Unique Exhibition of Skills
For all art and craft lovers, Bihar is a must visit destination. Not only is it home to numerous handicraft varieties, each one of them is unique and unmatched. Since the time history has been registered, Bihar is known to have a special knack for handicrafts and artistic works. The most renowned of course are the Madhubani paintings which have been a part of Bihar lifestyle since the time of Ramayana, or so it is believed.
If architecture can be considered an art form, then Bihar can be counted among the richest state in India. The eastern state is dotted with some of the most exclusive and well sculpted monasteries and temples. A view of the many Buddhist stupas and pillars are a special treat to the eyes. The handicrafts of Bihar are quite useful and practical in everyday life. Bangle making, khatwa works and stone works play an important role in day to day to life. Another reason why tourist are highly inclined towards Bihar handicrafts is that they are quite reasonably priced. So you don't have to check the weight of your wallet every time you buy something.
Famous Bihar Arts
Named after the village where it originated, Madhubani paintings have spread the name of Bihar the world over. Although it is believed to be prevalent from the time of Ramayana, it acquired the deserved recognition only after 1950s. Earlier the paintings were drawn on mud plastered walls during important festivals and personal ceremonies. For commercial purposes, today they are made on handmade paper, canvas and different types of clothes. Images of Gods and Goddesses, natural subjects like Sun, Moon, Tulasi Plant, birds, animals and scened of wedding or other celebrations are the main themes of the painting. Even after so many years the method of production has not changed a bit. A bamboo sticks wrapped around with cotton is used as the paintbrush and colors used are all obtained from nature. For example, powdered rice is used as white color, red color comes from red sandalwood or kusam flower juice, yellow from turmeric.
The best works of bangle making can be seen in the city of Muzaffarpur which is considered to be the center for cottage industries. Bangles are an inseparable part of Indian customs and an integral part of make up kit of Indian women. The raw material is for bangle works is obtained from the forest nearby. The artisans use light fire to craft the delicate glasses into circular shape. The artisans go by the market demand and their imagination to give them the most fashionable and contemporary designs. One can buy them from many stores or directly from the homes of the artisans.
In its peak during the Mauryan period, stone and architecture works became the symbol of the dynasty. One can see the best of that period in cities like Gaya, Nalanda, and Patna. Apart from monasteries and Stupas, magnificent statues of Lord Buddha were created. Today, the most important place for stone works is Patharkatti in Gaya district. It has plenty of blue black pot stone which are cheap and are used for making statues, images and household articles like the pestle and grinders. It is also among the places in India where architecture works of fountains and tables are done.
Khatwa is the name given to appliqué works in Bihar. Khatwa is about designing by cutting of one fabric and stitching the pieces to another fabric. Khatwa is mainly used to create designer tents, canopies, shamianas and much more. Making of such tents involves work by both men and women. While cutting of clothes is done by men, women use their expertise in stitching part. Khatwa is also used in designing women garments as well. This is where the real talent of Bihar people is seen in the work. The designs created are more sharp, intricate and highly appealing. Most of the garments shop sell these highly artistic clothes.
People in some villages of Bihar are involved only in art works and it is their main source of income. Since the same skills are passed down to generations, the expertise and innovations are immaculate. So when you are visiting Bihar, don't forget to buy yourself some really great paintings and some exquisite clothes.
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