Pith is the core of a kind of plant growing in water. This is generally found in abundance in the tanks, lakes, and swamps in South India. Pith was once available at Mannarkudi, Thiruturaipoondi, Nagappattinam, and the surroundings. Now-a-day raw pith is brought from Assam, Orissa, and West Bengal.
The tool that is required to remove the muddy cover is only an ordinary knife. After removing impurities by washing in water, clean pith is obtained through with several artistic articles very fascinating and pleasing to the eye are manufactured such as temple gopurams, mandapams, chariots, flowers, and temple cars.
To create a model out of pith from scratch will take minimum 12 hours. Some huge and intricate models take weeks to months. The price of a model ranges from Rs. 300/- to Rs 1000 or 2000 depending upon the artist time on the model.
We visited National award winner for Pith craft Shri K.A Chokkalingam in his Pithwork industry and came to know about the intricate details of the Pithcraft. He also runs a Government aided handicraft institute for the benefits of the interested in this craft.