You might be tempted to write Gnapika one off as another wannabe tourist-magnet that stocks the same old token 'handicraft items'. And, for the most part, you'd be right - but a little digging around will unearth a few unusual samples of art from all over the state.
Brave the somewhat musty interior, and you'll see some finely crafted works, like the wooden-carved Madhumala artefacts from Srikalahasti, finely spun filigree jewelry from Karimnagar, Gadwal silks and Venkatagiri cottons, a bidri
-engraved hookah, and dramatic little Cheriyal masks. Kalamkari print is the overwhelming motif, and in this line there's the painted leather lampshades, striking photo frames, bags, kurtas
, silks, and even pajamas!
The prices are reasonable, but the bummer is that the store does not accept credit cards. Like a lot of government-run enterprises, Gnapika seems to snooze under a perpetual film of dust, but if you have a few minutes to spare before your show starts at Ravindra Bharathi
, nose around here for a bit. And don't forget the hand-painted T-shirts section for smudgy, yet appealing, renditions of AP's tourist attractions.