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  • Best Indian Art and Craft Items That Will Make A Great Wedding Gift

    In most regions of the world, a wedding is a ceremony celebrated with lots of style and cheer. All guests are treated with utmost respect, and all parties involved usually strive to make the occasion a success. An age-old wedding tradition, 'Gift giving' is a crucial part of the ceremony. In most cases, gifts are given only to the newly wedded couples. But in some traditions, they are also exchanged between the hosts and guests as an expression of gratitude and joy. Choosing the right wedding gift for a close relative or friend can be quite a challenge. Here are some of the best Indian art and craft items that will make a good wedding gift for your loved ones.

    Jewellery

    Women and jewellery are nearly inseparable. In India, the brides are gifted valuable ornaments by relatives, parents and even friends. In India, it is believed that gifting a high-value item will help newlyweds to add few assets to help start their life together and hence gold jewellery is very common. Jewellery also serves the very important purpose i.e. making the bride look pretty.

    All cities in India have skilled jewellers offering both traditional and modern jewellery. Indian jewellers make their ornaments out of semi-precious stones such as garnets, emeralds, turquoises and rubies or precious metals such as silver and gold. Gold jewellery is arguably the most popular in India and is considered a status symbol.

    Sari

    Handmade from silk or cotton fabric, the sari is one of the oldest unstitched garments that are still in use to this day in India. Over the course of time, the sari has grown from being a regular wardrobe item of the Indian woman to a fashionable attire popular across the world. Handmade series are beautiful, elegant, and unique and would make a great wedding gift for the bride. Sari fabrics are decorated mostly using traditional methods such as raw thread embroidery, Zari, Naqshi and Dabka. Silk is preferred over cotton as it adds an exquisite sheen to the fabric making it look exotic and expensive.

    Home décor items

    At times it is the things that seem small and insignificant that turn a house into a home. A gift of one or more home furnishings such as paintings, lampshades, Kalasam and murals could make a really good impression. Decorative oil lamps, also known as diyas, made from copper, gold or silver will surely impress the couple who will receive them as a gift. Handmade carpets and rugs could also be considered.

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    Check out more gift ideason our online Poompuhar store and impress your loved ones with fascinating keepsakes.

  • 10 must have beautiful items from Poompuhar collection to welcome New Year

    It is almost New Year!! As we step into 2018 with all the experiences from 2017, we are bound to feel happy and nostalgic at the same time. It is time to celebrate the new beginnings while saying farewell to a great year. If you are someone who likes to express yourself with gifts or souvenir, then you can browse through the vast handicraft collection on Poompuhar website. There is something for every occasion with a promise of quality on each product. Indian handicrafts have always been mesmerising so why not start a new year with a great gift for you and your family or friends. Here is a glimpse of a few popular and new handicraft items available at Poompuhar –

    Krishna Leela Green Stone

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    This delicatestatue is made of green stone andexhibits an enthusiastic display of excellentartistry. It has ornamental carvings to enhance its fine work.  The statue is four inces and suitable as a gift.

    Granite Stone Elephant

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    This granite stone made elephant statue is available in different variants in terms of weight and height. The statue is of a walking elephant and can be used for decorating purposes.

    Thanjavur Painting RadhaKrishnar

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    This Thanjavur painting of RadhaKrishnar is suitable for worship home as well as for decorative purposes. The God is portrayed as sitting and offering blessing. The painting dimensions are 142*110*8 and it weighs almost 70000Kg.

    Sandal Wood Arch Ganesh

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    This is a rare and beautiful sandalwood figurewill fill your home with never-ending aromaof sandal wood. It is a graceful idol of Lord Ganesh and will add serenity to your home.

    This original work made of superior sandalwood is a gem that can be appreciated for a very long time. Its dimensions are 9*6*2 and it weighs approximately 300 Kg.

    Ashtrotra Deepam

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    Lighting an Ashtrotra Deepam on New Year eve will help you attract positivity and happiness in future. This Lamp is elevated from the base and has four branches which are tailored with five small hanging spouted thagali. The top of the lamp has a statue of Goddess Laxmi,sitting on a Lotus. The lamp is made of 60% copper and 40% zinc and weighs around 13 kg.

    Thanjavur Art Plate Ashtalakshmi

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    Poompuhar is offering this beautifully crafted Tanjore Art Plate to the art-lovers which is accessible in numerousschemes and patterns. This plate is an example of latest fashion trends and is meticulously designed by famous artisans. The material used in making this products are of high quality and modern techniques have been used to give the fine details. This art plate represents the Astalakshmi concept i.e. it denotes eight forms of Goddess Lakshmi. This plate is ideal for pooja and ornamental purpose or as gift items.

    IllamThorumValluvar - ThiruvallurSripam 3D Printed

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    Thiruvalluvar, also known as Valluvar, is a renowned Tamil poet and philosopher. This statue is to honor his teachings. His contribution to Tamil literature is called Thirukkural which is about ethics.  It represents one of his saying - “Do not lose hope follow the Thirukural and blessed life.”

    Maha Meru Stone

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    Maha Meru or Sumeru is a sacred mountain which isrespected indifferent cultures in India like Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The highest point or the last bud on this six foot pyatthat signifies Mount Meru

    Wall Hanging Lamp Shade

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    This 200Kg leather lamp shade is perfect for decorative use as well as gift. It has fine details and is of high qyality.

    Balaji with Lakshmi Thanjavur Painting

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    This Thanjavur painting showcases a sketch of Lord Balajion a dark-background with His divine companion Goddess Mahalakshmi. It has cheerfulwork of gold foil and kundan stones.

    I have already decided what to add to my art collection, have you? Have a great year ahead!!

    Happy New Year…

  • The Popular Arts of Jammu and Kashmir

    Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most attractive destinations in India. The craftsmen of Jammu and Kashmir have mastered the art of making some of the most intricate and artistic items.

    There are a variety of items made in Jammu and Kashmir:

    • Shawls
    • Carpets
    • Papier mache
    • Wood carvings
    • Chain Stitch
    • Khatumbandh
    • Basketry
    • Namdas
    • Basketry

    These are some of the 5 popular art pieces:

    Kashmiri Shawls

    Are you looking for comfortable and stylish shawls? The Kashmiri shawls are soft, fashionably elegant and sophisticated. The precision and concentration invested in the making of the shawls make them a sought-after commodity in the international market. These shawls are made of three fiber, wool, Pashmina and Shahtoosh. The shawls are unique with very interesting designs.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Kashmiri Carpets

    Kashmir’s art is renowned for its hand-made Kashmiri carpets. These carpets are unique because they are hand-made. Artisans mostly use silk yarns or wool to weave the carpets. The carpet has fine finishing with intricate designs, making them distinct from any other carpet.

    Papier Mache

    Papier mache is an old form of handicrafts in Jammu and Kashmir. It is made up of the pulp of paper and adhesive solution.

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    The paper is soaked in water for a few days then mixed with an adhesive solution. It is then molded, painted and polished. The art of papiermache uses original gold painted items making it quite expensive.

    Woods Carvings

    Wood carvings is one of the oldest arts practiced in Kashmiri. The craftsmen carve some of the best intricate wood designs. The art of carving furniture and other decorative items requires a high degree of skill and craftsmanship.

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    The craftsmen use wood from walnut and chinar of Kashmir. This is because the wood has fine texture and pattern. The popular types of carving practiced in Kashmir are raised, engraved, undercut and plain.

    Chain Stitch

    Chain Stitch is natively known as jalakdozi. It is a stitch done with a hook. The rugs are made of hand-made cloth or hessian cloth.

    The embroidery is done on traced designs, ranging from floral patterns to animal and human forms. This stitch is done on rugs, wall hangings, cushion covers, and duvets covers.

  • The Art of Pottery in India

    The art of making decorative vessels using clay is one of the oldest forms of art. In India, it is one of the oldest crafts that is still being practiced. Pottery adorns majority of Indian homes because of its exquisite and elegant features.

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    Pottery is the art of making earthenware using moist clay and then drying them. Drying is done either by exposure to the sun, fire, baking in kilns or ovens.

    Indian pottery comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. This craft is used to make every type of earth-ware like cooking vessels, food bowls, storage red pots, urns, flower pots and decorative pots.

    The raw materials used in making pottery are clay and water which can be found throughout the country.

    Image Credit - pixabay Image Credit - pixabay

    There are two popular methods of making pottery in India. They either use their hands or wheel to makes pottery. There are different styles or types of pottery in India.

    • Glazed pottery
    • Unglazed pottery
    • Terracotta
    • Papier-Mache

    Unglazed Pottery

    This is one of the ancient forms of pottery in India. There are three different types of unglazed glazed pottery.

    • Paper thin pottery with makes use of incised patterns.
    • Pottery made using the scraffito technique, which involves polishing and painting intricate patterns.
    • The third is polished pottery, which makes use of stylized patterns of arabesques.

    Glazed Pottery

    Glazed pottery is popular in many states in India. This kind of pottery has a white background and the patterns are green and blue. Delhi and Khurja are renowned for the blue pottery. This pottery does not use clay, instead, it is covered with finely ground glass and then fired.

    Terracotta

    This style of pottery is mainly involved sculptures. This form of pottery is commonly displayed in places of worship. In the rural parts of India, women make decorative sculptures to adorn their homes. During festivals, they also use clay to make idols of their gods and goddesses.

    Papier Mache

    Papier Mache is an old form of pottery in India. It makes use of pulp paper and adhesive solution. After soaking the paper in the solution for a few days, the paper is molded and painted.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Terracotta Art – Creating Art from Earth

    Terracotta is an art of moulding earth into beautiful art. It is an ancient art dating back to 700 BC. Sculptures of Goddess, Gods, cart frames, and wheels have been unearthed from various sites from Indus Valley, verifying that it was first originated in India. Terracotta items were also largely used in trade deeds at that time, for example, trade seals.

    This art is appreciated around the world and is becoming a hobby for many creative individuals. This art is known to bring your imagination to life and it requires patience and dedication. There are many institutes which teach you how to create this art from a handful of mud.

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    Terracotta art has been an essential part of Indian heritage and it has not lost its significance with time. If anything, terracotta art has been more popular and in high demand as artists have adopted with time and kept innovating. It has been passed along through generations. Today India exports many beautiful terracotta objects such as statues, urns, attractive bells, wall painting, oil lamps, and so on. This art has proved to be a very profitable for artists as it is always in demand with customers. In India, you can find terracotta artists in almost every village and city; however, there are few states which are famous for their distinct form of terracotta art.

    Rural areas of the West Bengal are known for creating beautiful terracotta pots, collectibles like attractive horses, household, and decorative items. Famous towns in West Bengal known for terracotta art are Murshidabad, Jessore, Birbhaum, Digha, and Hooghly. The terracotta art form was introduced in Bengal in the 16th century by Vaishnavite association. Their patterns generally describe the details to the community for which the art is created. In Darbhanga city in Bihar, horses are regular objects of terracotta art. Other animals’ sculptures signify major events or festivals such as elephants statutes are used during marriages. Artists from Gundiyali region in Bhuj, Gujrat create attractive clay pots with geometrical designs. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir are some Indian state famous for terracotta art. Famous terracotta items which are created by artists are birds, animal figures like horses, elephants, snakes tigers, cow, elephants, buffalos, large statues of Hindu Gods.  In Tamil Nadu, few villagers have shaped enormous hollow horses with intricate decorations which are known to be the world's biggest hollow clay statues.

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    Terracotta art has survived since the 15th century due to its resourcefulness. From being used to create home décor items to building temples and building, terracotta is used for all. This building material is available in abundance universally. The know-how was developed after people learned the art of baking clay and started using it to design more permanent buildings, in case of inaccessibility to other materials like stones or woods. One of the best examples of terracotta architecture can be found in Bishnupura in Bankura district of West Bengal. It is the most popular and beautiful terracotta temple with extraordinary figurines and sculptures.

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  • Famous Ancient Indian Traditional Art and Paintings

    India is a land of cultural diversity but we can always witness that all these differences only makes it more interesting. Ancient Indian folk art is a tradition in India and it has been practiced through various generations in many parts of the country. With time, art forms tend to adapted modern resources but there are still few unpretentious forms who have survived the test of time. Most of the Indian folk art forms illustrate religious stories about God and Goddesses, and yet they are different from each other. Traditionally natural colours, earth, charcoal and natural resources were used by artists to maintain the natural integrity of the art. Ancient antique paintings are portrayed on the cloth or canvas.  Below is the list of ancient Indian art forms appreciating their uniqueness and magnificence –

    Madhubani Art

    Madhubani art originated in Mithila region of Bihar in India, hence this art is also known as Mithila art. Madhubani art is found in the mural and geometric patterns describing religious folk stories, God, Goddesses, Indian flora, and fauna. In ancient times, this art was used by women to decorate their home walls. Madhubani can be painted using fingers, sticks, brushes, pointed pens and natural colors and dyes. This art is mostly used as a part of the ritual during Indian festivals and happy occasions like birth or marriage, Holi, Kali Puja, Durga Puja.

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    Gond

    The Gond art form is said to evolve from Madhya Pradesh region in India. It is called Gond based on the name of ‘The Gondi tribe’ who is known as the inventor of Gond art. This type of art also focuses on the mysteries of nature, plants, animals. This is a very lively art form characterized by its upbeat colour schemes and vibrant looks. Natural colours are prepared from soil, charcoal and cow dung and are used to create this art form.

    Miniature Paintings

    Indian Miniatures paintings date back to 17th century and evolved in Western Himalayas. The art items are painted in small size with elaborate expressions and are inspired by Persian art style during Mughal era. The artists used to describe history and war. The main characteristics of a miniature painting are the enlarged eyes, sharp nose, and thin waist with men in turbans.

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    Phat Art

    Phat art is a traditional art of Rajasthan with paintings of folk deities of Pabujai and Devnarayan. The painting describes the incidents related to lives of these deities. It is painted on canvas and the paintings are generally large in size. Painters use natural colours and dye to create this magnificent art form.

    Kalamkari

    Kalamkari art is a Hindi translation for ‘creating art with pen’. A kalamkari is an ancient form of hand painting painted on cotton or silk cloth using natural colours and a special type of tamarind pen. This art is popular in Andhra Pradesh in machilipatnam and Srikalahasti. Machilipatnam artists create block paintings and Srikalahasti artists create designs on fabrics using pens. Natural resources are used for preparing colours such as fruits, vegetables, leaves and so on. Most common objects of Kalamkari art are flowers, birds, peacocks and Hindu mythological stories. In this day and age, this art has excelled as a popular art to create Kalamkari sarees.

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    Tanjore Painting

    Tanjore paintings are a famous art form of South Indian culture and are native to Thanjavur region of Tamil Nadu.  These paintings depict the stories related to God, Goddesses and holy saints of Hindu religion. Vibrant colours, precious stones, and ornaments are used to create these paintings. This art form is the blend of Maratha, Deccan and European panache and it originated in India somewhere in the 16th century.

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    Cheriyal Scrolls

    Cheriyal Scrolls painting is an ancient art form similar to Nakashi art. In current times, this art is only created in Telangana and Hyderabad states in India. These cheriyal scrolls paintings use local motifs and stories from Indian mythology. These scrolls are more than fifty feet long and painted in panels to narrate the stories from Puranas and Indian epics. Primary colours are used to create the scrolls.

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    Bhil

    Bhil is a folk art created by one of the main tribes in India known as ‘Bhils’. They live in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra region in India. Bhils are known as successors of Eklavya, the great archer from Mahabharata. Bhil paintings are mostly about nature and tribal lifestyle and are painted using bright natural colours.

    Kalighat Paintings

    Kalighat paintings are used by artists to raise their voice against social conditions and cause awareness. The art form is known to exist since the 19th century and was originated at Kalighat in West Bengal state in India. Initially, this art was focused to tell religious stories but in modern times it is used for social reforms.

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    Warli

    Warli is another tribal art form from the Gujarat and Maharashtra regions. The Warli tribe used to paint the walls to decorate their homes. This painting uses geometric patterns to describe life in a modest way. The art is created on gerue (red soil) base with bamboo sticks. Rice paste is used to paint the various life events like festivals, dancing, etc.

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    Saura

    Saura is a traditional tribal painting used by Saura tribe living in Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. These paintings describe the never-ending connection between nature and mankind. Saura paintings use natural colours made from neem leaves, herbs, and flowers. Saura art also uses geometric patterns like Warli however it is much bigger and extended form of painting.

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