India, an amalgamation of simplicity and serenity with the complexity and variety is best seen through its varied forms of arts and crafts. India’s vast cultural diversity and ethnic differences along with varied kinds of geographical conditions affecting living patterns of the people have resulted in each place having its own unique form of arts.
These unique styles of arts and crafts of India depict various forms of Indian heritage and its different history and moods. The designs and motifs used in the Indian art symbolises different periods in history as well culture and tradition of that time.
However, with passage of time new designs and motifs of arts have come up which beautifully showcase the refined styles without losing touch with authentic and age old presentation. Recent Indian arts forms represent a perfect blend of trend with tradition. India arts and crafts can be seen in each and every aspect of Indian life. Some of the prominent arts of India are:
Painting in India
Earliest of Indian paintings can be traced back to prehistoric times in the form rock paintings. Some of the petroglyphs that have found in places like Bhimbetka can be traced back to 5500 BC and later. Painting doorways and indoor rooms were also common in ancient India.
Indian paintings captivate tourists with intricate designs and unique styles. These are of various kinds such as cave paintings of Ajanta, Bagh, Ellora and Sittanavasal, temple paintings, etc.
Some of the popular genres of Indian paintings are Madhubani painting, Rajput painting, Tanjore painting and Mughal paintings. Some of the well-known painting school are Rajput, Deccan, Kangra and Moghul.
Stone Work and Sculptures in India
India has richest and one of the oldest of stone-carving traditions in the world. These can be traced back to even 7th century B.C. The strikingly intricate stone carvings can be seen in temples depicting various mythological stories.
Temples of Puri, Konark, Khajuraho, Kailash Temple, the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, etc. makes for an amazing visit not just because of their religious importance but also for the captivating stone carvings.
The state of Rajasthan because of the presence of various kinds of rocks such as granites, marbles, quartzite, slates and other metamorphic rocks is one of the most sought after place for stone carvers.
Some of the best stone carvings can be seen in temples of Bharatpur, Baroli, Ramgarh, Nagda, Ajmer, Chittor, Mandore, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Udaipur. Jali (latticework) carvings here along with temple carvings are also worth noticing.
The history of sculptures in India can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilization. Sculptures are another form of visual arts that attract many tourist and promises amazing sight. Deccan temples of Kanchipuram, Madurai, Rameswaram, the Sun temple of Orissa and the Khajuraho temple in the Madhya Pradesh, etc. are some of the places with worth noticing sculptures. Sculptures at Sanchi Stupa, Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda also amaze tourists with their sheer excellence.
Pottery Art in India
The art of pottery has been in India since the beginning of civilization. Their traces can be seen even in the Harappan Age. Generally, the pottery is done from a single mould and mostly it is hand-molded. However, traces show that pottery was done both ways- handmade and wheel-thrown.
This art has been quite respect and admired even in ancient Indian. This can be seen from the fact that potters had important position during Harappa and Mohenjo Daro age as well. The two main kinds of Indian pottery are Terracotta and blue gaze. Along with artistic, they also have religious significance as well.
Carpets Art in India
There are varied kinds of carpets as well in India representing various colours of different cultures. Indian carpets cater to wide range of tastes, budgets and preferences. These ranges vary from wool to silk carpets to cotton to those made up of several vegetable fibres. The motifs used on these carpets are also of various kinds which have influenced by cultures such as Persian, Afghanistan, Turkey, China, Morocco and France.
Wooden Art in India
One of the famous wooden art of India can be seen in the state of Jammu and Kashmir where one can find intricately designed furniture made from the walnut tree which is quite rare and popular amongst tourists. The state of Rajasthan also has a unique pattern of wood carving. Deities carved on rosewood and sandalwood from Rajasthan are quite popular as well.
In Madhya Pradesh, craftsman use a variety of wood like shisham, teak, dhudi, sal and kikar for making various items of daily as well as exquisite usage. Madhya Pradesh is also famous for various kinds of painted and lacquered wood product such as toys, boxes, bedposts, cradles posts, flower vases etc. can also be found in the state.
For wood lacquering, places like Gwalior, Sheopur-Kalan, Rewa and Budni are quite popular. Vine-leaf patterns of Saharanpur on Sheesham wood are also well known. Wood work on ebony or black sheesham inlaid with brass wire is something you will get in Manipur and is worth taking home.
Gems and Jewellery in India
Jewellery is an integral part of Indian culture, irrespective of the geographical location. There are various kinds of jewellery serving various purposes ranging from religious to purely aesthetic, from daily usage to ceremonial purposes, etc. not just for humans, in India the art of jewellery making is used for Gods and Goddess, ceremonial elephants and horses as well. These are made up from various kinds of gems, gold, scented sandalwood beads, multicolored silk thread, etc.