Ever wondered what makes the Taj Mahal, Ajanta-Ellora Caves, popular temples of South India and Akshardham and terracotta pots, cane furniture, blue pottery products, kalamkari & phulkari textiles and jute jewellery so exquisite and special? It is the beauty of Indian art!!!
The intricate designs and carvings done in Taj Mahal is one of the finest examples of rich legacy of Indian art. India’s excellent craftsmanship is that one exclusive factor which has carved a distinct identity to win plaudits and respect worldwide. Be it monuments, antiques or decor products the traditional Indian art and craftsmanship have always helped to preserve the heritage art of India.
Each Indian state embodies its unique art and origin, building their identity worldwide. These handicraft products are astonishing treasure trove of immense craftsmanship and intricate Indian art. The rich and exotic appeal of these high-quality handicraft goods handcrafted by different communities and tribes across the country shows its cultural values and art. Be it through the use of vibrant colours, bold patterns, texture or design the Indian art is winning every ones heart globally.
Today, the demand of Indian handicraft is not limited to the domestic market but it has also carved a niche importance in global market, making India world’s major supplier of handicraft products.
Not every handmade product is Indian art and nor it is considered as handicraft. The authenticity of handicrafts can be seen through the cultural and traditional Indian art forms used for making the products be it carvings or paintings.
Today, visit anywhere in India you will be amazed by seeing some excellent handicrafts made using unique art forms of that particular place or region.
Jaipur “The Pink City”: is known for its handcrafted camel leather Jajwa products, Blue pottery decor products, Hand-embroidered Mojaris, Silver and gem ornaments, tie-n-dye textile products, block printed textiles and wooden handicrafts.
Assam: is known for its rich Muga Silk fabric textiles, Cane & Bamboo craft products like mats, baskets, bags and many more.
Gujarat: is known for its unique textile craft of Bandhani, Block printing, Conch shell & shellac bangle making.
Chhattisgarh: is known for its Dhokra art products. Dhokra is non–ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique. This sort of metal casting has been used in India for over 4,000 years and is still used. Dhokra horses, elephants, peacocks, owls, religious images, measuring bowls, and lamp caskets etc., are highly appreciated.
Telangana: is known for Pembarthi Metal Craft. It is a metal handicraft made in Pembarthi, Warangal district, Telangana State, India. They are popular for their exquisite sheet metal art works. This meticulous brass work art flourished during the reign of Kakatiyas Empire. Kakatiyas extensively used sheet metal art to adorn chariots and temples.
Odisha: is known for its famous art of Ganjifa card painting. Ganjifa cards are circular or rectangular and traditionally hand-painted by artisans. These cards have mythological characters painted on it.
Bihar: is known for Madhubani paintings also known as Mithila paintings. It is believed that the art of Madhubani painting is traced back during the Ramayana period.
The above are just a few examples of Indian art from its different states. India has 29states each having its unique form of art and talented artists. If we talk about monuments, temples and other sights you can find the traces of Indian art.
Stated below are some amazing example of Indian art & carvings:
The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983 for being “The jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.
The Kangra Fort, Himachal Pradesh:
Kangra Fort is one of the oldest forts in India. The fort was devastated by a disastrous earthquake in 1905, but it stands as testimony to the architectural skills of the times. The fort includes richly carved temples with idols embossed in their walls showcasing Indian art.
Dilwara Temple, Mount Abu, Rajasthan:
The Jain temple of Dilwara in Mount Abu is known for its exquisite marble carvings done the pillars, ceiling and doorways of the temple. The ceiling of this temple is unique and example of the superb skills in stone carvings of the Indian art at that time.
Qutub Minar, Delhi
This 72.5 meter high minaret with 379 steps made of red sandstone and marble is the UNESCO world heritage site located in Delhi. This tower is known for its steps covered with carvings and inscriptions. The calligraphy at the fourth level is noteworthy.
Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra:
The sculpture is simple hammer-and-chisel work in a natural horseshoe-shaped rock wall having 30 caves. Each cave is like a room within the rock, with some having inner rooms as well. In addition to the sculptures, the caves have magnificent wall paintings. The caves continue to attract tourists from all over the world even today.
Even the major luxury brands like Valentino, Hermes, Oscar De La Renta, Chanel, etc demand for intricate and delicate designs in various types of weaves and embroideries done on Pashmina, Brocade, Banarasi silk, Jamawar, Silk carpets that are manufactured in India and are a big part of our Indian heritage and handicrafts. The fact that makes these Indian art embroideries so exclusive is that the work can hardly be duplicated or machine created. The fineness and sophistication makes these handmade creations look luxurious and differentiate them with machine made goods. It can only be done by skilled professional craftsmen and the value of these goods remains high and reputes through ages. It is not only the brand name but also the hard work, time consumed and rich handcrafted designs that make these luxurious products so expensive.
The production of handicrafts is (after agriculture) the largest source of income among rural populations. Data from unofficial sources indicates that up to 200 million artisans depend on their crafts for a livelihood, suggesting the need for a more rigorous mapping and understanding of the sector. Over the past 30years the number of Indian craftsmen has decreased by 30%. This indicates the need to re-invest in the art and safeguard the future of artisans preserving the history, culture and livelihood.