Decoding Belur's master puzzle maker

Decoding Belur

Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2017-02-24 12:11 Bengaluru: Unmindful of the scorching sun, Krishnappa, who is in his late 60s, is busy mending the iron string into different shapes outside the famous Channakeshava temple in Belur. He churns out metal trinkets of various shapes and sizes from dawn to dusk. They may look simple but city folk hardly get to see such ingenious brain-teasers. With the help of a mere cutting plier, Krishnappa makes at least 50 suchbrain-teasers every day. After graduation, Krishnappa went to Bombay (now Mumbai) seeking a livelihood. In the city, he met an old man, who taught him the craft. “I came back to Belur, my hometown, and since then have been involved in this trade for the past 40 years,” says Krishnappa.    While some of the puzzles were learnt from his guru, he has given his own touch to several others to make them more complicated yet educational. Devaiah, a head constable on duty near the temple, says Krishnappa’sbrain-teasers were quite a hit among school teachers. Many from Bengaluru, Mysuru and even abroad have appreciated his craft and purchased them from him. “They cost just Rs 10 per piece but can be immensely challenging. I have invented at least 100 puzzles. If I add more, it would be a record. With each piece, I try to make it more complicated,” he says. Despite his growing age, he does not seem to be tired of bringing out his brain-teasers.​