The word Kathakali is a combination of two words – katha, meaning story, and kali, meaning performance. So it means a story which is performed. It is one of the classical dance forms of India, and comes from the State of Kerala. […]
Kalamkari is an art that was perfected around 3000 years ago! Traditionally, it’s done with organic dyes on cloth, using twigs as pens and brushes. It’s a complicated process involving more than 20 steps. Only some people in some regions of India know how to do it. […]
Pattachitra is a special form of painting done in Odisha. Patta can be translated as canvas, and chitra means painting. So Pattachitras are paintings done on canvas. But you don’t get these canvases in art stores. They have to be specially prepared by hand, and the process takes a lot of time.
The colours have also to be hand-made. Only 100% natural dyes are used. The base for the paints is the gum of the Kaitha tree. Different things are added to get different colours. Powdered conch shells are used to make white, lamp soot gives black, a stone called harikala is powdered to make yellow, and so on. The root of the Keya plant is used as a brush. […]
Bandhini is the art of making a special type of design on cloth which started thousands of years ago. Even people of the Indus Valley Civilization are believed to have practiced it. A painting in the 6th Century Ajanta Caves shows women wearing clothes with bandhani designs. This is the oldest record we have now of this particular art form. […]
Puppets are popular all over the world. They are not just children’s toys. Older people enjoy them too. In many parts of India, different types of puppets are used to tell stories. Andhra Pradesh is famous for a special type of puppets. They are made of leather. Shows using these puppets are known as Tholu bommalata. […]
Bidar is a little town in the southern Indian State of Karnataka. It is famous for a special type of metal craft known as Bidri – taking its name from the town itself.
Bidri art is a technique of making designs in silver in a base of a mixture of metals like zinc and copper, which combine to become black in colour. The silver patterns gleam and glow against the black background. The technique is used to make vases, wall plates, jewellery boxes, and other handicraft items. […]
Zardosi is a Persian word. ‘Zar’ means gold, and ‘dosi’ is work. It’s the name given to a particular type of embroidery which is believed to have been popular even in ancient India.
It was originally done with thin silver and gold wires, using special needles. Pearls, precious stones, sequins and beads were strung on the wires to make the work even grander. […]
Not far from Bangalore in Karnataka there is a place called Toy Town. Its actual name is Channapatna, but in Kannada it is called Gombegala Ooru, which means Toy Town. That’s because a lot of people there have been making wooden toys for many, many years. […]