Andhra Pradesh is blessed with thick forest cover, which has contributed to the state’s diverse tradition of wooden crafts. There are many places in the state, each with its own remarkable legacy of wooden craft work. Etikoppaka, Bobbili, Kondapalli, are some examples of towns known for famous wooden toys, crafts and musical instruments etc. Andhra Pradesh is also quite famous for its Udayagiri Cutlery, made in Udayagiri town of Nellore district. The product is in great demand all over.
The origin of the craft dates back to 14th century, during the rule of Gajapathi Kings. It was later patronized by the rulers of Vijayanagara Empire. Although the art lost its popularity for a brief period in the interim, the Nawabs and Jagirs’ rule in 18th and 19th century led to its revival, with people from the Muslim community preparing the cutlery from the wood available around the forests of Udayagiri. Even to this day, there are many communities involved in creating the attractive items of great value and excellent utility.
The major cutlery items made of wood are forks, spoons, knives, salad bowls and other wooden crafts which are very popular among the customers. These are bought by well-known hotel and interior design brands of major cities, for their exquisite quality and attractive appearance. Lepakshi, the Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation, has succeeded in bringing Geographic Indication (GI) to Udayagiri Cutlery. With the passing of time, new techniques have been introduced and many families in the town of Udayagiri are involved in creating some of the finest quality wooden cutlery that has brought name and fame, including GI tag for this unique art work. When compared to plastic, choosing wooden cutlery is an eco-friendly option. Therefore, it is also an environmentally sustainable craft. The cutlery has attained so much popularity, that the town of Udayagiri has become synonymous with this special artistic tradition.