The art of embedding precious jewels and metals into the surface of objects is known as Kundan Jadai (gem setting) work.
The art of Meenakari, or Meena Kari or Mina Kari is an art of painting or embellishing various types of metals with bright colours in dramatic motifs of birds, flowers and leaves.
Tholu bommalata, Leather puppets
Andhra Pradesh’s famous leather puppets are large in their make, and made from translucent goat skin.
Rajasthan has a rich, and long practice of leather crafts. Each rural community had its own families of leather workers.
Aranmula Kannadi, a Malayalam term, refers to the Aranmula metal alloy mirror made by hand in Aranmula, a small settlement in the state of Kerala. Unlike the common silvered glass mirrors, this is a metal alloy mirror or front plane reflection mirror, which does away with any secondary reflections or irregularities typical of back surface mirrors.
Shola Pith Carving
The soft stem of a wild-growing water plant Shola (Aeschynomene aspera) is used to craft statuettes, and three- dimensional sculptures, known as the globally renowned Shola Pith Craft.
MATHURA, UTTAR PRADESH
Sanjhi is a ceremonial craft from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, that features exquisite designs and intricate picture motifs cut into paper.
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, has been a centre for marble carving ever since the Taj Mahal was built.
The weaver community in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, is world renowned for its dexterity in Dhurrie Weaving.
Like everything else about this diverse country, each region has a floor covering suited to its needs.
Applique in Rajasthan is akin to Katab patchwork from Kathiawar, a peninsular expanse near the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat.
The expression Chamba rumal entails a distinctive visual art form that symbolizes inimitable, and charming embroidery done on a hand spun textile with untwisted silk threads, greatly inspired by pahari paintings.
LUCKNOW, UTTAR PRADESH
Lucknowi Chikankari defines Lucknow’s identity and its celebrated magnificent past.
Kasuti, a Kannada term, is a conventional type of folk embroidery practised in Karnataka, India.
The Zardozi artisans of Benares, and Bareilly, specialize in embroidering insignia, and ceremonial dresses.
An environment-friendly ancient craft, Ajrak gets its name from Azrak, which means ‘blue’ in Arabic, as blue is one of the prime colours in the technique.
Bagru Dabu Block Printing
Dabu is a unique craft that involves a mud-resist process by using wood block for printing on specially treated textiles.
This craft form refers to the mordant painted and dyeing traditions done with a kalam (pen). An inimitable form of resist painting, Kalamkari is a part of a tradition of figurative, and narrative paintings used in temples for centuries.
Mata Ni Pachedi
Mata ni pachedi literally means “behind the mother goddess”, and is a cloth that constitutes a temple for the goddess.
Imagine a single stole created from tying 4000 - 5000 knots.
The Telia Rumal, known by many names such as chowkas, pocket square, and Asia rumal, points to the cloth with motifs formed by an exacting process of tying, and dyeing the yarn prior to weaving.
Pattu (Shawls or Dhurries) are a customary product woven in the Western Rajasthan region.
Sandalwood Carving from Rajasthan
Sandalwood carving dates back by many centuries, and a succession of ruling dynasties have conferred on it a royal status. Under such patronage, the craft flourished and entire families took to this trade.
Craftsmen from the Jangid community craft sandalwood into profusely patterned and highly decorative artefacts that are usually targeted at the export market.
Rajasthani miniatures evolved in Marwar-Mewar region as textual illustrations to the Jain text Kalpa-Sutras around the early 15th century.
Harking back to a bygone era, Nettur Petti is a craft that reminds one of a time when things were made to be savored.
The Ganjifa or Ganjappa cards have a history dating back to the seventh century A.D. Produced majorly by two neighboring states Karnataka (Mysore) and Orissa, these circular or rectangular cards have been traditionally handcrafted and painted by artisans.
Mellifluous in its name and form, Madhubani paintings are a product of the Mithila region where marshy swamps have bamboos and lotus buds blooming abound. The art heavily depicts the local flora and fauna of the expanse.
One of the most ancient forms of art works found in Odisha,
Patachitra fine art is captivating, to say the least. The craft
depicts Hindu mythological tales in all its glory.
Thangka are paintings on cloth that depict the sku rten, the bodily forms of enlightened beings; or the diagrammatic mandala, the ‘sacred circle’ symbolizing the spiritual embodiment of the Buddha and the stages of spiritual realization.
Blue Pottery began in Persia and is currently customarily made in Jaipur. It is the only stoneware on the planet that doesn’t utilize mud.
It is generally acknowledged that lace craft is a recent introduction to the Indian subcontinent. The term crochet is derived from croc, or crochet, a Middle French term for ‘hook’.
Bagh Block Printing
Bagh, Madhya Pradesh
Bagh block printing is a specific kind of block printing technique from the Bagh area in Madhya Pradesh. Bagh block printing is closely linked with the garment traditions of the Bhil and Bhilala tribes of Jhabua and Dhar.
The delicate, hand stitched craft of bead embroidery is a prominent part of the Nawabi culture of Bhopal.
Beaded necklaces are an integral part of
Naga costume, and culture. Each tribe has
its own distinct jewellery.
Bell Metal work
Following the rules laid down by Shilpa Shastra, an ancient treatise on idol making and its specifications, the traditional art of Bell Metal work and idol making is deftly practiced by the Moosari community, which is a part of the larger Vishwakarma, or craftsmen community from Kerala. The material used is a super alloy bell metal and is made of copper and tin in 4:1 proportions.
The craft of Crewel, or Kashidakari equally matches with the beautiful derivation of its name.
Silver Filigree art is an ancient, delicate form of metal craft. Silver biscuits (999) and 2% copper are the main raw materials used in the process.
The Warli tribe, living in, and around Thane district of Maharashtra, are known for the hallowed pictographs they paint on the walls of their unassuming huts during wedding rituals.
Benaras Wood Carving
BENARAS, UTTAR PRADESH
Wood carving is a traditional craft of Benaras. The gular wood that had been chiselled numerous objects to perfection told unique mythological, and religious stories of the city, and its people.
A metal handicraft from the Bidar area in Karnataka, the origin of Bidri Ware as a craft is attributed mostly to the Bahamani Sultans who ruled the region during the 14th and 15th centuries.
Batik is an ancient art which uses wax and dyes to create a visual magic on fabrics. It is believed that the term is a derivation from the word Ambatik, which when translated literally stands for a piece of cloth with small dots or writing with wax, or drawing in broken lines.
Water Hyacinth Weaving
The water hyacinth is a species that grows all over the Northeast, and is woven into a wide array of products, from bags, to yoga mats.
MAHOBA, MADHYA PRADESH
Every bronze sculpture made is unique. Each one is created using the lost wax casting process for making metal statues in which a wax sculpture of an image is covered in clay, which is then baked. As the clay is heated, the wax melts away leaving a negative image of the sculpture inside the hardened clay.
BENARAS UTTAR PRADESH
Brocade weaving, especially with gold and silver, has been an age-old tradition in India.
Throughout Punjab, in the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities alike, women embroider odhni (veils) or chaddar (wraps) ornamented with phulkari, literally ‘flower work’ and bagh or garden, a variation where the embroidery completely covers the support material.
Walnut Wood Carving
If one has ever visited the shrines of Noor-ud-din-Wali at Charar-e-Sharif, the Naqshbandi Mosque, or the shrine of Nund Rishi in Kashmir, one can start to fathom the sheer beauty of Walnut Wood Carving.
Moradabad is a principal cluster for art brassware in India. Brass, appreciated for its golden lustre, is sandcast, following which the various stages of production are handled by specialized craftsmen.
Kansa Metal Work
Kansa is a unique alloy with high proportion of tin to copper, and is used for making utensils for ritual and household use.
Wood and lac turnery thrived because of imperial support. Slowly, from the antiquated art of turning wood by hand, the craftsmen advanced to chipping away at a straightforward hand lathe.
Seashells enchanted the ancient Indian crafts people, as it is sufficiently apparent from the excavation of shell items found from different sites within the Indus valley civilization.
Kaavad is a transportable wooden temple, or shrine that has illustrative stories on its multiple plates that are hinged together.
The ethereal art of weapon ornamentation - Damascening, is one of the most beautiful aspects of the armoury of Rajasthan’s royals.
Having extended from Orissa to Bengal, the art of Dhokra, or lost wax bell metal casting has largely been a product of Bastar region in Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand.
Tribal Wood Carving
In Nagaland, wood carving as an art form relates mainly to architecture, and ceremonial dining utensils. It has been the forte of most of the 17 chief Naga communities in both eastern and western portions of the state.
Tribal Wood Sculpture
The sculptures are carved in wood, in the form of columns (Khambhas), done over the past year.
A terracotta artist who transforms clay into many a wonder by hand, and on the wheel.
Pink Meenakari is a crystal form of glass fused with metal oxides like silver, gold, copper, and zinc. The Meenakari of Banaras is identified by its pink color and is known as Gulabi Meenakari.
Traditionally meant to adorn the walls of temples behind the idol of Shrinathji at Nathdwara, Picchwai paintings can be identified by the characteristic features of large eyes, broad nose, and a heavy body, similar to the features on the idol of Shrinath ji.
Kalighat painting is a discipline of modern art that began around the 19th century in Calcutta, the former capital of India under British rule.
Gond fine art is a type of folk, and ethnic art that is practised by one of the largest tribes in the country – the Gonds – who are chiefly from Madhya Pradesh, but also based in pockets of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa.
Silver Coated Art Brass Ware
In the state of Rajasthan, Jaipur is where the main cluster for silver-coated art brass ware exists. Brass, known for its brilliant gloss, is first sandcast, and the different dimensions of production are taken care of by specific craftsmen in the region.
Parsi Gara Embroidery
Intricate motifs and vivid colour schemes carefully worked over the fabric to create a bouquet on textile define a signature Parsi Gara sari. Parsi Gara saris are known for their exquisite, intricate work.
Bhadohi lies in the state of Uttar Pradesh and is renowned for its beautiful hand-knotted carpets, earning it the name ‘Carpet City’.
CHANDERI, MADHYA PRADESH
Chanderi is a time-honored ethnic textile characterized by its lightweight, sheer quality, and fine texture.
The word Jamdani is of Persian derivation where jam denotes ‘flower’ and dani denotes ‘vase’.
Jogi Art is unique in its existence. The art form evolved into a unique style characterized by its raw, complex imagery.
Many villages encompassing the areas Kota, Bundi and Baran in the territory of Rajasthan are engaged with the creation of the Kota Doria fabric.
Jewellery from Assam
Assamese jewellers use lah (lac) to fill the frame, paat-xun (gold leaf) to embed stones and a unique stone, called kosoti khil, to test the purity of gold.
The tale of the Kanjeevaram silk sari traces back to Hindu folklore. Mythology has it that the Kanchi silk weavers are offsprings of Sage Markanda, who was known to be the master weaver for the celestial beings themselves.
WEST BENGAL & NAGALAND
Kantha, a well-known style of weaving that originates from West Bengal, is a noteworthy display that shows the skill and ability of the rural women folk in Bengal.
Leheriya or Leheria is a simple style of tie and dye from the region of Rajasthan, India.
Though the practice of weaving in the primordial temple city of Maheshwar dates back to the 5th century, it was popularized in the sovereignty of Maratha ruler Rani Ahilyabai Holkar.
Manipur Basket Weaving
The craftsmen of Manipur make baskets by cutting up whole bamboo poles into several pieces, usually about a metre long, as per the necessary requirements. The cut pieces are then split vertically into two.
A traditional art form with just a few master experts left, Marble Inlay is a delicate process that involves carefully cutting and engraving marble shapes by hand.
The Mashru textile is a vivacious, hand woven mix of silk, and cotton fabrics. The word ‘Mashru’ means ‘permitted’ in Arabic and its Sanskrit variant ‘Misru’ amounts to ‘mixed’.
Mekhela Chador Weaving
Mekhela Chador is the indigenous customary Assamese dress, fundamentally the same as other conventional dresses of Southeast Asia (worn as a sarong) worn by ladies of any age with the exception of kids.
Molela Clay Tablets
These sculptures have a unique style in the form ofnarrative plaques, tiles and murals made from the mud dug out of the banks of the river Banas. The craftsmen refrain from using any material that is not organic.
Naga Cane and Bamboo Weaving
The making of baskets is an age-old craft of leisure which was practised by the elderly males of the family in the traditional rural economy of Nagaland.
Naga Loin loom Weaving
Nagaland in North-East India is home to 16 primary clans and a few sub-clans, each recognized by their customs, dresses and vernacular languages.
The luxurious saris in the organic Khadi range have the unique properties of hand spun handwoven cotton, which make them absorbent in the summer while their density provides warmth in winters.
Palm Leaf Weaving
Palm-leaf weaving is a part of cultural heritage in Pulicat.Generations of women at Pulicat have been creating magic with their palm leaf baskets and artefacts.
Quilting / Dohar
The Jaipuri quilt is unique for both its artistic looks as well as its functionality. These quilts are handmade and it involves skills related to textile-making, cotton carding, quilting and voile making.
Sandstone carving in Odisha is an ancient and traditional craft form that has been passed on thru generations.
The humble Sikki grass that grows in the marshy areas in Mithila, Bihar, is transformed by women into a range of objects for ritualistic, and everyday use.
Silver Work- Jaipur
The Jangids in Rajasthan region have extended their wood cutting skills to silver work as well, adjusting their prowess to demonstrate three-dimensional items on the lines of a vast number of silver items.
Soap Stone sculpture
Carving on soapstone has been practised as an art since ancient times. A range of products such as jewellery, cooking paraphernalia, and sculptures are carved even today.
Suf embroidery is a type of counted thread weaving practised these days around the Kutch district of Gujarat and beyond.
Wood Block Making
The custom of making hand-printed textures is widely practised in Rajasthan and is marked by the use of engravings of symmetrical and highly intricate floral and animal forms.
Uppada silk is named after a little seashore town of Uppada in the East Godavari neighbourhood of Andhra Pradesh.
Thanjavur Painting is a peculiar, primeval, miniature category of paintings named after its centre of origin Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.
THANJAVUR, TAMIL NADU
Jewellery is an intrinsic part of the Indian psyche and cultural ethos. There are three distinct kinds of South Indian jewellery - temple jewellery, spiritual jewellery and bridal jewellery.
Sujuni stand out is the rare narrative elements in its embroidery.
Phad paintings are horizontal large-scale paintings created on cloth, showcasing the heroic lives of the local demigods.
Patan Patola, one of the most celebrated textile traditions from Gujarat, is traditionally distinguished by the weaving of individually dyed warp and weft strands to generate surface patterns as per the design.
Pashmina Kani Weaving
Kani means wooden bobbins or small sticks in Kashmiri. Shawls are woven into intricate patterns, with the weft thrown across before coloured threads are woven in on a meticulous, coded pattern drawn by a master craftsman.
Papier-mache; French for “chewed paper”, is a composite material consisting of paper pieces or pulp, sometimes reinforced with textiles, bound with an adhesive, such as glue, starch, or wallpaper paste.
Mohra Metal Work
Metal works is an art form that is hundreds of years old and which is still well known in Himachal Pradesh by the name Mohra.
Jawaja Leather Work
Jawaja leather is a flourishing craft with its unique identity and style. The beauty of Jawaja leather work is the evenly stitched leather strips instead of threads.
India has three main centres of Ikat weaving – Telangana , Orissa and Gujarat. Pochampally (Telangana) ikat uses double ikat technique and boasts of transferring the intricate design onto the fabric with nothing short of perfection.
Hand Blown Glass
Glass came to India with the invaders from the Islamic world. It was Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh that became the centre of excellence and met the royal demand for jhad and fanus (types of chandeliers), and produced vials for perfumes.
Ceramic Stoneware from Auroville
Pottery from Auroville has over the past few decades become a by word for stoneware glazed pottery in India.
Embroidery from Kutch
Traditionally stitched by village women in Gujarat’s Kachch region for themselves, their families, festive occasions, to honour deities or to generate wealth, the beautifully patterned Kachchi Embroidery on tie-dyed black wool epitomises the celebration of life.
Gota Patti (denoting a thin ribbon created out of gold/silver/metal strands) is a traditional embroidery method from Rajasthan.
Kora Grass - Pattamadai
KERALA/ TAMIL NADU
Mats made of Kora grass are some of Kerala’s most stunning works of art.
Miniature Painting – Pahari
The illustrative Pahari painting (literally translating to ‘a painting from the mountainous area’; pahar is ‘mountain’ in Hindi) is a wider term used to denote a form of Indian paintings, fashioned mostly in miniature shapes.
The Paithani weaving technique, popular for its unique art and tradition, has a legacy that spans centuries.
Split Ply Braiding
Split Ply Braiding has been found extensively in Rajasthan, Gujarat, North West India and a few other places, where it has mainly been used to make camel girths and animal regalia.
Tangaliya is a 700-year-old traditional hand weaving technique that was developed by the Dangasia Schedule Caste community in Gujarat, India.