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  • Art and Crafts of Madhya Pradesh

    Madhya Pradesh is known for its rich tradition and culture. This is reflected in the majestic pieces of art and crafts. The handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh exhibit the painstaking craftsmanship and great skills of the locals.

    The artistic pieces include:

    • Bamboo and Cane Products
    • Carpet weaving
    • Terracotta
    • Stone carvings
    • Jute Works
    • Papier Mache

    The 5 Popular Arts and Crafts of Madhya Pradesh

    If you love shopping the great crafts of Madhya Pradesh will definitely mesmerize. These are some of the most popular handicrafts produced.

    Bamboo and Cane Work

    Amongst the different crafts of the state, one that stands apart is their bamboo and cane works. Bamboo thickets are a common sighting in Madhya Pradesh and the artisans make use of them. The vast majority of the locals make everyday tools using bamboo. They make fishing tools, baskets, hunting tools all from bamboo.

    The tribal communities of Baiga, Gond and Korku are skilled in this craft. If you are visiting Madhya Pradesh you are guaranteed to be thrilled by their beautiful works of art.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Carpet Weaving

    Carpet weaving as a craft came to India via Persia. It is a major center of carpet weaving in India. The materials mostly used are of wool, silk, and cotton.

    The art of carpet weaving requires highly skilled craftsmen as it is a delicate one. The craftsmen of Gwalior are the undisputed master of the art of weaving fine quality carpets combined with creative designs and motifs.

    Terracotta

    Among the popular arts of Madhya Pradesh, is the terracotta pottery. The terracotta pottery is marvelous in its style and representation.

    The local people make potteries that are noteworthy. They make traditional statutes of different animals that they offer to their deities as sacrifices.

    Stone Carving

    The stone carving tradition of Madhya Pradesh is one of the best in the country and the world. The majestic stone carvings are found in the majority of their temples to depict the gods and goddesses of this local people.

    Stone carvings of Madhya Pradesh vary from place to place. Every region of this state has got its unique and distinct style. In Gwalior, lattice work is the specialty, whereas in regions like Jabalpur the craftsmen specialize animals and human statues.

    Jute Works

    Jute is a cheap textile fiber with a coarse and heavy texture. Jute works include baskets, flower vases, hammocks, purses and table mats.

  • மாமல்லபுரம் சிற்பங்களுக்கு புவிசார்(GI Tag) குறியீடு.!

    தமிழக அரசின் விண்ணப்பத்தை ஏற்று, மாமல்லபுரத்தில் உள்ள சிற்பங்களுக்கு புவிசார் குறியீடு வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.
    mamallapuram-gets-gi-tag
    உலகில் உள்ள ஒவ்வொரு பகுதிக்கும் வெவ்வேறான பாரம்பரியங்கள், கலாச்சாரங்கள், கட்டட அமைப்புகள் என தனித்த அடையாளங்கள் இருக்கின்றன. டார்ஜிலிங் தேநீர், மைசூர் பட்டு, தமிழகத்தின் தஞ்சாவூர் ஓவியம், காஞ்சிபுரம் பட்டு ஆகியவைகளின் சிறப்பு மற்றும் பாரம்பரியத்தைக் கருதி அவற்றிற்கு புவிசார் குறியீடு அளிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

    இந்தியாவில் பொருட்களுக்கான புவிசார் குறியீடு பதிவு மற்றும் பாதுகாப்புச் சட்டம் 1999-ம் ஆண்டு இயற்றப்பட்டது. மத்திய அரசின் கீழ் செயல்படும், இதற்கான அலுவலகத்தின் தலைமையகம் சென்னை கிண்டியில் இருக்கிறது.

    இந்த நிலையில் தமிழக அரசின் விண்ணப்பத்தை ஏற்று, மாமல்லபுரம் சிற்பங்களுக்கு புவிசார் குறியீடு வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதன் மூலம் இனிமேல் மாமல்லபுரம் சிற்பங்கள் என்ற பெயரில், இனி யாருமே சிற்பம் வடிக்க முடியாது. மதுரை மல்லி, தஞ்சாவூர் ஓவியங்கள், காஞ்சிபுரம் பட்டு, ஆரணி பட்டு, சிறுமலை வாழை, கோவை வெட் கிரைண்டர் உட்பட 24 பொருட்களுக்கு புவிசார் குறியீடு பெற்று தமிழகம் 2ஆம் இடத்தில் உள்ளது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

    Source: Samayam.com

  • The 5 Most Popular Hindu Festivals in India

    India is known as a country of many festivals as it has many traditions and customs. Festivals are in the hearts of the people of India. Regardless of the diverse traditions, there are festivals that are shared and celebrated across the country. Below is a glimpse of five most popular Hindu festivals celebrated across India -

    • Diwali
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    This is the biggest festival in India. It is also called the Festival of Lights. It is a five day festival in celebration of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. It usually falls in in the October or November month. It is called the festival of lights as people light small clay lamps, candles, and fireworks during the festival.

    In North India, it is celebrated to remember the arrival of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after victory over Ravana. In South India, it is a celebrated to honor the victory of Lord Krishna over Narakasura demon.

    • Holi
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Holi is a two-day festival and is popular among foreigners. It is referred to as the Festival of Colors and is usually celebrated in March. It celebrates the abundance of the spring harvest season.

    People engage in throwing colored powder and water all over each other. They light bonfires, have parties, and dance while drenching each other with water balloons and water sprinklers. Holi is the festival to participate in if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty. It is great fun.

    • Ganesh Chaturthi
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    The Ganesh Chaturthi festival honors the birth of the Hindu elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha. Elaborately crafted idols made from clay and metal of Lord Ganesha are installed in homes at the start of the festival.

    People then worship the idol for eleven days. After which they are paraded through streets in extravagant processions and then submerged in the river or ocean.

    • Mata Shivaratri

    Shivaratri means the Great Night of Shiva or the Night of Shiva. Devotees gatherat Shiva temples to offer Bael leaves to the God. Some devotes follow fasting for the whole day while some take only one meal.

    People gather around the Shiva temples and putholy ash ontheir bodies after bath. They then recite prayers to Lord Shiva. Singing and dancing take place all night long.

    • Krishna Janmashtami
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Krishna Janmashtami is a festival that commemorates the birthday of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated on the 8th day of the Krishna Paksha in August-September.

    Krishna is believed to have been a mischievous and naughty kid who loved milk and butter. Women make sweets made from milk and offer it to the Lord. One custom of the festival is ‘Dahi Handi’. A clay pot is normally filled with buttermilk and hung at an elevated height. During the festival, teams of guys form human pyramid and then try and break open Handi (clay pots) filled with curd by hitting with a blunt object. Curd or milk spilling over the group symbolizes achievement through unity.

  • Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries across India

    India is greatly blessed with flora and fauna. If you are visiting India you need to visit one of their many wildlife sanctuaries or game parks. These sanctuaries and parks are meant to protect some endangered species and maintain ecological balance.

    These are the popular parks and reserves that are guaranteed to make your visit memorable if you are a wildlife enthusiast.

    • Jim Corbett National Park
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    This is the oldest park in India. It is renowned for wildlife sanctuary and especially the tiger project. It is one of the most visited parks due to its vast list of wildlife. Surrounded by lush green hills and grasslands, this wildlife sanctuary has a variety of flora and fauna.

    If you are looking to escape the buzz of the city or you are just a wildlife enthusiast, this wildlife sanctuary will fulfill your wishes. The sight of the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger and a ride on one of the Asian giants will make the trip worthwhile.

    • Ranthambore National Park
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    This is another large game sanctuary. It was famous for being the hunting grounds of the Maharajas. Today it is a major wildlife tourist destinations in North India.

    If you are a nature lover or a wildlife photographer this is the place to be. This national park is famed for the tigers that roam around the park. If you are looking to see these great animals hunting for game then you need to pay a visit to the Ranthambore National Park.

    • Kaziranga National Park
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    This is the park where man and nature meet. Are you looking for a place where nature unwinds its immaculate form in dozens of shades? Kaziranga National Park is the place to be. Here the wildlife roams fearlessly and freely.This prestigious park is located in the state of Assam.

    • Bandipur National Park

    Thousands of tourists come every year to experience the beauty of the diverse wildlife found in this park. Together with other reserves they create the country’s largest biosphere reserve. The park has the perfect topography for the various kinds of wildlife to find sanctuary.

    Bandipuris one place that an adventure that you will never forget.

    • Bandhavgarh National Park
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    The diversity of wildlife found in this park is amazing, as it is home to many species of animals and birds. It is said to have one of the largest population of tigers in India.This park provides a treat for wildlife lovers and wildlife photographers.

  • Chikankari - The Art behind the Traditional Lucknowi Embroidery

    Lucknow is renowned for its traditional Chikankari embroidery. The craft of Chikan work, which literally means embroidery, is a traditional style of embroidery from Lucknow. The technique of creating Chikan art is called Chikankari and has been used for over 300 years.

    Chikan embroidery Image credit - wikimedia

    Modern embroidery lacks the simplicity and the precision of the handwork invested on the garment making it subtle. The essence of the garment is a simple design.

    The Embroidery Process

    The Lucknow chikankari technique is broken down into stages. The process of chikankari includes the following steps:

    • Design and Engraving
    • Wooden Block printing
    • Embroidery
    • Washing and finishing

    Design and Engraving

    First, the design is determined and engraved on a wooden block by the embroiderer. The wooden block stamps are used to print the design on the cloth.

    Wooden Block printing

    The wooden blocks are then dipped in Safeda and Neel dyes. The wooden blocks are then used to print the design on the cloth. The cloth is then cut to take the form that the garment is intended. There are different blocks: for butis, floral patterns, and borders. Once the fabric or cloth is printed it is now ready for the embroidery work.

    Embroidery

    Then the embroidery process begins. The fabric or cloth is placed in a small frame and the embroiderer begins to trace the printed ink patterns. This is done using needle and thread. Different types of stitches can be made on one piece of fabric. This depends on the type and size motifs. The popular stitches include hemstitch, backstitch, and chain stitch.

    Washing and finishing

    Washing is the last stage of the chikankari process. The fabric is first checked for consistency. It is then soaked in water. It is then washed to remove the block printed ink color. To obtain stiffness the garment is starched and ironed. The garment is now ready for commercial sales.

    The stitches are done to perfection and the quality and gracefulness are very difficult to find anywhere else. The precision and effortlessness of each and every stitch cannot be replicate even by a machine. This is why garments made using the chikankari technique, are famous worldwide.

  • The art of hand painting - Kalamkari

    The art of hand painting on cotton or silk fabrics which is famous as Kalamkari – is one of India’s artistic treasures, going back to the ancient Persian Empire and literally meaning “craftsmanship with pen”. It uses a tamarind pen and through the process of bleaching, painting, printing, sun drying and cleaning it creates the most beautiful and, sometimes, unusual patterns.

    Image credit - wikimedia Image credit - wikimedia

    Involving a lot of hard work and difficult procedures, Kalamkari often depicts flowers, animals like the peacock or Hindu characters, allowing artists a unique process of storytelling that began ages ago, 3000 BC. It was during the Mughal Empire that this type of craftsmanship got its recognition and it was further spread around the World by the British in the 18th century.

    Involving 23 steps from the beginning until the finished product, the colours were chosen to paint the fabrics are usually earth-toned, with indigo, black, green or mustard as favourites. The dyes used to paint are also all natural, with no chemicals and obtained through the manipulation of such things as iron, pomegranate or bark.

    Shop for this KALAMKARI PURSE - Click Here Shop for this KALAMKARI PURSE - Click Here

    Kalamkari exists in India in two different styles, Srikalahasti and Machilipatnam. The first one takes its inspiration from the Hindu mythology by describing religious stories. The second one has a more abstract design showing blocks with detailed handwork throughout. Recently two new styles appeared due to the preferences of the population in the two main Indian states using this art. The Andhra style has forts, palaces and temples in its designs and the Gujarat Kalamkari presents pictures of the Hindu or Buddhist gods, such as Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesha or Lord Buddha.

    In the past, due to the tedious and long method of producing a Kalamkari, this hand paint relic had become almost obsolete with people wanting access to cheaper products. Nevertheless, its primary use nowadays is, as in the old days, the sarees. Today, people can shop for a range of different kalamkari printed dresses like Kurtis, sarees or dupattas in beautiful patterns and colours. Kalamkari has proved to be a safe craft as it does not use harmful chemicals and rely on organic colours to create multi-coloured fabrics.

  • Art of wood: Wood handicraft In India

    India is a land of great diversity and along with that it also presents plenty of opportunities to an enthusiast to soak in different forms of arts, culture, and tradition in every single part of its vast territory. One such opportunity lies in the form of wood arts. Wood carving has given rise to a unique style of arts which is unmatched when compared to the ones found anywhere else in the world. This one art form has been there since time immemorial and over hundreds of centuries have evolved to several different designing traits which can be easily observed and are spread across various parts of the country.

    Shop for this Wooden Carving Elephant - Click Here Shop for this Wooden Carving Elephant - Click Here

    As it is known, civilization started sprawling in the Indian subcontinent first than in many other parts of the world.  Wood art also came into existence almost around that early dawn of civilization too and the pleasure of this art is found cherished since prehistoric times. The way Indian states vary in their culture, language, and behavior; similarly wood art seems to get hold of this variety and hence it exhibits a great range of variation in the design and style. According to each state's background and cultural taste, craftsmen developed their own unique style. The expertise and creativity of these exemplary craftsmen has allowed each state to have their very own distinct artistic identity which is hard to ignore in recent times.

    Shop For this Rosewod Sarawathi - Click Here Shop For this Rosewod Sarawathi - Click Here

    To take a good look at the wood arts industry prevailing in India with respect to the different states, we must begin with the state of Tamil Nadu from where it is assumed to be originated in the form of beautifully decorated chariots with their figurines. Next is the state of Karnataka, which produced those trademark sandalwood artefacts in the form of elephants, tray, boxes, figurines, pens, key-holders and so many different things. Rajasthan is not only a rich tourist destination but is also famous for its woodworks indoors, panels, brackets, pillars etc. Not only that, it is most widely known for its puppets, animal figurines, and lovely jewellery boxes. The state of Orissa is famous for Lord Jagannatha and the idol of Lord Jagannatha itself was crafted out of wood, which definitely inspired the Oriya artisans to develop their unique style of wood arts that includes colourful wooden dolls, toys etc.

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    This travelogue of Indian wood arts will never be completed without a mention of the state of West Bengal where the expert craftsmen hail from such enriched cultural background that their style varies and distinctly identifiable even while moving from one region of the state to the other. Terracotta is the famous stone sculpture from this state, which has influenced the wood craftsmen to create their own variants which are more portable, less bulky and comes with a longer durability than then stone counterparts.

    Despite such rich legacy of wood artists in India, not everything is good. The government must come forward to train and make modern facilities available for the budding craftsmen so that they are assured of some basic earnings as well as recognition and honour for their hard work.

  • The Delicate art of Khatambandhi

    Kashmir has always been known for its scenic beauty and amazing handicrafts. Khatambandh is one such traditional Kashmiri art of creating decorative ceiling, by fitting together small polygonalwood pieces in exquisite geometrical patterns. Khatambandhi was brought to Kashmir by famous saint Shah eHamdaan who was believed to have visited the Himalayan valley along with some Persian Khatamband artists around 14th century. These artists passed on this exemplary art to the residents of a small town in south of Kashmir and since then the art flourished throughout the state.

    Image Credit - kashmirink Image Credit - kashmirink

    Khatambandhi is a painstaking art of conjugating pieces of wood elegantly that take seven months to finish a 10 feet by 10 feet ceiling. A 100 sq. feet ceiling of an ordinary design requires a minimum of four craftsmen to work on it. The wood is cut into small panels by one, marked by another,carved into various shapes by the third and finally woven in geometrical patterns by the fourth artist. Then there is a master carpenter who carefully install these designs onto the ceiling. The wood employed is usually walnut,deodar or fir which is artistically processed, cut into buttons and panels and fixed in the ceiling in various beautiful floral and geometrical designs.The two main elements, which form a Khatambandh is the beading, also known as Gaj-Patti and the other one is the polygon called Posh (Flower). All this is done manually without using glue or nails. The beauty of this art is that when the ceiling is complete it acquires a captivating unique seamless geometrical pattern. The seamless ceiling creates a dynamic illusion with shapes morphing into each other, almost like watching a sky full of twinkling stars.Another interesting point of this artwork is that the Khatambandh ceiling can easily be dissembled and re-assembled at another place.

    During earlier days Khatambandh design used to be a part of shrines, houseboats, royal and historic palaces but now it is demanded by many houses inside and outside Kashmir.The splendid geometrical Khatambandh ceiling is now in great demand overseas in countries like Australia, USA and Europe.

  • 7 Scientific Reasons behind Indian Traditions

    Indians have been known over time to observe many rituals and traditions daily in their household. Some of these traditions are practiced outside India, where Indians reside. It has been discovered that some of these rituals are mentioned in Vedic scriptures and Brahman scriptures.

    We have put together some traditions and the scientific reasons behind them. Below is the list:

    1. Namaste

    Nameste, also known as Namaskar is a way of greeting and showing respect to others by the Hindus. It is done by joining the two palms together in a way that all the fingertips are together which creates pressure on points of the mind, eyes, and ears. It is believed that it helps us remember the person on the other end for a long time and not shaking hands helps prevent transmission of germs.

    namaste-1935938_960_720

    1. Toe ring

    This is popular among married Indian women, and the ring is mostly silver, worn on the second toes. There is a connection between the second toe and the heart through the uterus and it is believed that wearing a silver ring on the second toe helps in the effective management of menstrual cycle in the body of the woman. It also strengthens the uterus by regulating the blood flow to it.

    women-wearing-toe-rings

     

    1. Tilak on the forehead

    There is a spot which is considered as a major nerve point in our body and it is the small spot between the two eyebrows on the forehead. The Tilak is believed to give and retain energy at different degrees. When the Tilak is applied on the forehead between the two eyebrows, the Andaya-chakra is also pressed and this facilitates blood supply to the facial muscles.

    1. Henna

    Henna, also referred to as Mehndi is a medicinal herb which is applied on the feet and hands of Indian brides and grooms on weddings. It is believed to prevent stress, tension, fever, and headache too since weddings include various stressful activities.

    henna-691901_960_720

    1. Piercing the ears

    This tradition is practiced everywhere across the globe but in India, it is believed that piercing the ears boosts the power of decision making, the power of thinking and also increases the intellect. Piercing of the ears prevents contemptuous behaviours by restricting our speech.

    earring-2591496_960_720

    1. Surya Namaskar

    Surya Namaskar is an early morning ritual by the Indians that serves as a way of paying respect to the Sun god, the god of energy. Indians offer prayers to the Sun through the use of water and also offer prayers to the Sun god by looking at the Sun through the water. It is believed that it helps the eyes by improving one's vision and making us appreciate the sunlight more.

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    1. CharanSparsh

    Charan Sparsh is also known as touching the feet of our elders. It is believed that there is a connection between two minds and hearts by the flow of cosmic energy in our body. This energy is concentrated at our fingers of both hands and feet. This energy can be transmitted through hugs and handshakes. So when you touch the feet of the elderly, you receive this emission of positive thoughts and energy.

  • Ikat Fabrics: Connecting the World

    Ikat fabrics are taking the textile world by storm. Shrouded in mystery and stunningly beautiful, textiles historians haven’t been able to pin point its origin exactly. Unfortunately, fabrics have a pretty short lifespan in the grand old scheme of things but we do know that it’s been at the root of fabric culture across much of central Asia and the Indian subcontinent for many hundreds of years, if not thousands.

    Image credit - wikimedia Image credit - wikimedia

    The word “Ikat” refers specifically to the method of dying that result in the distinctive style of pattern. Usually, when a cloth is dyed, it has already been woven but this is precisely where Ikat differs. The weave is dyed first in tight bundles of yarn and then woven into the desired pattern once the dye has dried.

    It doesn’t stop there though as there are three different types of Ikat weaving: warp ikat, weft ikat, and double ikat. Warp Ikat is where only the warp yarns attached to the loom are dyed with the ikat technique while the weft yarns are dyed in a block colour. This allows you to see the pattern before you have woven your fabric. Weft ikat is the opposite of warp ikat in that the weft yarn is dyed in the ikat style, meaning the pattern will start to reveal itself as the fabric is woven. Double ikat is the utilization of both warp and weft methods. This results in more complicated patterns and inevitably a pricier fabric. Double ikat is only known to be produced in three countries due to its complexity, those being India, Japan, and Indonesia, places known for their rich history in working with the ikat method.

    On the 16th of September this year, New Delhi hosted an event named World Ikat Textiles: Ties That Bind. This was an exhibition and a celebration of different ikat fabrics from all over the world, such as the Philippines, Thailand and of course, India. There were live demonstrations from master weavers, a fashion show and in excess of 200 unique Ikat weaves from every corner of the globe.

    The global reach of this weaving technique cannot be underestimated. The online market for ikat is growing by the day and demand has never been higher with sellers appearing in the UK, America and across Europe.

    However, many ikat items on the western market may not have been hand-woven in the traditional style of ikat. Lots of products have copied the ikat pattern and printed it onto the desired item, be it a cushion or a dress for the sake of mass production. This speaks volumes about the impression that the ancient weaving technique has left on the globe and is by no means the end of the loom and dye. Thanks to the multicultural nature of places like the UK, the craft is being preserved. Lessons are being offered in certain parts of the country in an effort to pass this invaluable and stunning method of creating unique patterns onto the next generation.

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