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.
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,
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.
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
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.
Phone: 323 2657/323 3663
3) Lepakshi Handicrafts Emporium, Gunfoundry,
Hyderabad. Phone: 323 5028 / 321 2902