The state of Telangana is relatively new, having emerged officially on 2nd June 2014, after its separation from the state of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana was once part of the Hyderabad state that existed from 1724 and 1948, dissolving a year after India gained its independence. Before and throughout the British Raj, a former monarch of the state of Hyderabad, Nizam of Hyderabad, ruled the region of present-day Telangana. Upon the dissolution of Hyderabad state, Telangana merged with the state of Andhra, forming Andhra Pradesh. The states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will share the capital city of Hyderabad for a period of ten years.
Telangana’s heritage is an affluent mix of the traditions of Telugu, Mughal Empire and the Nizam monarchy. In the 3rd century BCE and 11th century CE respectively, the Satavahana dynasty and Kakatiya dynasty were dominant Telugu rulers of the Telangana region. It was during these periods that the Hindu language, religion, arts and culture flourished. The region of Telangana was ruled by a multitude of Indian, Turkish Muslim and Persian dynasties before the Mughal Empire came into power in the early 16th century. Telangana has amassed the traditions of various cultures before Mughal emperors, known for their adoration of the arts, popularised traditional techniques and patterns. For generations, expert weavers local to Telangana have perpetuated the traditions of the craft, and continue to do so today.
Though Telangana encompasses its own diversity of rich cultural history, part of this tradition stems from its shared history with Andhra Pradesh, in geographical, cultural and linguistic terms. The Nalgonda district, which was once part of Andhra Pradesh, is home to a myriad of villages. For generations skilled artisans and weavers have continued to reside in these villages and practise traditional textile arts. For instance, Pochampally, Gadwal and Venkatagiri (the latter in Andhra Pradesh) continue to produce fascinating traditional and contemporary Kalamkari printed and ikat woven products.
The government in Telangana has recently announced a separate policy for handloom weavers that ensures the livelihood of the traditions of Indian heritage.
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