The Magic Of Athangudi Tiles


The villages of India, thousands of them, are famous for various reasons. Some for their geographical position, some for historical. But some of them are well known for the craftsmanship unique to that area. One such village is Athangudi, in Shivagagai District of Tamilnadu, India.





Athangudi tiles are named after the place of manufacture in Chettinad, Tamil Nadu. They come in myriad colors and patterns and are made by a unique process using the local soil. These tiles are a testimony to the rich cultural heritage of the Chettiar community, who effectively adapted many influences to their own brand of local craftsmanship. The designs and colors used in Athangudi Tiles still carry on the methods and patterns of a bygone era. However, off late new designs and patters are being incorporated. The artisans say the charisma of these tiles is due to the sand, which is of just the right composition.
The Athangudi tiles are completely hand-made. Even before invasion of mechanized making of floor tiles such as ceramic, vitrified, marble and granites,these flowering tiles of Athangudi were a match of its own class and they competed with imported ones of Japan and Italy.
However, having little shelf life and relatively slow manufacturing process, these tiles are not much in demand. The situation has led to the decline in the market. Athangudi tiles need revival. It needs support and encouragement.

Hope this rich cultural heritage is not lost in times to come.



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