India has a splendid tradition and history of wooden toys since 5000 years. Toys are known as the timeless creation which guides children to adulthood. Wooden toy making is part of every state’s art and culture in India, but only few place work is most famous and followed as traditional craft from centuries. Among such states Sawantwadi of Maharashtra is also known for its amazing work in wooden toys craft.
Sawantwadi is famous for its art and culture, popularly known for Ganjifa playing cards and wooden toys made from mango tree. The craft is traditionally done by the Chitari or Chitrakar community recognized by the king. These communities migrated from Karwada and settled in Sawantwadi. These families survived mainly by supplying handicrafts items to the royal families. Later other communities also adopted this craft because of its commercial success. Queen Satwasheela Devi continues the tradition even today, where many of the families are involved in Ganjifa cards and wooden toys making. The toys are made by assembling flat shaped solid wood. Seasoned mango wood is chiseled or carved into desired toy shape. The cutout pieces are finished on a sander, painted and assembled.