Varanasi Lacquerware Toys
In addition to its holy waters and silk saris, Varanasi is also known for its hand-painted wooden toys. These wooden toys are sculpted and chiseled by artisans, and then attractively painted with bright lacquer colors. This industry is believed to have a 400-year history in the city!
While I was in Varanasi, I picked up a set of ten small deities made in this style. Each deity is about two inches tall, and is depicted traveling on his or her vahana, or vehicle. The whole set has fantastic color and detail, and all of the deities come with hooks attached, so that they can be hung from a car’s rear view mirror!