Craftsman Mr. Shabbir Nag lives in Bhelwapadrapara area of Kondagaon. He hails from a family, which was not always a craftsman by occupation, but slowly picked up the work with guidance of the fellow members of “Ghadwa” community. Now many craftsmen work under him and are responsible for the production of bell metal artifacts in bulk. He is one the prosperous member of the bell metal community in Bhelwapadrapara.
This place is also famous for the legend Dr. Jaidev Baghel, also known as the “shilp guru”. Born in Kondagaon, he belongs to the artisan community. He learnt the techniques of casting metals from his father, a well-known craftsman of his time. A winner of the National Award in 1977 and several other awards shows his outstanding skills and strength in the craftsmanship. It is said that he is the reason for the current successful state of the craft form. Dr. Jaidev Baghel has traveled all around the world with his exhibitions. He lives with his wife, sons and daughters. Rajendra Baghel, nephew of Dr. Baghel is also doing good work in the same field and tries to incorporate what he has learnt from his uncle.
Karanpur is a tiny village, 40 km from Kondagaon, surrounded by lush green jungles. It is home traditional bell metal craftsmen Bhondia Ram Baghel and his son Manglu Baghel. They still use the oldest technique of casting, which is fixing the metal pot with the cast and usage of pure bee wax. Bell metal figures made by them are more pure (non-commercialized) in their form. It’s hard not to fall in love with their traditional art form. Jhimtu Sagar is another famous artisan who lives in the same village.