Sustainable Crafts of Anegundi – Empowering Local Women

Crafts Of Anegundi

The crafts of Anegundi have ushered in a socio-economic revolution of sorts, delegates from WICCI visited the village to get a first-hand experience.

Crafts Of Anegundi

The beautiful crafts of Anegundi and the indomitable women engaged in their creation drew us like a magnet to the historic and ancient capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Anegundi is a village that stands right in the middle of the crossroads of history and mythology. The Tungabhadra river flows beside the village and on the opposite bank stands the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi.

Crafts of Anegundi – Karnataka’s First Crafts Tourism Village

Crafts Of Anegundi
Handicraft from Banana Fibre

Located in the midst of the ancient ruins of the first capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, the village of Anegundi is the birthplace of some unique, contemporary handicrafts. The development of these crafts that use local materials and skills has ignited the sparks of financial independence and women empowerment. So much so, that the Government of Karnataka has a project that envisages Anegundi as Karnataka’s First Crafts Tourism Village.

The project for the development of Anegundi as Karnataka’s Craft Tourism Village is being spearheaded by the Managing Director Of KSHDC, IGP, D Roopa.

Crafts of Anegundi – Anegundi Rural Tourism

Crafts Of Anegundi
Crafts Of Anegundi

Anegundi is a unique village that has been both geographically and historically blessed. The terrain in which Anegundi is located is believed to be one of the oldest plateaus on earth, dating back to more than 4 billion years in the past.

The village that today is dwarfed by the colossal shadow of Hampi, was the place where the seeds of the grand Vijayanagara Empire were sown. Anegundi is also believed to be the Kishkinda which finds a mention in the Ramayana. Numerous signs connecting Anegundi to Neolithic, Megalithic, and Microlithic history abound in Anegundi’s vicinity.

The presence of unique local crafts that make use of the locally available resources that are not only indigenous but also sustainable, gives Anegundi the potential to be developed into a centre for sustainable rural tourism.

Anegundi is a village in the Koppal District of Karnataka, it is located about 20 kilometres from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi

Visiting Anegundi With WICCI – Karnataka Niche Tourism Council

Anegundi Hastakala Pravasodyama
Anegundi Hastakala Pravasodyama

Anegundi with its rich heritage and unique crafts attracted the attention of the Karnataka Niche Tourism Council, an arm of WICCI (Women’s International Chamber of Commerce and Industry). An event, ‘Anegundi Hastakala Pravasodyama,” was organized by the council at Anegundi with the objective of understanding the crafts of Anegundi better and interacting with the local women artisans.

A delegation that consisted of Government Officials, Travel Bloggers, Travel Writers, Academicians, and Women Entrepreneurs visited Anegundi and spent a day interacting with the women artisans engaged in different crafts in the village.

The delegation reached Hampi late at night and stayed overnight at Clark’s Inn Hampi. The enthusiastic group of women were looking forward to a wonderful experience at Anegundi, as they left Hampi for their destination.

Anegundi Hastakala Pravasodyama

The excitement was palpable in the bus as it crossed the Anegundi Bridge.

The beautiful and verdant landscapes that surround Anegundi village opened their arms in welcome. the awed delegates marvelled at the exquisite beauty of the terrain where emerald fields crisscrossed with grey boulders, that perched precariously, at ridiculous angles.

Modalane Bagilu - Anegundi Village
Modalane Bagilu – Anegundi Village

Soon the delegation passed the historic, “Modalane Bagilu,” ( ಮೊದಲನೇ ಬಾಗಿಲು, ಆನೆಗುಂದಿ ) the First Gate of Anegundi and reached the centre of Anegundi Village. From there they proceeded through the dusty lanes of the village, towards the Common Facility Centre, run by, “The Kishkinda Trust.”

Anegundi village
Anegundi village

On the way, typical village scenes played out; children prancing around. a calf dozing in the sun, a farmer cleaning his tractor, and so on.

The women of Anegundi welcomed the women from Bangalore warmly and showed them the magic of their craft, and opened their hearts to them.

Anegundi Handicrafts – Banana Fibre Craft

Artisans at work with Banana Fibre
Artisans at work with Banana Fibre

The flagship craft of Anegundi and the first of the contemporary crafts that were introduced by the Kishkinda Trust is Banana Fiber Craft. The village is surrounded by Banana plantations and the development of the Banana Fibre Craft seems a natural corollary.

Varalakshmi, who has been associated with the Kishkinda Trust since 1997, explained how they started working with natural fibres like Banana Fibre to create various items. She also recalls that in the initial years, women of the village did not venture out, but today about 400 women of the village are employed in the various crafts of the village including Banana fibre craft.

Crafts Of Anegundi
Crafts Of Anegundi

Banana fibre craft is a fusion of locally available materials and skills to create an entire range of over 500 products that include bags, hats, baskets, purses, table mats, and customized products that are made to order.

The Banana fibre is extracted from banana stems that are waste material for Banana planters. The properties of the Banana fibre make it ideal for making sustainable and eco-friendly products. The fibre is fully biodegradable, heat and fire-resistant, and has high tensile strength. Because of its tensile nature, the fibre can be spun into thick ropes or even slender threads.  The Banana fibre craft not only provides income and meaningful employment to the women of Anegundi but is also a source of extra income to the Banana farmers from whom the banana stems are procured.

Nandini at Kishkinda Trust
Nandini at Kishkinda Trust

Nandini who is a local and after graduating in Commerce works with the Kishkinda Trust, explained the process involved in Banana fibre craft. She explained that raw fibre from the Banana stems was soaked in water and later fashioned into ropes of different thicknesses in a manual process.

The ropes were numbered based on their thickness and would be used depending on the products being made, for example, thicker ropes would be used for products like floor mats and baskets, and ropes with less thickness would be used for making jewellery etc.

Weaving Magic With Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth
Water Hyacinth

Another innovative craft that uses sustainable and indigenous resources is the craft of making items of everyday use like handwoven baskets, and holders, from Water Hyacinth. What is truly remarkable about this craft is that it is helping in the de-weeding and conservation of the marine life of the Tungabhadra river.

Water Hyacinth
Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth is a notorious weed that proliferates in water bodies and is a hazard to the marine systems as it cuts off the oxygen flow to marine life.

With each twist and turn of the Water Hyacinth, the women of Anegundi are contributing to the conservation of their environment and saving of our rivers.

Craft From Tamarind Powder

Craft From Tamarind Powder
Craft From Tamarind Powder

Another unique craft that the delegates of the WICCI – Karnataka Niche Tourism Council learnt about, was the craft of making jewellery and decorative items using a mix of Tamarind Powder and Wood Powder.

They watched as the women fashioned the elements of Torans and Necklaces. The process involves mixing Tamarind powder and Wood powder and kneading the mixture with the help of a little water into the required shapes. These shapes would then be dried and baked in the sun to be later painted with a coat of white primer and the required colour.

Kaleidoscopic Kaudi Craft

Kaudi Craft
Kaudi Craft

Clothes of different colours were sewn together into a colourful mosaic to function as a laptop cover.

Kaudi Craft
Kaudi Craft

A few women worked on this craft, known as Kaudi craft, involving the stitching of pieces of cloth of different colours to fashion apparel, and other items.

Interaction With The Women Artisans

Interaction With The Women Artisans
Interaction With The Women Artisans

The women from Bangalore were blown away by the dedication and camaraderie of the women of Anegundi. The women of the village opened their hearts as they talked about their work and their lives.

Anegundi Handicrafts
Anegundi Handicrafts

Apart from being enlightened about the crafts that the women worked on, the visitors got some glimpses of the way of life of the Anegundi women. Discussions included local topics like the Anegundi Rathotsavam that was happening in the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, the Ramzan month and how some of the women had prepared a feast of Biriyani in their homes.

The Banana Fibre Craft Of Anegundi

It was an immersive experience as the delegates sat with the artisans and literally learned the ropes. The delegates tried their hands at the different crafts and experienced for a brief time, the life of the women of Anegundi and their craft.

WICCI KNT Members at Anegundi

It was a pleasant sight to behold as the women worked and chatted as a team, not for them the barriers of caste or religion, they were united by the crafts of Anegundi. The women came to work in the centre after finishing their household chores, and some of them came with their kids.

Kids at Anegundi
Zara and Zoya – Kids at Anegundi

Zara and Zoya recited a poem, and then little Zara held everyone spellbound with her dancing skills.

Crafts of Anegundi – Way Forward

Women artisans at Anegundi
Women artisans at Anegundi

The women artisans of Anegundi supported by the Kishkinda Trust have carved a trailblazing path, paved with women’s empowerment. They have fueled the development of Anegundi Karnataka, as a sustainable tourism destination. They have been instrumental in giving birth to contemporary crafts including the pioneering Banana Fiber Craft. The Banana Fibre Craft Of Anegundi has propelled Kishkinda crafts onto the global arena.

What is truly amazing is the fact that the women have not rested on their laurels but have continuously innovated in the pursuit of excellence and evolution of new, sustainable artisanal handicrafts.

Crafts Of Anegundi

This has led to more and more innovative products and the process continues. In the words of Varalakshmi, their aim is to ensure that visitors to Anegundi can get all types of craft products, and more and more women of the region get employment.

The Kishkinda Trust is in the process of transitioning the complete operations and ownership of the craft-making units to the local community. The Hari Dharthi Cooperative has been established with this objective in mind. The State Government too now has its focus on Anegundi crafts and is looking to develop it as Karnataka’s First Craft Tourism Village.

The future of Anegundi can be seen in the shining eyes of little Zara and the shy half-smile of Zoya.

Kids at Anegundi
Kids at Anegundi

It rests on the fragile shoulders of Dhanush, Keshu, Rahul, Zara, Zoya and other kids of Anegundi who study in the local Government school.

The future of Anegundi and its crafts also depends on travel and tourism stakeholders including travellers, Government agencies, and others. Though the smile never leaves the faces of the strong and empowered women of Anegundi, the pandemic has dealt a blow to their craft, as their mainstay had been overseas markets.

Crafts Of Anegundi
Crafts of Anegundi

The least that can be done by travel enthusiasts as part of responsible tourism is to visit Anegundi, which has so much to offer and contribute to its economy.

Bidding Adieu To Anegundi

With the artisans at Anegundi
With the artisans at Anegundi

It was soon time for the delegates to take leave of Anegundi. As they left the village of Anegundi behind, they carried within their hearts, the spirit of the indomitable women of Anegundi who had worked a revolution of sorts and brought about socio-economic change in their village.

But if you are in Anegundi, it is impossible to leave without visiting at least one of the monuments of Hampi.

WICCI KNT Members at Hampi
At Hampi

So before heading back to Bangalore, the delegates paid a flying visit to feast their eyes on the iconic stone chariot of Hampi, at the beautiful Vittala temple.

Other Top Attractions of Anegundi

Navabrindavanam - Anegundi Village
Navabrindavanam – Anegundi Village
  • Anegundi Navabrindavanam
  • Anegundi fort, Hampi/Vali’s Fort
  • 64 pillars mandapa
  • Durga temple
  • Ganesha Cave temple
  • Pampa Sarovar Near Anegundi
  • Pampa Sarovar Lakshmi Temple
  • Anegundi Lord Ranganatha Temple
  • Jain Temple
  • Chintamani Shiva Temple
  • Anegundi Hanuman temple/Anjanadri Betta
  • Gagan Mahal
  • Huchapparayana Matha
  • Vali’s Cave
  • Subramanyaeshwara temple
  • First Gate (Modaline Bagalu)
  • Tombs of The Royal Family
  • Morya Mane
  • Onke Kindi

How To Reach Anegundi

Anegundi Bridge
Anegundi Bridge with Tungabhadra River in the vicinity

Anegundi makes for a great Karnataka rural tourism destination, it has the vibes of a typical Karnataka village and is home to some of the pioneering crafts of the state. Anegundi is also very close to Hampi, one of the best heritage tourism destinations in India.

  • Location is Anegundi, Gangavathi taluk, Koppal district, Karnataka
  • Anegundi to Hampi distance is about 20 kilometres
  • Bangalore to Anegundi distance is about 356 kilometres

Reaching By Air

The nearest airport to Anegundi is the Jindal Vijaynagar Airport at Torangallu at a distance of about 47 kilometres. You can proceed to Anegundi by hiring a cab from the airport.

Reaching By Train

The nearest Railway Station to Anegundi is Hosapete Junction at a distance of about 27 kilometres. There are trains running to and from places like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Tirupati, Mysore, etc., that halt at Hospet railway station.

Reaching By Road

Anegundi is easily accessible by road from all places in Karnataka. Private and Government buses are available for Hospet and Hampi from Bangalore, and other places. One can also visit Anegundi Hampi on a road trip.

If you are planning to visit Anegundi – Karnataka Crafts Tourism Village, you can book a cheap flight right here through TripAdvisor or CheapAir or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline right here.  if you are thinking of a road trip to Anegundi from Bangalore or anywhere in India check out the rental car and bus options.

Where To Stay In Anegundi

Clarks Inn Hotel, Hampi
Clarks Inn Hotel, Hampi

You can stay in Hampi or Hospet where there are different accommodation options available. If you are travelling by air, you can also stay at the Hyatt Place Hampi, which is very near the airport. Clark’s Inn is a good 3-star hotel in Kamalapura near Hampi. You can also check out the best places to stay in Hampi.

If you want to book any of the above hotels or any of your choice, you can do that right here.

For your Anegundi accommodation, if you are looking for the best hotels in Anegundi to book, you can do that right here. You can book your hotel in Anegundi through TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline conveniently right here!

Click to book the best hotels in Anegundi, Karnataka or the best hotels in Hampi
Click to book the best Airbnb in Hampi and Airbnb in Anegundi

We hope you are as inspired as us by reading about the crafts of Anegundi powered by the strong women of Anegundi. We also hope that you make it to Anegundi soon, and give a boost to the local economy in whatever small measure possible.

If you have liked this Anegundi post, please do share it on your social media handles to help spread more awareness of this rural tourism destination. Subscribe to our blog for more unique content and follow us on our social media platforms.

Are you planning a last-minute Holiday?

Below are some useful resources to help you book flights, hotels, and tours! And also clothes, luggage and accessories for your trip!

Flights –  TripAdvisor or CheapAir or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline

Tours –  Click here to book top tours around the world

Hotels – Click to book the best hotels/resorts
Choose best stay options with TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or ixigo  or Makemytrip or goibibo or Hotelscombined or Priceline

Apparels – Click to buy Menswear or Womenswear or Kidswear

Accessories/Luggage – Click to buy Accessories and Luggage items

Beauty Products – Click to buy Personal Care and Beauty Products 

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 Crafts Of Anegundi

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4 thoughts on “Sustainable Crafts of Anegundi – Empowering Local Women”

  1. It was so good to learn about the sustainable crafts of Anegundi. I loved reading about the Banana fibre craft in particular. I’d want to buy the bags, hats, baskets, purses, table mats, and other customized products.

  2. Bedabrata Chakraborty

    Anegundi as Karnataka’s Craft Tourism Village would undoubtedly be very interesting. Karnataka is a treasure trove of traditional crafts of India. I have been to Hampi but was not aware of this village. Gives me another reason to visit that part of India again. I still believe Indian handicrafts are among the best in the world.

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