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Uttarakhand is a beautiful state with extraordinary natural beauty. This mountainous state enjoys the privilege of being a beautiful and naturally prosperous state. The ages-old Khasa and Kirati cultures developed here and spread to the other parts of the country. The tradition of Uttarakhand shows the diversities. This state is the true reflection of India, where tradition, culture, and language changes every few kilometers. The same trend can be seen with the handicrafts made in Uttarakhand.
Diverse culture is a crucial factor that makes any state rich is culture and handicrafts, and in Uttarakhand, it's very much visible. The painting culture inherited by the country after the rise of the Garhwal kingdom. The handicraft of Uttarakhand become more prosperous as the other kingdoms influenced the existing arts and crafts of this state.
When we talk about the handicrafts made in Uttarakhand, the very first thought is of miniature painting. This type of craftsmanship flourished in the state under the Garwal Kingdom. You will be surprised to know that since the invention, this art has witnessed many changes and the current form of miniature painting is also influenced by Mughal and Western Pahari style.
We all know about the natural beauty of Uttarakhand, but the art, craft, and culture of this state make it even more beautiful. The Pahari tribe of Uttarakhand lives in severe conditions due to the climate and geographical position of the state. Still, despite all the challenges, they have preserved their arts and cultures.
Uttarakhand is well known for its beauty, but the diversity of handicrafts of Uttarakhand also deserves a closer look. After witnessing the beauty of the crafts of this mountainous state, you will get another wonderful reason to visit this place. We have compiled this article to take you on a tour of the art and crafts of Uttarakhand, so without much ado, let's start this beautiful journey.
What drives you to visit Uttarakhand? The snow-packed sky kissing mountains or the traditional cuisine of the state? Well, the answer is both, but have you ever noticed the paintings on the kaccha houses on hills, or have you ever gave attention to the attire of the people living on higher areas in Uttarakhand. Most of us ignore these small wonders as natural beauty attracts us quickly. This is the main reason that handicraft of a state like Uttarakhand gets limited up to the exhibitions only.
As an authentic Indian, we must look beyond the natural beauty of a place, getting closer to the arts and crafts of different states of India is equally important. Today, we will explore the handicrafts of Uttarakhand that will make you fall in love with them, the traditional patterns and style are to be found nowhere else.
Nature has blessed Uttarakhand with greenery, the state is rich in forests and variety of trees. So wood is readily available here. The wood work can be seen in every house of Uttarakhand. The wood carving on the doors there is simple yet beautiful. The proficiency in the handicraft of Uttarakhand is very much visible from their art of wood carving. An elegant, beautifully carved door is the symbol of prosperity in the Kumauni and Garhwali region. Not just limited to this, you get to see wood crafts that can be a precious addition to your home decor. Nainital showcases wood crafts loved by people from different states and countries. The artistically carved items of this state are always in demand in other parts of the country.
It is believed that Chandravanshi clan from Rajasthan migrated to the Champawat region of Uttarakhand in the 16th century, and since then, the people of the state are making use of copper. Some sources say that the discovery of copper or tamtas dates back to prehistoric times. Uttarakhand accepted this new metal and started carving it in own style. Almora, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar became three main centers of this craft. The tamta art of the state hold that traditional touch till date. The tamta crafts of Berinaag and Gangolihaat region of Uttarakhand is also well know. However, some of the best coppersmiths belong to the Tamta Mohalla, a locality in Almora.
The lush green forest and beautiful mountains of Uttarakhand can inspire anyone to be an artist. This must be the natural beauty of Garhwal and Kumaon that inspired the artists. The Mughal styles paintings of Garhwal are very famous, and are a must buy for people with artistic eye. It is said that Garhwal has also been a house of gharanas of miniature paintings. With time this art is vanished, but there are a few artists who have preserved the art. Looking at original Garhwali painting, tempts you to buy one for your home.
Pita and chowki are the best known painting practices that can be seen in the state of Uttarakhand. The pita art form is used to decorate the seat of Hindu lord Shiva on auspicious days. In contrast, the chowki is to decorate for the positions of Hindu goddess Laxmi and Saraswati. In these art forms, the geometric patterns and traditional patterns are used to decorate the seats of Hindu deities.
Rangoli is traditional Indian art, and you can find it in almost every part of India despite the changes in the culture or language, Uttarakhand is no exception. Aipan is a form of rangoli that is used by people of Uttarakhand since ages to decorate the doorsteps of their house. This art can be seen in every house during the Diwali festival, as it is a way to welcome goddess Laxmi. Aipan is a traditional art of decoration which includes red background and white color to draw the patterns on it. The white color is made from a paste of rice flour and the red background is prepared with red clay popularly known as geru.
If you have a special love for ornaments like I have, then the goldsmiths of Garhwal and Kumaon regions offer the best gold and silver jewelry with traditional patterns. The most preferred metals here are gold and silver, you can get the ornaments in easily affordable metal like copper and brass. With the increasing crazy for fashion and moving with trend buzz, modern designs are more in demand but the traditional styles still hold their place.
The waxwork of Nainital is mesmerizing. Here you will get some of the most beautiful candles in different designs and sizes, ranging from miniature to the giant home decor candles. In the candles. The most popular candles are rope candles and scented tin box candles. The artists of the area are master at their work and wax work offered by them is worth all the price.
The traditional Pichoras is more than a dupatta or a piece of cloth. Pichaura is a handmade dupatta of reddish or yellowish color. This beautiful dupatta holds cultural value, and in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand women can be seen in pichora on every celebratory occasion. The traditional rangwali pichaura includes the sun, the moon, swastika, bell, etc. on the centre. Now a few people prefer dying the pichora in artificial colors like red and yellow, but traditionally this dupatta gets its color from the roots of kilmode and turmeric. Pichoras are gifted to the daughter by her parents on her wedding day. In Kumaon, this dupatta holds religious significance. If you like traditional art, then this is a must-buy for you.
Your trip to Uttarakhand is incomplete without witnessing the rambaans craft and ringaal basketry of Uttarakhand. Rambaans handicrafts are made from jute and ringal is a type of bamboo used for making baskets. Both jute and bamboo are found in abundance in the land of Gods. When in Uttarakhand, do not miss on buying ringal baskets, jute crafts and other decorative items, bags made with rambaans or ringal.
From the prehistoric era till date, the traditional art still holds an important place in the state of Uttarakhand. The art that has lived in the state since ages have been transferred from one generation to another. Till now, this tradition of passing the art skills to next generation is alive. Aipan and Pitha are the two unique types of art of this state. The art and crafts of every state has a touch of the culture and tradition of the state, and Uttarakhand is no different. If you want to relive the eethnicity of the your state and feel connected to the place you belong, try bigTokari.