There are quite a few places in Telangana, which share a great association with art and culture. These areas have become noted over the years, providing livelihood for thousands of artisans, while earning name and fame, for the hand-made artefacts. Pembarthi Metal Craft is a popular metal handicraft made in Pembarthi town of Telangana. The town is well-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 situated about 80 km from Hyderabad and shares an illustrious history of the exquisite workmanship displayed by the metal workers or the “Vishwakarmas”. The region has witnessed glory during the period of the Kakatiya dynasty in medieval times. The process of sheet metal workmanship became popular as it adorned the vigrahas (statues) and vahanas (chariots) of several Hindu temples from medieval times. With great patronage given to temples in Kakatiya era, the Pembarthi 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.
After the advent of Muslim rule, Pembarthi 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 metal craft reached the pinnacle of perfection as a result of the higher degree of skills displayed by the master craftsmen. The Vishwakaramas of the region are renowned for their skill in this metal art. This art is also known as the Pembarti Brassware. It has become an essential artefact in every handiwork exhibition and has also become synonymous with Telangana’s artistic heritage. In the post independence era, the region has witnessed resurgence of this art that reoriented itself in tune with the changed demand patterns. There has been more emphasis on the utilitarian aspect in addition to the exotic. Over the years, Pembarthi Brassware has reflected a synthesis of both Hindu and Muslim influences, which has seamlessly blended in this art form. The craft has received the prestigious Geographical Indication, which represents the distinct identity of this craft.