Channapatna since 1961 holds the first place in Asia in exporting wooden toys. Even Karnataka has its artistic wood carving tradition. Carvings and decorative items like boxes, trays, key chains pieces made from sandalwood not only are marked with perfection but also fragrance that lasts for decades. Most Indians have a myth that sandalwood is scented by God. As an obvious result, icons of Gods and Goddesses mould out of sandalwood. Mysore Palace in the Karnataka State; famed for its architectural novelty has much furniture made in sandalwood.
In South India, wood has been a much-liked traditional medium for preparing architectural buildings to articles of utility and beauty. South India's main centre of sandalwood carving is Mysore. Earlier, sandalwood was the only material used for carving deities. Even solid pieces of furniture made of wood and the key rings and delicate fans are quite popular. Rosewood is used for making furniture and carving animals. The elephants and other products prepared by this wood is a specialty of Kerala. Kerala and coastal Karnataka, are centres for marquetry, which uses wood of various hues (including rosewood) and in Mysore, ivory is substituted.
In some places of South India, carved wooden furniture and other household items, either in natural finish or lacquered are also prepared and used. The skill of wood carving among the South Indian people is evident from the major temple towns of Tamil Nadu. In the antique shops of Fort Cochin in Kerala, several types of wooden boxes and chests are in abundance. The inhabitants previously used these as major dowry items. While some of these items are still made by local artisans of South India contemporary age witnesses, metal cupboards and trunks substituting the wooden versions and becoming rarer and rarer. The dowry boxes provided earlier were either made from the jackfruit tree and sometimes rosewood was also used with brass hinges or brackets.
In many parts of South India, wooden toys were also prepared. Brightly painted buses and trucks were also made from wood in Thiruvananthapuram. The brightly painted wooden dolls of few small villages of Kondapalle in Andhra Pradesh have achieved a great reputation. There is a tradition continuing in South India going on since more than two hundred years, in which the men carve the dolls with their hands and women and children paint them. The artisans work from their homes and welcome visitors. These dolls are then packaged and distributed throughout India as well as in other countries.
Wood is also used to make the musical instruments like veena and violin. These are then decorated with ivory and polished finely. The wooden doors and furniture prepared in south India are now sought after as antique items.