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Heritage art and crafts of India
Written by Amirthavarshini on July 27, 2023 Share on

India’s Heritage Arts and Crafts: A Visual Journey

Have you ever made a mistake and found a new masterpiece out of it? Such wonders are possible only in art. You can make many mistakes, select the most appealing mistake and continue making the same mistake. And that becomes art. To summarise, art is a sense of freedom and liberty. You will find out the craziest side of yourself when you work on art. So in order to bring out the wild, wandering side of yours, here’s an article full of ancient techniques with modern values. Get to know about the heritage arts and crafts of India that have been ruling millions of hearts around the world for ages.

Also Read: Top 5 Places In India – The Best Of Incredible India

Heritage art and crafts of India store
Image credits: Unsplash

Heritage art and crafts of India

  • Tanjore Art
  • Madhubani Painting
  • Warli Folk Painting
  • Pattachitra Painting
  • Rajasthani Miniature Painting
  • Kalamezhuthu
Indian woman painting
Image credits: Unsplash

Tanjore Art

One can simply define Tanjore art or Thanjavur paintings as ‘Religious paintings with a royal heritage’. Moreover, Tanjore painting ranks first among the greatest traditional art forms in the world. They majorly depict mythological stories and characters. These religious paintings instil spirituality in the minds by adding an essence of creativity to it.

Initially, this art form originated in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. Later, it got its fame during the rule of the mighty Chola empire. The pictorial representation of gods and goddesses, with cut glass stone works and gold foil work on wooden panel, is truly a visual treat.

Madhubani Painting

Madhubani painting, also known as Mithila Art. It is quite famous in the Mithila region of Bihar. With eye-catchy bright colours and contrasting patterns, the artform is truly mesmerizing. Do you know that Madhubani painting has a women majority? Yes, the art was mostly done by women in the old days. But now, men also indulge in this art form in order to meet demand. Madhubani paintings are famous because of their tribal motifs and usage of bright earthy colours. A  freshly plastered or a mud wall is the canvas. 

For commercial purposes, it is being done on paper, cloth, and canvas boards. They make brushes with cotton wrapped around a bamboo stick. Do you know how they make colours? Read on. . .

Natural colours of Madhubani Painting

  • The black colour is obtained by mixing soot with cow dung.
  • Yellow from turmeric or pollen or lime and the milk of banyan leaves.
  • Blue from indigo.
  • Red from the Kusam flower juice or red sandalwood.
  • Green from the leaves of the wood apple tree.
  • White from rice powder.
  • Orange from Palash flowers.

Warli Folk Painting

As you head to the heart of Maharashtra in India, you will be amazed by this unique intricate art form. Popularly known as Warli folk paintings, the name is the same as the largest tribe found on the northern outskirts of Mumbai, in Western India. This is an age-old art form can be found on caves dating back to 10th century A.D.

You can witness this art in the walls of the village houses of Warli people. This art form does not depict the images of gods and goddesses. However, these narrate stories of village scenes from daily life. The rhythmic pattern on the mud walls with dots and lines is indeed one of the top Heritage art and crafts of India. Currently, you can spot such designs in clothes, wall hangers, bicycles etc. 

Pattachitra Painting

Pattachitra painting is one of the oldest and most popular Heritage art and crafts of India. It was initially founded and practised in Odisha. The word Pattachitra is the split of Patta, meaning canvas, and Chitra, meaning picture. Pattachitra means painting done on canvas and beautified by the application of rich colours. You can see creative motifs and designs, and depiction of simple themes that are mostly mythological. The most famous amongst them are

  • Thia Badhia – depiction of the temple of Jagannath.
  • Krishna Lila – enactment of Jagannath as Lord Krishna displaying his powers as a child.
  • Dasabatara Patti – the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
  • Panchamukhi – depiction of Lord Ganesh as a five-headed deity.

Rajasthani Miniature Painting

beautiful hindustani art
Image credits: Unsplash

Introduced by the Mughals, the art of Miniature painting initially originated in Persia. It is indeed a top-notch art form. During the 16th century, the Mughal emperor Humayun brought the artworks from Persia to India. And the rest is history. Later, the succeeding Mughal Emperor, Akbar built an atelier in order to promote this rich form of art. Also, the Persian artists trained the local Indian artists and made them create this distinctive style of painting in large numbers. The themes of these paintings include the royal and romantic lives of the Mughals. Meanwhile, as years progressed, the Indian artists aced this skill which led to the opening of art schools. Some of them are still in existence in Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaipur.


Rangoli Kolam- Heritage art and crafts of India
Image credits: Unsplash

Finally on the list is the well-known art of drawing. Have you ever wondered what’s the art form at the entrance of homes and temples? It is Kolam or Rangoli. Also, it is a vivid part of the domestic routine in Hindu households. The people of India consider this art form as an auspicious practice to welcome a deity into the house.  

Kalam, on the other hand, is practised in Kerala. A ritualistic art practised in temples of Kerala by representing pictures of deities like Kali and Lord Ayyappa on the floor. Also, only a particular caste of people does this art keeping different aspects and strict rules in mind. Some of them include patterns, minute details, dimensions and colour choice as well. However, these artworks are totally dependent on the occasion and not by the choice of the artist.

Also Read: Glory Of The Indian Country

To summarise, art is the journey of a free soul. It lets you concentrate and get distracted at the same time. Travel through the glorious heritage spots of India and explore different forms of art. You will surely enjoy every bit of your visit to the places known for heritage arts & crafts in India. The stains of the paints will truly leave a permanent mark in your heart. Head to the Pickyourtrail website and start planning your domestic trip right away. Get packing to different states in India and explore the beautiful nation. Now you can connect with us via Whatsapp and plan your dream trip at ease.

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