This glorious wooden idol of Lord Venkateshwara is indeed a sight to behold. Sculpted with adoration for detail by the artisans of the Etikoppaka community, this handicraft retains the intimacy of creating art by hand and spreading the true joy of curation. Throughout generations, Etikoppaka has highlighted the impressive ability of cultures to withstand time, becoming monuments of a glorious past. The artisan, with his ambitious ideas, picks up a log of Ankudi Karra sourced from the local forests. From softwood to organic colors, nature paves the way to create this sustainable Balaji Etikoppaka idol. He then seasons the wood into the perfect canvas, ready to take shape into enchanting toys. Gracefully, one can witness the alchemy of turning raw wood into exquisite forms with the help of a lathe machine. Dedicating every minute of the day, the artisans of Etikoppaka deserve every bit of recognition for their innovation. Dressed in gold and finery, Lord Balaji nestled in the hill town of Tirumala is believed to be the incarnation of Vishnu. Several legends encircle the manifestation of Lord Balaji at Tirupati. Converting familiar traditions into the art of the highest order, the tireless artisans of Etikoppaka create toys that are Indian in every sense of the word. Time has led this community of artisans to seek more promising occupations. The few remaining Etikoppaka families adore their ancestral craft way too much to abandon it as they are invariably in search of hope. Rich religious and cultural themes are often the Etikoppaka staple, making them a revered Indian trademark celebrated during the great Indian festivals of Dussehra and Sankranthi.
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