Pembarthi Metal Craft is a popular metal handicraft made in Pembarthi of Warangal district, Telangana State, which is widely known for the exquisite sheet metal art works. The intricate sheet metal brass engravings and artefacts made here can be traced back to more than 800 years.
Pembarthi is a village situated about 80 km from Hyderabad. The region has witnessed glory during the period of the Kakatiya dynasty which had spanned 500 years. Pembarthi has a rich history of outstanding workmanship of the Metal workers or the “Vishwakarmas”.
Therefore, the process of Sheet metal workmanship became popular as it adorned the vigrahas (statues) as well as vahanas (chariots) of several Hindu temples. With great patronage accorded to temples in Kakatiya kingdom, the Pembarthy sheet metal work attracted attention from all over the country.
Since most of the ancient temples in Telangana region were built under the patronage of the Kakatiya rulers, these temples bear the signature style of Pembarthi craftsmen. The metal craft reached the pinnacle of perfection following the higher degree of skills that were displayed by the master craftsmen. The Vishwakaramas of the region were renowned for their rare skills in this form of metal sculpture.It is also known popularly as the Pembarti Brassware. It has become an essential artefact in every handiwork exhibition and has also become synonymous with Telangana’s artistic heritage.
After the advent of Muslim rule, Pembarti craftsmen subsequently evolved their art style and decorated individual items such as betel nut cases or paandaans, perfume containers or Ittar pots, hanging metal Chandeliers or Jhummars, vases, special plaques and mementos.
The skill survived the setbacks of political conditions while the post-independence era has witnessed resurgence of this art that reoriented according to the changed demand patterns. There has been more emphasis on the utilitarian aspect in addition to the exotic. Pembarthi Brassware, over the years has captured the essential nuances of both Hindu and Muslim influences, which has seamlessly blended into both cultures. The craft form has received the prestigious Geographical Indication, which is indeed an honour for the craft.