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Shubhyatra >> Madhya Pradesh Yatra >> Art & Crafts


Location : Rural Cities of Madhya Pradesh
World Famous For : Chanderi and Maheshwari Saris
Antique Items : Folk Painting, Textile Weaving
Other Charms : Doll and Toy Making, Papier- Mâché
Legacy of Earthen Pots on a Roadside Shop at Bhopal
Legacy of Earthen Pots on a Roadside Shop at Bhopal

Famous Arts & Crafts : Bamboo Work, Cane Canopy, Folk Paintings, Stone Carving, Textile Waving, Iron Carving, Textile Printing.
Famous Handicrafts : Carpets, Dhurries, Tribal Jewellery, Dolls, Silk, Chanderi and Maheshwari Sarees, Metal Animal Figurines.
Items as Mementos and Gifts: Lamp Shades, Baskets, Crafted Diyas, Teracotta Animals, Embroided Shoes, Oil Lamps, Leather Toys.
Traditional Handicrafts Hubs : Bhopal – Mrignayani Emporium at Hamidia Road, Handicrafts Emporium.
Indore – Mrignayani at Krishnapur Bridge.
Must Buy : Buying the Dolls of Battobai, a Craftswomen in Gwalior, recognised for her Art of Doll Making all Over the World.
Inside Tip : While Shopping in Local Markets, brush up your Bargaining Skills or there is a chance you will be duped.
Must Experience : Watching the Metal or Iron Statue Being Carved by the Blacksmith. Witnessing the Making of Terracotta.
Where To Shop : Bhopal – MP State Emporium, GTB Complex, TT Nagar for Fabrics and Saris, Women's Co-op Zari Centre, Pir Gate for Zari Work, New Market and Chowkf for Other Items.
Indore – MT Market for Zari Work and Traditional Maheshwari and Chanderi Sarees.
Top Khana at Jail Road for Handicrafts.
Rajwara for Jewellery and Handicrafts Emporium on MG Road for Souveniers.

Art and Crafts – Annotation of the Rich History

Madhya Pradesh has not only rich deposits of green woods, abundant wildlife and monumental heritage but too has a created a niche for itself though the art and crafts of the region. The credit of course goes to the people and their age old traditions that have been besieged upon them by their ancestors. Amidst the ebullient festivity prevails the contrast variety of handicrafts that add charisma and uniqueness to Madhya Pradesh. Be it the silk of the region or the bamboo work, be it folk paintings or stone artifacts, terra cotta or Zari work, the intricate cravings of the métier will evoke the desire to ascertain more about the land and its people.

Folk Paintings - To Decorate Your House

Folk paintings of Madhya Pradesh are the representation of the times that date back to the pre historic times. The paintings done in this region basically annotate the religions of the state. One can find diversification in the paintings of the different areas. The wall paintings of Bundelkhand, Gondwana, Malwa and Nimar are a blend of the social and cultural ambiance as well as the outpourings of religious devotions. The paintings in Bundelkhand are made by professional painters called as the Chiteras. Mud base is used to make these abstractions and the painter uses his finger to etch the paintings. This process is called as the 'Lipai' in which the Rajwari women are a connoisseur. Pithora paintings are endemic to the Bhils and Bhilala tribes. The paintings basically cater to the object of daily life in bright multi coloured hues. Mandana wall and floor paintings are existent in the Malwa, Nimar and Tanwarghar regions of Madhya Pradesh. Red clay and cow dung is used as a base to make the embossed drawings. The motifs of the design include the pictures of peacock, cats, lions and swastik.

Bamboo and Cane Canopy - For that Extra Adornment

The rural life of the people is very well resonated in their art and crafts that involves the age old knowledge to amalgamate with the new techniques. Bamboo that is abundantly produced in the regions of Shahdol, Balaghat, Mandla and Seoni, are used to produce a wide range of products like fishing traps, hunting tools and baskets. Some of the tribes that are highly skilled in this job are the Gond, Baiga and Korku communities.

Metal and Iron Craft - Skill That Adds Life

The metal and Iron craft stands sui generis from all the other areas of the country. The skill required in producing them, is so very embedded in the hands and the minds of the artisans that they seem to add life in these artifacts. Metal craft which is also known as Dhokra work are hollow cast and and are produced by lost-wax process. The Gond, Muria, Bhatra and Dhruva tribals are articulate in the production of these and only a few tools are required to make beautiful castings. Some of the produce includes crafted oil lamps, rice measure bowls and animal figurines. The Iron craft is predominantly an antediluvian practice that was passes on from one generation to the other. There are some tribes like the Gond, Muria, Bhatra, Dhruva that offer crafted diyas, on the marriage of their daughter. They also produce tribal statues that have gained immense momentum among the masses as a decoration for their houses.

For the Floor and Walls - Carpets and Dhurries

Jammu and Kashmir might be the most celebrated state for the production of carpets, but Madhya Pradesh too has stood itself apart and apparently distinguished in this craftsmanship. The artisan here are excellent dyers beside being immaculate weavers. This art was developed by the Mughals and Gwalior emerged as the center of this craft. Though synthetic colours are now in much use against the natural dyes, however, the woollen carpets that are available in floral and geometric designs are a must buy.

Dhurries form an essential part of the accessories that are used in the houses across the state. These flat woven carpets are made from thick cotton woven fabric and the women folk are the adroit manufacturers of these Dhurries. Available in varieties of colours and motifs of animals and flowers and even human beings, they are produced exclusively in rural homes of Sironj, Jhabua, Raigarh and Jabalpur.

Ornaments and Jewellery - For That Tribal Look

The tribal population of Madhya Pradesh are a huge fan of the ornaments and jewellery. A lot of beads, metalic droplets, cotton threads and specially feathers and cowries are used to make the traditional ornaments of the Adivasis (tribal). Silver ornaments also occupy a considerable place. Tikamgarh, Jhabua and Sheopur-Kalan are the hubs for this art. These ornaments are as popular among the men as they are with the women. Malwa, Nimar and Bastar are regions where these ornaments are devoured by the women folk.

Stone Carvings and Pottery - Poetry of Fingers

The art of stone carving is perhaps the best in the world. Stone carvers had colonised this land since pre historic ages. Passes on from generations as a family lore each region has their own peculiar style. The monuments and the temples standing in the region are evident of this fact. While Gwalior specialises in Jalli (Lattice) work, Jabalpur and Tikamgarh are renowned for statues of animals and human figures. If you look at a potter while performing this art, it will seem as if a musician is writing poetry with his fingers. Known as Terracotta the articles produced range form a variety of colours and the most common designs are of animal figures and life size images of human forms.

A Handloom Workshop of Madhya Pradesh
A Handloom Workshop of Madhya Pradesh

Textile Weaving - The Exclusive Art of MP

Madhya Pradesh is acclaimed for its weaving. The Chanderi and Maheshwari saris are spun dominantly by the Muslims. Elaborate amount of silk and cotton is used and intricate work is done on them. Kosa silk (Tussar silk) is also a famous product and Raigarh and Champa are important centers for this art. Being in juxtaposition to many other states, Madhya Pradesh has absorbed various art forms and developed it on its own land. Hand Block painting is one of the important art forms. The Malwa and Nimar regions are renowned for their hand block-printed cotton textiles. Natural colours of vegetables and natural dyes are used to colour them. Batik (fabric is painted with wax and dyed in cold dyes) is practiced extensively in Indore and Bherongarh. Tie and dye too is an important form of the Indore and Ujjain regions.

Other Crafts

There are millions of art and crafts that reside in each house of the state. Dolls produced in the Gwalior, Bhopal and Jhabua are made of small pieces of clothes. Battobai, a craftswomen in Gwalior have been recognised for her art of doll making all over the world. Ujjain is known for its paper mache art and a wide variety of natural colours are used to make birds replicas. Zari work of Bhopal is is also famous for its exquisite craftsmanship. Zari products include Jooties (shoes), purses and bags. Wood work too form an integral part of Madhya Pradesh craft.

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Top 5 Reasons to See Art & Crafts

Native Art of Madhya Pradesh

Representation of the True Culture
The rich and vibrant culture of Madhya Pradesh is most effectively conveyed by the arts and crafts of the region. The age old traditions have very well been carried and maintained by the new generation. Experiencing the craftsmanship of this region while standing on the very land is a unique experience.

Fabric to win your Heart
The silk and varieties of saris produced in Madhya Pradesh are of superior quality. Varied designs and colours of fabric are produced to make you moon over them. Hand block prints and tie and dye fabric are produced in an adroit manner. Various other genus of fabrics have taken birth and evolved on the this land.

Paintings – Manifestation of Triabl Culture
The folk paintings that are produced exclusively by the different tribal communities are one of the important handicrafts. Basically depicting the religious fervor, different tribes have their own interpretation of these paintings. Watching this art being transformed into paintings is a mesmerizing experience.

Beads & Feathers – Accessory of Adivasis
The ornaments made in these areas are a little weird in their appearance as they are made especially for the tribal women and men. There is extensive use of beads, cowries, cotton threads and even feathers to add the effect. Visit the Malwa, Nimar and Bastar regions where this art is carried out in vigour.

Bamboo & Cane – Tradition & Technique
Shahdol, Balaghat, Mandla and Seoni regions of Madhya Pradesh are main bamboo producing centers in Madhya Pradesh. Baskets, hunting tools and fishing traps from these are one of their kinds. Bamboo thickets are used bountifully and doors of the houses in Madhya Pradesh too are made of bamboo.

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