heavy anklets are even widely used by the locals of Manali.

Other kinds of Manali metal crafts are umbrella (Chhatra) created from the metals like gold or silver, musical instruments like drum (Dhol) and Nagara made from brass, copper made Narsingha, Bukharis, which is a kind of metal finished oven, metal statues of idols, artistically designed bells, handles, lampshades, vessels, incense burners as well as metal boxes and cupboards.

Specialty of Manali metal crafts

Metal crafts in Manali are famous for their age old motif of the flora and fauna of the local area used on metal craft production. Following the conventional manual method of crafting, the craftsmen of Manali engraves different episodes from the great epics of the country as well as the figures of Gods and Goddesses. The manual methods used by these craftsmen are mainly casting, ornamenting and engraving. The unique and typical design of these items makes these crafts in Manali different from metal crafts of other places.

Where to but these Manali metal crafts from?

These varied kinds of metal crafts in Manlai can be brought from the local markets in the place. Names of the famous market places in the hill station of Manali, which houses shops for metal crafts of the area, are given below:
  • Dragon Shopping Complex
  • Hong Kong Market
  • Lama Underground Market
  • New NAC Market
  • Shangri La Shopping Complex
  • Snow Lion Underground Market
  • Thai Market
  • The Mall Road
  • Tibetan Market

Last Updated on 02 November 2011