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Society, Environment and Culture

The IDS Tour to Sawantwadi would not have been successful if it hadn't been for our Dear Faculty members and Dean, who made this Tour possible for us with such ease and comfort.

I'd want to express my gratitude to Mr. Amit Chitari Sir for taking the time to show us around the Wooden Toy Factory and demonstrate the full process.
I'd want to express my gratitude to the Sawantwadi Palace, particularly Yuvrani Shraddha Bhonsle ma'am, for allowing us to collaborate with them on learning the Ganjifa Art Form.
I'd want to express my gratitude to Mr. Chetan Gangavne Sir for showing us around the Thakar Aadiwasi Kala Aangan and telling us about their forefathers' achievements.
I'd want to express my gratitude to Kala Aangan for putting on such a fantastic puppet show for the students. Seeing a puppet show in person was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Finally, I'd like to express my gratitude to my batchmates for looking out for one another and for being such an incredible Batch to have such an amazing Tour with.





6. Thakar Adiwasi Kala Angan

(Thakar Art Museum)


5. Sawantwadi Ganjifa Art-form


1. Title Page

2. Acknowledgement

3. Index

4. Chitari Wooden Toy Factory





  • Introduction
  • History
  • Materials
  • Process

  • Relevance to Design
  • Experience in terms of Cultural, Environment and community
  • Conclusion



  • Introduction
  • History
  • Materials
  • Process

  • Relevance to Design
  • Experience in terms of Cultural, Environment and community
  • Conclusion




  • Introduction
  • History
  • Materials
  • Process

  • Relevance to Design
  • Experience in terms of Cultural, Environment and community
  • Conclusion




7. Thanks!


Chitari Wooden Toy Factory

Part - 1


  • Toys are known as timeless creation which guides children to adulthood.
  • Wooden toy making is one of the most important part of Maharashtra's art and culture.
  • For the past, four generations, the "Chitari" family of Sawantwadi has been actively preserving and promoting the traditional art of wooden toy making.



  • These toys are always in-demand as they are very durable and attractive.
  • They last up to (approx.) 50 years.
  • Wooden toy making is a unique art form that demands skills like material handling, cutting, carving, precision, etc.
  • A variety of wooden toys are made in the Chitari toy factory ranging from a simple spherical ball to complex toys like a kitchen set.




  • The artform is promoted and preserved by Mr. Amit Chitari
  • Originally they were known as "Shirodkar" which later came down to be "Chitari"
  • The word "Chitari" comes from the word "Chitrakar" (which means someone with an artistic sense)
  • Mr. Amit Chitari has completed his graduation from Sir J.J. School of Art in the year 2010.



  • Throughout the years he has gained a lot of experience in toy making
  • A total of 8 families are involved in the toy factory along with Mr. Chitari.
  • Among the 3 Units that belong to the family, Mr. Chitari is running the biggest one.

  • Primarily, the wood from "Jamun" tree is used for the making of the toys.
  • "Jamun" wood is soft and edible and therefore safe for kids of age group 1 to 12.
  • Apart from the "Jamun" tree, the factory also uses wood from Mango, Jackfruit, Acacia, and a few more locally available trees.
  • All the raw material is purchased locally.



  • Along with the woods as raw material, machines like CNC router machines, CNC turning lathe machines, drilling machines, surface spinners, and sanding machines are also used in the factory.
  • One of the important materials used for the finishing are Non-Toxic colors, Lacquers, and spray paints.




The wood is locally purchased from farmers and sent for further processing like sizing wood blocks and planks

Collection of raw materials

Generally, it takes around a month for the wood to naturally dry before it is taken for making toys.


The wooden pieces are then taken through the CNC router machine where it gets cut and refined into required pattern.

The router machine is very powerful. It consists of different blades and settings.

The CNC Router

RPM - 60,000


Once the wooden pieces are gone through the router machine, they are sent into the CNC Turning Lathe Machine.

Here, a specific design (made in AutoCAD) is fed into the machine then the clean block of wood is carved by spinning and is imprinted with the design.


CNC Turning Lathe

RPM 2500

Drilling Machine

Depending upon the type of toy, a drilling machine is used to drill holes.

Unlike other electronic machines used in the factory, this one is used manually.


In the surface spinner, the carved out wooden piece is leveled and made even


Surface Spinner


Sanding is done to make the wooden surface smoother.

It helps to preserve the texture for the paints to settle.


  • Non-Toxic Asian Paints are used to paint these toys so that the children won't be affected by allergies or infections caused by the paints.
  • Spray painting is also done for some toys that need precision and detail
  • A Lathe machine spins with limited speed to color the final product



  • Wood toy carving can provide designers with a greater grasp of materials and their handling methods, which can be a huge source of inspiration.
  • It's also helpful for students who aren't used to working with soft materials.
  • The way we handle a material is strongly connected to how they carve wooden toys.

Relevance to design


  • To begin with, it brings me great pleasure to watch how a community is working to preserve the art form alive in the face of adversity.
  • An artist can only work in a specific environment, an environmental aspect is a must.
  • The processes that occur in the surroundings as a whole are the outcome of one of the most important factors - the environment.
  • The atmosphere creates a bubble to work, which is essential for designing.
  • This Factory has taught me about our country's enormous and long-forgotten civilizations, and how they are slowly vanishing.

Experience in terms of Cultural, Environment and community




The Wooden Toy Factory was a lovely visit that taught us a lot about how traditional toys are made out of wood in accordance with their culture and community.

This is a one-of-a-kind art form that must be preserved at all costs, and as designers, all we can do right now is spread the word among people we know, urge them to visit their location, and aid them in any way we can.

Amit Chitari Sir wants these toys to be marketed all across the world, but that can only happen if they are recognized on a national level.

Sawantwadi Ganjifa Art-form

Part - 2


  • Sawantwadi Palace is located in the city of Sawantwadi, right in front of Moti Lake.
  • The word 'Ganjifa' comes from the Persian word 'Ganjifeh,' which means 'cards.'
  • The elaborate borders of playing cards designed and played by the Royal Family are the main inspiration for this art genre.
  • The palace Darbar hall has been turned into a working space for artists.



  • Natural colours have been replaced with poster colours, and cloth and royal shells or ivory have been replaced with plain paper, although they are still wrapped in Ganjifa-style hand-painted wooden boxes.
  • Darchitri, Navgraha, Shivaji Maharaj, Mughal Ganjifa, and Dashavtara are some of the current designs.
  • The Dashavatara Ganjifa is based on Lord Vishnu's 10 incarnations.




  • Around 350 years ago, the Mughals brought the game of Ganjifa to India from their homeland of Persia.
  • It was discovered in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Mysore, and Maharastra, with the art remaining solely in Mysore and Maharastra.
  • Ganjifa is a royal court card game that is considerably distinct from the modern card game.
  • The modern deck of cards contains 52 cards, whereas the Ganjifa deck contains 96 or 106.
  • Additionally, each card is totally hand-painted and features a unique design.
  • Different sets are created, each with a different amount of cards.



  • Ivory, tortoiseshell, and other materials were used to make cards during the Mughal Empire.
  • Darbar Kalam was the name given to these cards for the royal court, and Bazaar Kalam was given to them when locals began to play them.
  • These cards were simple and inexpensive, made of cloth and cardboard, but as time progressed, the entrance of the British brought with them the contemporary game of printed cards that is being played today.
  • Because the cards were produced rather than hand-painted, they were less expensive. They also brought games like poker with them, which piqued people's curiosity, and the game of ganjifa began to go away day by day.

  • Natural colours such as mustard for yellow, teak leaves for red, lime for white, and various fruits for Indigo were formerly used by the artists.
  • The artists used handmade sheets as a foundation for the Ganjifa Cards.
  • They currently use Poster colours since they have a wider colour spectrum and allow for colour mixing.




  • The process of painting Lord Vishnu's Dashavtar on a Ganjifa card begins with the card's borders and advances to the centre.
  • After that, complex embellishments are added to the borders. The details are alternatively painted with leaves and dots.

Preparation of Ganjifa


  • The figure in the centre is painted by hand without the use of a reference or a tool.
  • Because it is totally reliant on a single effort, the entire process of generating the card is difficult and time-consuming.


  • Color Theory could be related to the Ganjifa Art Form. Because of the Color Harmony assignments we had attempted, the colours and combinations were much more understood.
  • The painting abilities and precision required were accomplished admirably.
  • The detailing is really precise and detailed. This gives a nice touch to the overall appearance.
  • Years of experience with this Art Form were evident in the work of the artists performing Ganjifa.
  • This Art Form demonstrates how elaborate a painting can be on a small piece of paper and how much more detail can be added.

Relevance to design


  • The Ganjifa Art Form has a wide range of characteristics in terms of culture, environment, and community.
  • With its intricate detailing and depiction of the Dashavatar, the art form demonstrates the richness of their culture.
  • The Art Form is what unites the community around a shared trait.

Experience in terms of Cultural, Environment and community




To sum up my feelings about this Art Form, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to discover and understand this completely unknown Art Form.

This is only one of the various art types seen throughout this diverse country.

This is also a better approach to demonstrate the Art form's diversity and flexibility while also demonstrating how rigid it is in its own terms.

The traditional ganjifa style is also being incorporated into a boutique hotel concept.
This is a fantastic project because, rather than giving them flyers to look at, bringing them to a hotel where they can see this art form on the walls, tableware, and much more is a much better idea.

Thakar Adiwasi Kala Angan

(Thakar Art Museum)

Part - 3


  • As the name suggests, Thakar Art Kala Aangan is a museum and art gallery that was established from the ground up on their own land.
  • This Art Gallery has displayed their forefathers' work in Chitrakathi, Puppetry, and Shadow Puppetry, among other art forms.
  • Chitra is a picture, and Kathi is a storyteller. Chitrakathi literally translates to "story-telling via art."



  • Puppetry is an art form in which puppets and singing are used to perform short stories or anecdotes from the past.
  • Puppetry is not the same as shadow puppetry. A Diya is put behind the puppets to generate a silhouette on the screen.
  • Singing and moving puppets are also used to perform short stories and well-known anecdotes with this sort of puppetry.




  • This museum was founded in 2006 by Shri Parshuram Gangavne.
  • Because they were seen as people who expected 'Bheeksha,' their forefathers eventually stopped practising Chitrakathi.
  • Scenes from epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata were represented in the paintings.
  • It's worth noticing that the monkeys use canons to rouse Kumbhakarana in some of the photographs, such as one when they utilise canons to stir him up. At the period, however, there were no such things as canons.



  • As a result, we can deduce that the artwork dates from the Shivaji era, when canons were in use, and that they had heard the sound of the canons.
  • It has to do with how loud it is and how it will assist Kumbhakarana in waking up.
  • This also shows how they must have assumed the presence of canons at the time and how this would have affected the beings and deities of the period.

  • A variety of woods were used to make the instruments.
  • Natural colours were used to produce the artworks, which were then printed on handmade papers.



  • The puppets' heads were solid, but the clothes had stuffing for hands to give the bodies a human-like shape.
  • Shadow Puppets are made from coat leather. The sketching is done on leather. Following that, the chopping begins. The holes are finally punched, and the colouring can begin. For a live performance, a Diya is maintained inside as a source of light.




  • Let's start with the first thing we see. In the form of a hut, a representation of how people used to live in the past is presented. Some of the tools that were used at the time can also be seen. These items were used for everyday duties including fishing and gardening.
  • And then there were their forefathers' masterpieces of art. Between the ages of 300 and 350. These were made on homemade off-white paper. Because there were faces and body parts to be seen, this off-white tone was ideal, it assisted with the colour. Blue for particular beings such as Kumbhakarana or Ram, as well as numerous animals, and red and green for clothes.

A walk through the Museum


  • Dona Wadya, Huduk, Taal, Veena, and other instruments were used by the Ancestors. Each was unique in its own right, with its own sound and purpose.
  • The Dona Wadya (Dona- Vessel; Wadya- Stick) was a musical instrument produced by an open rectangular vessel held upside down with two sticks scraped on the surface with ash which produces a unique melody. This instrument was designed with a specific purpose in mind. It was used to rouse Lord Krishna from his slumber in order to worship him.
  • Puppets were shown, followed by a puppet show with Ramayana anecdotes or short stories. The puppets were not moved much as deities, and the deities are depicted as calm and peaceful.


• The Thakar Art Museum displays Parshuram Gangavne's and his family's efforts to preserve their ancestors' works and traditions.

• The art depicts the Ancestors' creativity and how they used numerous elements into their works of art.
• The Museum is a self-created institution for individuals to come learn about and study.
• The fact that every inch of the Kala Aangan was built and brought up by hand demonstrates how important design is. Design is the process of creating anything from scratch that is worthy of being showcased. Putting forward what has to be put forth.
• This teaches a lot about how to present our culture and history in such a graceful manner that it becomes a study topic for students.

Relevance to design


• Kala Aangan depicts the richness and diversity of several communities' cultures.

• For the Ancestors' works, we receive a sense of both individuality and diversity at the same time.
• How they have gotten the most out of their surroundings while yet respecting nature.
• How the environment is used to build a museum and an art gallery
• Art unites the community, and art is how the world learns about them.
• Their work precision and dedication plainly demonstrates their devotion to the Lord.

Experience in terms of Cultural, Environment and community




• The artists of the time were decades ahead of their time in terms of creativity. Each picture, as well as the way the story is narrated, is represented in a clear, simple, and correct manner. There isn't much to ponder about while looking at the artwork.

• The artworks are self-explanatory.
• The instruments are radically distinct in terms of tone, purpose, and genre.
• Finally, because this Art Form exhibits material manipulation, painting, layout, innovations and discoveries, and building, it is a great way to summarise all of the Art Forms studied.