Category Archives: Andhra Pradesh

Trivia: Andhra Pradesh’s “Tholu Bommalata”!




Sometimes all you need is a splash of colors because
the purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most ❤


Andhra Pradesh’s “Tholu Bommalata” based handmade colorful lampshades.


  • These colorful lamps are made mainly on goat leather using colorful vegetable dyes.
  • The craft of making these lamp shades is related to a very old but fast disappearing traditional folk form of leather puppetry known as Tholu Bommalata
  • The form originated way back in 200 BC under the Satvahana dynasty
  • The social group engaged in this craft is the Marathi Balija (originally from the Marathwada region)
  • Puppet making was a flourishing business, especially when puppetry was one of the main forms of entertainment in villages.
  • With the decline of shadow puppet theatre, leather puppet makers are being forced into making items such as colorful lampshades or even toys using their art.
  • Lampshades are made with the help of a mould. The leather (two halves) is wrapped around it and stitched together. The artisan makes designs on it, using a pencil. The designs are mainly mythological figures and sometimes his/her own creations. Once done the outlines are painted with black. Vibrant colors are filled in with vegetables dyes. Small holes are chiseled in the patterns using a pogaru (chisel) which enhance the attractiveness of the lamp.


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Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe