Art is an effort to create beside the real world, a more humane world
– Andre Maurois , French Author
Each village in India is a mixture of tranquility, serenity, quietude and innocence. Along with the farms draped in colors of its cereals and flowers, the Indian villagers being talented individuals have innovated their own village art, which unveils the creative and colorful sphere of India.
Enthusiastic artists, armed with their ideas and brushstrokes, are now determined to draw your attention to these villages which undoubtedly are a safe haven of paintings, potteries, sculptures etc.
1. Andretta – For your very own artistic endeavor
Set in the Himalayan foothills, Andretta is a prosperous, clean and green village which curves around a gentle hill slope often covered with snow-covered peaks. The place is made purely for inspiration and is known to attract artists from various walks of life. Home to the Andretta Pottery and Crafts Society, one of the most prominent centers of poetry in the region, it is known for its miniature paintings and pottery exhibits.
Enroll yourself for the pottery course here and color your hands with mud !
2. Raghurajpur – Where art is on wall, leaves and stones
The fascinating artists’ village of Raghurajpur, 14 km north of Puri, is two streets and 120 thatched brick houses adorned with murals of geometric patterns and mythological scenes. Situated on the southern bank of river Bhargavi and surrounded by coconut, palm, mango, jack fruit and other tropical trees, Raghurajpur occupies a unique place in the cultural map of India.
Pattachitra is Raghurajpur’s most famed art form and the paintings have been traced as far back as the 12th century. Trees, flowers and birds border the paintings, while the portraits are characterized by fine brushstrokes.
Feel free to strike up a conversation with the artists when you visit Raghurajpur ; the villagers are keen to share insights into their art and folklore.
3. Shilpgram – The town of artists, dancers and performers
Situated 3km west from Udaipur- the city of lakes, palaces and gardens, Shipgram is perceived with artists, dancers and performers. Set in dusty, rolling countryside, it’s contrived, but remains interesting. Expanding to an area of around 70 acre, this village is a living ethnographic museum which is flourishing with the aim of showcasing the diversity in art and cultures in the form of paintings, colorful displays, sculptures, murals etc.
The Shilpgram Art and Crafts Festival/ Fair takes place every year in December end . The festival lasts for 10 days and is attended by scores of people from across India. It offers a grand spectacle of multicultural events and cultural extravaganza for people fond of art souvenirs.
4. Bishnupur – A handicraft collector’s delight
Known for its beautiful terracotta temples, Bishnupur flourished as the capital of the Malla kings from the 16th to the early 19th centuries. The architecture of these intriguing temples is a bold mix of Bengali, Islamic and Oriya (Odishan) styles.
Bishnupur is a handicraft collector’s delight. The town, famed for its medieval terracotta temples, is home to artisans who craft intricate Dhokra metal work and conch shell bangles worn by feisty Bengali brides. This town of emerald fields is also known for its weavers, who draw inspiration from the temple to create delicate Baluchari silk saris.
5. Pochampally – Shades of Tie and Dye
Situated 42km from Hyderabad, Pochampally is a weavers’ village, where ‘ikat’ like designs on cotton and silk are painstakingly woven on mechanized as well as pit looms to make saris ornamented with an exquisite designs. Every member of the artisan household is closely integrated with the intricate tie-dye process of “ikat weaving”. The craft has earned a reputation worldwide and a glimpse at the dexterous village folk explains why this enduring tradition has not only survived but also thrived!
Ingratiate yourself with the locals and watch them weave magic !
6. Hodka – The Landscape of Colorful Souvenirs
Situated at 64km to the North of Bhuj, Hodka is the face of Kutch handicrafts and is a home to a large number of pastoral communities. Little girls in this village are seen dressed in exquisite hand-embroidered clothes as they lure visitors to buy souvenirs. They are proficient at stitching, making purses, skirts, cholis, quilt, covers for cattle horn, door hangings, embroidered items embellished with mirrors, shells, beads and tassels and so on.
The Shaam-e-Sarhad Rural Resort in this village is a perfect gateway to unfold a unique travel experience. This resort is an excellent example of how local communities can come together and execute ecotourism concept that increases awareness of local arts and crafts and set a good example for other rural tourism projects in India.
Awaken the art enthusiast in you and make way to these beautiful villages full of festive extravaganza, cultural hybridity and colorful souvenirs!