Kolhapuri Chappals, or Kolhapuris are handcrafted leather sandals or chappals made in the villages of Maharashtra. These sturdy leather sandals are popular worldwide for their simplicity and design. Available in different shapes and sizes, they are perfect to go with any ethnic designer wear.
Kolhapuri chappals first originated in the early 13th century in Maharashtra. They were initially popular by various names such as ‘Kapashi’, Pie-taan’, Kachkadi’, Bakkalnali’, and Pukari, basis the source of villages where they were handmade.
Kolhapuri chappals were first spotted by the royal family of Maharashtra ‘Saudagars’ for their uniqueness. Later, they worked on a thinner version of the chappal (something that we see today). Featuring two flaps on either side, it was called ‘Kanwali. Saudagars also imparted a royal touch to these chappals by adding a little decorative fur in the centre.
J.J. and Sons, one of prominent shoe retailers in Mumbai, later noticed them and ordered 20 pairs from the Saudagar family. These footwear eventually became a huge hit in Mumbai. There may be several craftsmen in Kolahpur who have become skilled in this craft. However, the original craftsmen came from the Athani village.
Craftmen use leather of fine quality for this particular footwear. They are typically in red leather finish with a lots of beads and bells at the top.
Some of these feature double-sided flaps while others attract women with sequins, pearls or stones. Though they come with a flat sole, kolhapuri chappals are also available with heels these days.
Available at Delhi:-Sitara, Ramyana Retail, Dilli haat(Delhi)
Available at Kolkata:-Kolapuri Centre