Pattachitra of Raghurajpur
Raghurajpur in Puri district, home to over 300 artisans who have learned and still practice various traditional art forms handed down over the generations. A family of artists lives in each of the 100 or so painted, yet modest households, which face one another. A series of temples dedicated to local and Hindu Gods occupy the lane between the homes. In Raghurajpur, worship and art are one — each breathes life and gives meaning to the other.
The chitrakars (painters) are the most famous and numerous among Raghurajpur artists. They paint brightly colored mythological stories about Jaganath and other Gods, especially Krishna. Derived from the Sanskrit word patta (canvas) and chitra (painting), pattachitra has its roots in the 12th century.
This artists’ village is also known for intricate palm leaf folded pictures etched in black with cut-outs, delicate brushwork on tussar silk, stone and woodcarvings. The stories are ubiquitous. Colourful painted coconuts reveal stories, as do painted birds, papier-mâché toys, masks and painted boxes that are displayed on meticulously clean stone front porches. Fashioned from local materials — palm leaf, coconut, local dyes, mouse hair, stone and wood — this range of art works have a unique beauty and guileless charm. The art works bring even more luster and eye-popping colour to the village.