CONTACT OUR TRAVEL AGENT FOR TOURS ON ARTS AND CRAFTS OF RAJASTHAN
Rajasthan is among the richest states
in the country as far as the field of arts and crafts is
concerned. May be it was a result of the war-like lifestyle of the
people of Rajasthan which sharpened the creative senses, artistic
skills and inspired them to create the most opulent and richest of
treasures. Stone, clay, leather, wood, ivory, lac, glass, brass,
silver, gold and textiles were given the most brilliant forms.
Art flourished in this region as far
back as 2nd-1st centuries BC and continued over the centuries. In
Baroli, in the Hadoti region, presence of several sculptures
proves that a regular art school existed in the 10th century. The
cave paintings, terracotta and other stone sculptures excavated at
different sites corroborate this.
Each period of history saw its own
contribution to the thriving art scene. History of Rajasthan
reveals that the kings and their nobles were patrons of arts and
crafts and they encouraged their craftsmen in activities ranging
from wood and marble carving to weaving, pottery and painting. And
art seems to have been an obsessed with the
inhabitants of this parched landscape.
The desire to decorate their surroundings was very strong. Nothing
was overlooked animals from the regal elephant to the lowly
donkey, the great palaces and the inner chambers of forbidding
forts were decorated with as much attention as were the walls of
humble mud huts. The inhabitants were not too far behind when it
came to adorning themselves and it was not only the women who
beautified themselves the heroic warriors extended equal attention
to their clothing and armour they went into battles with
meticulously ornamented swords and shields. The horses and
elephants that took the warriors to battles received the same care
jewelled saddles and intricate silver howdas were just some of the
ornaments that were used to adorn them.
For women there was infinite variety
tie and dye fabrics, embroidered garments, enamel jewellery
inlayed with precious and semi-precious stones, leather jootis.
They put their lives indoors to very good use by decorating their
surroundings on the walls of their mud-huts were painted geometric
designs as well as simple m s like flowers and birds. Also tile
women folk made intricate patterns Out doors shaped straw and
twine to turn into the most beautiful items.
When the Rajputs came to dominate this
region, it was a period of constant strife. They were almost
always in battle with their neighbouring kingdoms When a kingdom
fell and a new ruler took over, it was time for change paintings
depicting the new rulerís victory, scenes from the battle and
processions of the victorious march were faithfully reproduced on
the walls and handmade paper. Other than the paintings, the new
rulers also influenced the existing crafts of that area. Despite
their love for the battlefield, the Rajputs have been patrons of
art and also their 350 years of contact with the Mughals led to a
very strong influence on their lives and arts. Quite a few folk
arts received the refinement and delicacy of the Mughal courts.
They borrowed freely from the Agra and Delhi courts and in some
cases, also sent their skilled craftsmen to adorn the Mughal
meenakari is famed for its delicacy and its use of colours.
Pratapgarh and Nathdwara are two other centres which produce fine
quality enamel work.
Jewelery: Rajasthan is rich in
jewellery, each area having its own unique style. Some of the
traditional designs are rakhri, tirnaniyan, bala, bajuband, gajra,
gokhru, jod, etc. Tribal women wear heavy, simply crafted
jewellery and seem to carry the weight (almost up to five kgs)
without much discomfort almost all the time. Men too wear their
share of ornaments in the form of chockers and earrings.
Ivory: The ivory bangles that most
Rajasthani women wear are considered auspicious. Ivory is also
inlaid and shaped into intricate items of great beauty. Miniature
paintings were also executed on ivory.
Lac and Glass: Lac bangles are made in
bright colours and sometimes inlaid with glass. Other decorative
and functional items are also available.
Sandalwood and Wood: Carved wood is
presented in a wide range of objects and is simple and
Stone: Statues on religious themes are
carved all over Rajasthan and in several cities there are still
entire lanes where the stone carvers can be seen giving final
touches to statues or even pillars. Other crafts like blue
pottery, hand block printing, tie and dye, terracotta sculptures,
painting on camel hide, embroidery, cloth painting, carpets,
durries, inlay work on brass and wood are to be found all over