3 Day Hands-On



Thannal Natural Building School takes a watchful step to contribute to Heritage Conservation of India through a Revival Workshop on Thappi and Araish Plaster. We present the second edition of Rajasthan’s Thappi, Lohi, Araish (or Arayash) plaster & Lime Flooring in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. The course is led by master artisans from Rajasthan. This is a slow and cautious step to the Revival of Thappi, Lohi and Araish Plaster (an Indian plaster in match to the Moroccan Tadelakt plaster) in Natural Building. This workshop is for students, professionals, artisans, workers or anyone, who intends to learn this technique. After years of research and hands-on learning of Thappi Plaster and Lime Flooring from master artisans in our projects, we reached the milestone to start a course for all.

Thappi is the indigenous wooden tool of Lime application, used in plastering walls roofing and flooring methods native to Rajasthan. After a leveling coat of mud and lime (for plastering on walls) or lime and aggregates (for flooring), a coat of Lime and Surkhi is applied and beaten by using Thappi to facilitate setting of lime. It increases the clipping of lime with surface below and repairs the cracks which forms as the lime dries. It is very careful procedure done till the lime hardens. It is finished with various different finishes in layers on top, or can be left in its characteristic texture created by beating of lime.

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Lohi is one of the finishing method, with fine sieved surkhi and lime. Finishing work can be stopped at this stage or we can go ahead with a more advanced Araish ( Arayash ) plaster. It is a slow, detailed finishing method with marble dust and fine sieved lime, having elegant finish with colours. Thappi, Lohi and Araish are waterproof plasters. Lohi can also have multiple coats of Lime wash, if needed additional protection from water. Through this workshop we attempt to revive this traditional method of plastering and flooring, which is time-tested and proven powerful enough through our underground grey water tank and multipurpose tanks. These tanks testify to how sand can be avoided (rare and very expensive now), replacing it with Surkhi in contemporary scenario. How to make home-made Surkhi and use natural polymers in lime plaster will also be taught in this course.

This course will be headed by master masons Abdul Razak Muwal, Dawood Ibrahim Muwal and Liyakat Muwal, who have worked with Lime for decades, on old as well as contemporary projects. Thannal seeks to revive the glory of Lime, adorned the walls of many Havelis and huts, and honour talented traditional lime artisans of Rajasthan.

Course Details

Note: Each day is divided into four sessions, two before lunch and two after lunch. The schedule could vary according to site weather conditions.

Day one

1A: Introduction to Thappi and Arairsh Plaster.

1B: Base Coat preparation and application on Wall.

2A: Preparation of Lime & Surkhi for First coat.

2B: Application of 1st Coat and giving Thappi.


3A: Base Coat of Flooring. (Prototype)

4A: Preparation of homemade Surkhi & Lohi.

4B: Understanding cracks and doing Thappi.

Day two

01: & 02: Doing Thappi over of first coat of Surkhi and Lime.


03: Application of Lohi.

04: Introduction & Preparation of Araish.

Day three

01 & 02 Application of Araish.


03 Natural Colours in Araish.

04 Lime Wash with Pigments, Flooring Final coat & Tile flooring using Lime (prototype).


  • Liyakat Muwal

Workshop Date:
Dates are not fixed

Workshop Location:
Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu

Nearby Railway Stations: Tiruvannamalai, Katpadi and Villupuram
Nearby Airport: Chennai, Bangalore and Trichi

Workshop fee:
We will announce the new fee amount when the workshop dates are fixed.
The knowledge offered in this course by the master masons, that evolved after many years of experience and practice is priceless. The major part of the fee would be directed to the artisan community of Rajasthan to encourage more traditional skills. The value of their skill needs to be honoured and recognized in order to get more traditional workers back to lime. This will also help in a school for Thappi skill development and for Thannal’s next revival series.

Participation is limited to 12 participants and will be in a first come first serve manner. Kindly go to the below link for registration. We are seeking participants with all levels of experience. Most importantly, applicants should have enthusiasm, a deep willingness to learn, an appreciation for working with their hands and a good attitude!

Accommodation is not available within Thannal Campus, so participants have to find and arrange a guest house for staying in Tiruvannamalai town. This expense is not included in the course fee. The daily commute to the campus (6 k.m. from Ramana Ashram, Tiruvannamalai) during workshop days also have to be arranged by participants.

Prepare for the day:
Please see the link for details of things to carry and other matters of concern. Link to prepare to attend a workshop.

Cancellation/Refund Policy:

As per the policies of Thannal Mud Homes Trust, if you want to cancel your reservation, kindly let us know clearly 30 days before the workshop (It is difficult to find a replacement for the vacant seat on short notice). In case of cancellation, we will refund you 75% of the registration.

No refunds will be provided on cancellations done in a later stage, that is, within 30 days of the first day of the workshop.

If you are unable to attend the workshop you have booked for and wish to change to another workshop, your money can be adjusted into the fee of the workshop you are attending. You will be provided with only one chance of transfer, with a transfer request placed before 30 days of the workshop.

Transfer in workshop dates cannot be done within 30 days of the workshop.

In case if you are unable to attend and it is within 30 days of the starting date of the workshop, you can nominate someone else on your behalf. Your registration fee can be transferred to the person nominated by you.


  • This workshop is open to all professions and age groups. 
  • We don’t entertain non-participants at the workshop site during workshop hours unless it is unavoidable (please let us know in advance).
  • We welcome families taking part in the workshop together. Children below 10 years can attend the workshop for free with their parents. Children from 10-18 years of age have to pay 50% of the workshop fee.
  • Do respect the privacy of others when you go visit any nearby sites.
  • This is exclusively a hand-on workshop so get ready to stretch and twist your muscles.
  • Do wear light comfortable cotton clothes, preferably old, to beat the heat. There are very few chances of your clothes not getting soiled.
  • The sun can be a bit harsh here so carry sunscreen and headgears.
  • Do keep yourself hydrated to avoid any discomforts. You can also carry Electoral & Glucose for that extra boost of energy.
  • Wear footwear that you can slip in and out of easily.
  • At times, working with hands can get a little rough; you can get a pair of work gloves along!
  • Please carry your emergency medicine if and when required.
  • Keep your cell phones away while working, this is a no selfie zone.
  • The itinerary is subject to change as per the site and weather conditions.
  • For queries: thannalroots[@]gmail.com

Completed Workshops

Over 50 +  hands-on training programmes were conducted and 1500+ people trained

Online Video Course

Natural Building class in Tamil & English

Books & Ebooks

4 thoughts on “Revival Workshop: Thappi-Araish Plaster & Lime Flooring”

  1. Namaste James Henderson,

    Thank you for your interest in the Revival Workshop on Thappi and Araish Plaster in 2024. We appreciate your enthusiasm to participate.

    We are currently in the planning phase for this workshop, with tentative dates set for February or March 2024. Your interest in joining the workshop is fantastic. We understand that you primarily speak English, and that’s absolutely fine. We aim to make our workshops accessible and informative for all participants.

    To keep you updated and provide you with more details once the dates are confirmed, kindly send an email to thannalroots(@)gmail.com. This way, we can ensure you receive timely information about the workshop.

  2. Hi, I am interested in the Revival Workshop on Thappi and Araish Plaster 2024.
    I only speak English, is that OK.
    I am a professional natural builder and plasterer in the USA.
    Thank you so much.

  3. I am interested to learn & know about limes plasters, Could you please let me know when we have next workshop dates.

    Thanks for your work ..

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