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Gnapika

Gnapika
Deepa Menon / fullhyd.com
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.
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