Thanks for all the support and encouragement…A bronze factory in Tanjore spanning 9 generations…Over 600 years!!!

This kindly man, Mr. Ganapthay of Cholan Art Village, made the experience of visiting his nine-generation family’s bronzing business all the more special to both of us.

There are no words to express the gratitude we feel from all the caring and supportive messages we’ve received since posting yesterday’s story of cutting our time in India short by a few weeks to travel to South Africa, where we’ll wait out the coronavirus. Thanks to every one of you.

Mr. Ganapthay warm smile won our hearts. He showed us the items at varying stages in the production.

Staying in Marloth Park, where there have been no cases of the virus as yet, and spending time with our friends, both human and animal, provide us with a sense of comfort. If you missed yesterday’s post, please click here.

Wax and sand are used in making molds.

Amid all the planning and changes, complicated by a weak WiFi signal and frequent power outages at this hotel, we barely managed to book a flight and a place to stay at one of Louise’s holiday homes

His father has spent his entire life in the business.

But, the signal is too weak at this hotel to book a hotel for one night in Nelspruit since we can’t get a rental car until the following day when all the companies at the airport will be closed when we arrive after 7:00 pm.

Using wax is an integral part of the process.

Plus, the highway we’ll travel from Nelspruit to Marloth Park is not the safest road after dark on a Friday night. As a result, we’ll spend the night in Nelspruit and get a shuttle back to the airport in the morning to pick up a car. This requires plenty of planning, which we can’t do until we arrive at our following location.

Materials used in making the molds.

It’s hard to believe that in four days, we’ll be back in Mumbai, where this all began on January 31st. We’ll spend two nights in Mumbai and head out on the 20th, only six days from today. 

The wax mold for the bronze head of a God that his brother sculps, soon to be completed.

In the interim, yesterday we had an opportunity to see some sites in Tanjore, which included a fantastic visit to the most exciting bronze-making factory one can imagine. 

This facility, the Cholan Art Village, A House of Bronze Artware, manufacturers and exporters of Chola Bronzes, Tanjore paintings, and wood carvings are located in a quiet, unobtrusive neighborhood where one might not expect this creative family-owned business to be found. 

A finished product. To see large projects, scroll down to the photos below.

Raj, our driver, escorted us indoors to be warmly greeted by the owners Mr. Ganapthay and Mr. Sakthivel, his father and his brother. 

The brother, in the process of manufacturing an item.

They were all sitting on a dirt and stone floor performing their craft, a many-step process, some of which we’ve included in today’s photos. They encouraged us to sit in the chairs provided to watch them work, as Mr. Ganapthay explained, in excellent English, how the bronze-making process transpires.

They work while on their bare feet next to scorching items.

At first, we underestimated the magnitude of this ninth generation of family working this fine craft. When Mr. Ganapthay gave us the full tour of his fantastic facility, we were thoroughly expressed by the skill and artful craft of him, his father, his brother, along with his wife’s stunning creations, as shown in more of today’s photos.

Rows upon rows of shelves filled with bronze figures for sale.

To describe the detail in their works in words would be a disservice. Seeing these outstanding works of art in person left an indelible impression that will always stay with us.

Rows upon rows of shelves filled with bronze figures for sale.

If any of our readers consider visiting India, we highly recommend visiting this small but outstanding business with artworks like none other we’ve seen anywhere in the world.

There are rooms filled with artful pieces.

Their family has been in this business for over 650 years, and it’s evident over nine generations, the craft has been honed to perfection along with a powerful sense of artful design and execution.

They will ship any items large and small to anywhere in the world. (The purchaser pays shipping costs, of course).

To reach the hard-working people at this fine business:
Cholan Art Village
No. 46 Rajan Street
Srinivasapuram, Thanjavur. Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: + 91 86100 09448

The walls are lined with beautiful pieces.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to this family for hosting our visit, which proved to be one of our favorite experiences while touring India.

Each work of art has Hindu significance.

Today, with hopefully a better WiFi signal at our following location, yet another corporate-type hotel (for one night only), we’ll be able to get back to work on bookings and planning for the future.

The detail in these large masterpieces is breathtaking.

We continue with hope and prayers that this dreadful virus can soon be behind us, and we can all return to living our lives to the fullest.

Photo from one year ago today, March 14, 2019:

Little stopped by for breakfast this morning. Will we see him when we return? For more, please click here.