Translated from the Sanskrit language “Artha" means meaning, sense, goal, purpose or essence and these 5 aspects are what we seek to convey through our products and philosophy. Directly reflecting the meaning of the name, our company was created with a goal and purpose: to create unique and authentic home and personal accent pieces while supporting the livelihoods and the craft of artisans in various regions around the globe.
Incredible landscapes dominated by huge boulder formations, dry heat, and hot wind, an abundance of palm trees, rice fields, duck “herds”, cows and goats all roaming freely are all the different things you come across when traveling to meet the basket weavers of Anegundi.
Off the courtyard of a small house on one of the typical village lanes, we meet the artisans. Only a few of them are there busy crocheting baskets of various shapes and sizes. Depending on the number of orders they receive, not all artisans have work and therefore might have to find other sources of income in times of slow production. The house, where we sit to chat with the artisans and learn their process of basket making, acts as their community and work center and is also the storage area for coils of rope and completed orders. We learn of the time-consuming technique involved in the crocheting of the banana fiber rope into a basket and it is impressive to see how the pieces they are crocheting in front of us start to take shape from just a singular strand of rope. Like with any group of women, the artisans are gossiping away. It is great to see how this work provides them not only with an income, but also with an opportunity to be a part of a small community, and to benefit from the social life that it provides them with.
The heat is intense during our stay, but this does not prevent us from discovering some of the most impressive sights we have come across so far in this country. Spending time among the ruins and temples of the Vijayanagar empire in and around Anegundi and Hampi is a must. It’s truly a spiritual place and the incredible rock formations extending as far as the eye can see in all directions just keep you in awe the whole time you are there. We thought we must share with you our top 5 must do’s if you ever make it to this region.
1) Visit: the old temple ruins of Vijayanagara – Our tip: depending on which side of the river you’re staying you’ll need to take a small motorboat across. Use the river crossing in Anegundi to enter the Vitthala temple complex from the bazaar. Walking down the bazaar to the Vitthala temple complex you are taken back centuries in time and can imagine what it must have been like arriving on the backs of elephants, colorful shops with gems, silks and spices all around you.
2) Explore: take a coracle boat ride on the river and be sure to get out and discover the many carvings of deities in the rock formations along the river banks.
3) Hike: to the Hanuman temple in time for sunrise. Take the time to spend a few minutes inside the temple listening to the priests continuous chanting and then take in the views of the entire region from all the different lookout points. Known as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, the monkey-faced God, this temple and the surrounding area plays an important role in the Ramayana story.
4) Stay: Hampi Bolders is a must – an eco-resort completely in tune with the surrounding nature. Sandy paths lead to your room which, depending on which you have, maybe on the banks of the river or facing the jungle. Either way, you’ll feel truly close to nature! Be sure to take the time to go on the nature walks they offer. If you do the sunset one, bring a cool beer to enjoy at the lookout point.
5) Bike: Rent a bike or a motorbike. There is so much nature and incredible landscape to see and maybe you will come across a local festival or wedding celebration. Stop and visit with the villagers and take a ride out to Sannapur Lake (make sure you take the no swimming signs seriously, we have on good authority that here there have been crocodile incidents!)