Nirmal Paintings & Toys



Nirmal town, nestled amidst hills and forests, is aptly called the ‘land of toys’.

Nirmal town of Adilabad occupies a leading place in the handicrafts map of
India. Specialty of this craftsmanship is the utilization of simple material which is available locally. These simple materials are transformed into exquisite crafts and art of great appeal. This art form originated in 14th century under the royal patronage of then ruling nobility. Nirmal craftsmen have earned reputation for their expertise in wooden engravings. A variety of Nirmal products in wood include furniture, toys, plaques, bangles, jewellery boxes, screens or miniature paintings.

The craftsmen use indigenous mineral and vegetable dyes for colouring their products. They even produce gold covers from herbal extracts. Experimentation of colours resulted in many transformations.


It is learnt that when this craft first started it was limited in its range. The first articles were based on figures and episodes from mythology and were purely art objects. But the dawn of 17th century saw a new horizon of this art form. The local talent advanced and articles of utility and decoration started to be manufactured.


Legend says that the Nizams of Hyderabad were very much impressed by the Nirmal craftsmanship. Once during his visit to Nirmal the Nizam was given a tremendous grand welcome. Decoration of the venue included an intricately designed banana bud whose petals were coloured gold. This embellishment was suspended above the Nizam’s seat, which unfurled and showering cascade of golden coloured petals on the Nizam. The Soma Kshatriyas or the woodcarving received the royal patronage of the overwhelmed Nizam.

Nirmal toys are made up of locally available ‘Ponki chekka’ which is very light and soft and can be cut into desired designs unfolding into attractive forms. Then various parts of the toy are joined together by specially prepared glue and coated with chinta lappam, which is prepared from sawdust and boiled tamarind seeds and coated with white clay, which softens any ridges and depressions, if any, in the toys. The toys are then dried and finally coloured with brilliant hues. Mostly indigenously prepared hues are used for colouring the toys. Synthetic colours are very rarely used.


The making of the wall plaques or the artifacts slightly varies from that of making toys. Teak wood is used here, which is well finished on lathe before painting the predefined design. Then the plaque is sprayed with Duco paint in the desired background colour. The artist then paints the already determined design. The quality of paintings is very high with intricate designs, rare artistry and skill giving rise to breath-taking beauty. Keeping pace with fast changing trends the Nirmal craftsmen have developed styles to suite the modern taste without moving away from tradition and intricacy of the art. Experimentation with colours has resulted in hues, which are very tasteful.


The Nirmal painting was developed in Hyderabad in last few decades seasoned with teak, duco paint and varnish. The ‘Nirmal Industry’ has been growing ever since its inception in 1951 at Hyderabad, which developed Nirmal paintings, and handicrafts command the international market.


From time immemorial the craftsmen have stood like backbone to the society. Without their contribution a village or a city would be incomplete.



Nirmal Toys & Arts Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd.
Govt. Boys Junior College, Nirmal, Adilabad – 504106.
Phone: 08734 – 242356




Source: Nirmal Foundation,