Telangana, one of the states being located in the southern region of the country is formed on 2nd June 2014. Hyderabad is the capital city of this state. This state gained its identity as the Telugu-speaking region, which was ruled by the Nizam of Hyderabad, joining the Union of India in 1948. Telangana is bounded by the states of Andhra Pradesh towards the east and south, Karnataka towards the west, Chhattisgarh to the north and Maharastra to the north and northwest.
Telangana, the name is derived from the word Trilinga Desa which means “the country of the three Lingas”. According to a Hindu legend, Lord Shiva descended in the form of linga on three mountains. These three mountains namely Kaleshwaram, Srisailam and Draksharama mark the boundaries of Trilinga Desa. In later days the name Trilinga Desa was transformed to Telunga or Telinga. Further, the name Telinga changed over to “Telangana”. The name “Telangana” was designed to differentiate the Telugu speaking region of the erstwhile Hyderabad State from its predominantly Marathi speaking people of Marathwada. According to some rare information, the earliest uses of the word Telangana was also called Tilangani.
The state of Telangana acquires an area of 114,840 square kilometers with a population of 35.19 million as per the census conducted in the year 2011. This state is considered to be the twelfth largest state and twelfth most populated state of India. The major cities of Telagana are Hyderabad, Warangal, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Ramagundam, Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Adilabad, Suryapet and Miryalaguda. The main focus of this article is on the craft related to a town named ‘Nirmal’ in the Adilabad district of the Indian state of Telangana.
The town Nirmal is located at 19.10o N – 78.35oE. It acquires an area of 32.06 kilometers with a population of 88,433 according to the census held in 2011. But according to a survey conducted in 2014, the population of this town is approximately 96,000. The town of Nirmal is well connected with roads and is 210km from Hyderabad, 270km away from Nagpur in Maharastra and also 658km away from Kalyan in Mumbai. Nirmal bus station is considered to be the biggest in the district. And the languages originally spoken in this town were Marathi and Gond. But the major languages used these days are Telugu and Urdu. Since 1956 Telugu has been declared the official language of this place.
The name Nirmal is derived from one of the famous rulers of the 17th century, Nimma Naidu. He was a great patron of arts and encouraged the art of toy making that flourished during his period and brought significance to the town. Toy making is a small-scale industry in this town. The wood used for toy making is teak and poniki (a unique tender wood). The traditional art of Nirmal toy making is a 400-year-old art form. This art form belongs to the genre of realistic art and was practiced by the Naqqash artisans who emerged from Karnataka. These artists were initially trained by their seniors in the workshops. The study of the physical features of the animals, birds and the shapes of fruits was their initial learning. This paved way for the artisans to master their craftsmanship by achieving perfection in the terms of proportions that were shown through the drawings. Naqqash artists were allowed to craft the wooden toys only after mastering the drawing which was followed by a training session. Thus the art of toy making practiced well and was developed. Further, these craftsmen families also prospered well in the current location.