India- this is just not a name of certain geographical location. It tells you the story of unique and rich heritage and culture. Being the land of ancient tradition, India has its own essence of civilization. And this age-old culture is prominent in the art and crafts of this country. With 29 states, India is really the epitome of unity in diversity. And when it comes about handicrafts, each state produce the marvels that are highly popular in the in-house and overseas market. Earlier, the artwork of ivory was highly admired in the foreign land. As the craftsmen are in the business by hierarchy, it is still possible to carry on that quality, though it will take more dedication to bring back that lost glory.
India has several states and each state has its unique style of handicrafts. Where embroidery of Bengal is famous as ‘Kantha Stitch’, you can find the best quality ‘Phulkari’ work in Punjab. Today, we will talk about the handicrafts of India, based on different states. So, if you are planning a trip to any of these states, don’t forget to collect certain memoirs for yourself and your friends and family.
The heritage of handicrafts of West Bengal is fabled. From embroidery to terracotta work, this state has achieved prominence in every type of craft.
Talking about West Bengal’s embroidery and not mentioning ‘Kantha Stitch’ will be a mistake. It is basically telling a story using a needle and colorful The ‘Nokshi-Kantha’ of Bengal is famous as you will get an entire story through stitch work.
This handicraft items from the lost wax process is really popular in West Bengal. Here, the traditional process is still followed to make dhokra
This art form has been in West Bengal since ancient time. The terracotta figurines are made by molding burnt clay.
Let’s travel towards the north-west from West Bengal and you will reach Uttar Pradesh, the ancient state of India. With historical cities, like Lucknow and Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is also famous for its handicraft items-
How can you forget about ‘Benarasi Silk’? No wedding gets done in India without a piece of highly gorgeous and sophisticated ‘Benarasi Sari’. Move towards Lucknow and the ‘chikankari’ work will amaze you.
It is quite popular in Agra. The artisans work on stones and bring out the decorative pieces from just a piece of stone. Wonderful!
If you want to buy the best quality carpet, you should go to Shahjanpur, Bhadoi or Mirjapur.
You can call this state the land of artisans and craftsmen. Yes, Orissa is so versatile in handicrafts that it is really difficult to pick few styles from the vast gallery-
Have you seen the artwork on the walls of Konark Temple? That culture is still there and the craftsmen can create minute details on mere stones. An outstanding exhibition of a traditional art form!
This is something exclusive of Orissa in style, presentation, and The sand art of Orissa is an ancient art form and now it is getting hugely popular around the world.
This is another ancient art form of India that originates from Orissa. Here, handmade papers are used for painting. The colors are maximum natural colors, extracted from flowers and fruits. Usually, mythological stories are painted with vibrant colors and they are kept as scrolls.
Moving towards the south where you can find a completely different culture and tradition than north India. Southern India is the place of banana and coconuts. Obviously, these two ingredients are the predominant part of the art and craft of that region-
No parts of coconut get wasted here. The coir is used to make fans, baskets, rugs, etc. while the shell is used in making flower vase, bowls, hookahs, toys for kids and all.
These handicraft items are exclusive of Kerala and they are made of the perfect blend of woodcraft and metal. You can get the best works of lacquerware in Ernakulam.
Wooden work of Kerala is really outstanding. Once you are here, you should go for those beautiful jewelry boxes or the Kathakali dolls.
We will end our ‘crafty’ tour at the western part of India, Gujarat. While talking about Gujarat, the first thing comes to mind is the embroidery work of the state. But, Gujarat has more-
Tie & Dye Bandni
Gujarat is the synonym of ‘Bandni’, you can say. The best type of bandni is available in Kutch region and Jamnagar. The bandni or bandhej garments are popular all over the country.
Hand Block Printing
You will be surprised to know that Gujarat is the oldest block printing center in the world. The artisans are still carrying on that legacy and produce different types of hand block prints, like Ajarakh printing, vegetable prints, etc.
As a tourist, you will definitely fall for the leather products of Gujarat. The beautiful Batwa, mojris, slippers, purses, bags, cushion covers, etc. are really wonderful. And all these items are embellished with beads, tassels and mirror work.
It’s really difficult to cover every state in search of their special handicraft within the restricted word limit. The tribal art is something that occupies a special space in this genre. We will talk about that some other day. Till then, if you are visiting these states, don’t forget to buy handcrafted objects for you.