Most Popular Handicrafts of India from 36 States and Union Territories

This article by has been written to attract the attention of readers across the world to the traditional handicrafts of India. We aim to encourage Indian craftsmen and their craftsmanship. In the past, these crafts were a major source of income for many people. But now due to industrialization many of our traditional artisans are facing intense competition.

Handicrafts of India
Handicrafts of India

Table of Contents

Handicrafts of India – Introduction

India is a land of different cultures, religions, and traditions. Handicrafts made in India vary from region to region. The handicrafts of India reflect the different lifestyles of the people of India. They have been the source of livelihood of Indian artisans for many generations. More than 20 million artisans in different states make various handicrafts and contribute to the economy of India.

Handicrafts in India are made by hand using simple tools without harming the environment. Craftsmen mostly use locally available raw material but now in modern times, they get the raw material from other states and countries also.

A person who makes handicraft products is called a craftsman or artisan. These artisans work individually or in groups. Both men and women are involved in the making of Indian handicrafts. These Indian craftsmen living in rural areas and towns are very skilled in their craft. Their children also help them in making crafts and by the time they grow up, they also become skilled craftsmen.

The following persons/entities are involved in making and selling Indian handicrafts:-

1) Handicraft Artisans – Those who make handicraft products themselves.
2) Handicraft Entrepreneurs – Those who manufacture handicraft products as a team.
3) Handicraft MSMEs – Those who manufacture handicraft products as a team and are also registered as an MSME.
4) Handicraft NGOs – A Non-Governmental Organization.
5) Handloom Weavers – Those who make handloom products themselves.
6) Handloom Entrepreneurs – Those who manufacture handloom products as a team.
7) Handloom MSMEs – Those who manufacture handloom products as a team and are also registered as an MSME.
8) Handloom NGOs – A Non-Governmental Organization.

Indian handicrafts are appreciated all over the world. Indian handicrafts reflect the historical, mythological, social, and rich cultural heritage of India. The creativity of Indian artisans can be seen in the beautiful designs created in various handicrafts. Indian artistry can also be seen in ancient temples and monuments in India.

Potter at Work
Potter at Work

Indian Handicrafts History

Handicrafts are as old as human history. Due to social and cultural changes, handicrafts in India have witnessed many changes since ancient times.

This section is divided into different periods to understand the history and condition of Indian crafts under different civilizations.

Crafts During Indus Valley Civilization (3300 BCE to 1300 BCE)

The Indus Valley Civilization is one of the oldest civilizations and was located in parts of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization, lasted from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE.

India’s craft trade with other countries began with the Indus Valley Civilization. The Craftsmen of that time made a variety of products which included jewelry, statues, pottery, seals, terracotta products, etc. They were quite artistic and imaginative.

Bronze statues found in Harappa were made using the lost wax technique, a technique still used in many parts of India. These statues were of humans and animals. Bronze and copper sculptures of humans and animals found from various sites of the Indus Valley Civilization are proof of their incredible craftsmanship.

Apart from making sculptures and other products from stone, copper, and bronze, they also specialized in making terracotta products. They used to make statues of humans and deities, toys for children to play with, etc.

Pottery craft was one of the major Harappan crafts. Pottery wheels were used to make many products from red clay. They made household products like utensils, vases, etc. with various animal and geometric designs.

Artisans used to make various types of jewelry like rings, earrings, necklaces, etc. using clay, bones, ivory, stones, beads, copper, gold, and other precious gems. The jewelry found at these sites is well crafted.

Crafts During Vedic Period (1500 BCE to 500 BCE)

The Vedic period lasted from 1500 BCE to 500 BCE. Vedas were composed during this period. The art of pottery, weaving and wooden handicrafts, etc. finds mention in the Vedas. Both men and women had artistic skills and were involved in making various crafts.

Crafts During Mauryan Empire (321 BCE to 185 BCE)

The Mauryan Empire, which ruled a large part of India, lasted from 321 BCE to 185 BCE. Ashoka was the most powerful king of the Mauryan dynasty.

Stone pillars, sculptures, and rock-cut caves were integral parts of Mauryan arts and crafts. The chief craftsmen of that era were stone carvers, goldsmiths, jewelers, weavers, carpenters, etc.

The Ashoka pillar found at Sarnath is a good example of the great stone carvings done in those days. The famous Sanchi Stupa with amazing stone carvings was also built in this era.

Crafts During Post Mauryan Period (200 BCE to 300 CE)

The Indian subcontinent was divided into several smaller kingdoms between 200 BCE and 300 CE. After the second century, various rulers established their control over various parts of the vast Mauryan Empire.

The stupas built during this period were larger than those built in the Mauryan Empire, stones were used more in place of brick and wood. Various rock-cut caves and temples were also constructed during this period. The oldest Ajanta rock-cut caves were constructed by the Satavahana dynasty during this period.

The craftsmen used to make sculptures, jewelry, leather products, etc. Spinning and weaving were also done in this period.

Crafts During Gupta Empire (300 CE to 550 CE)

Between 300 CE and 550 CE, the Gupta Empire emerged as a great power and ruled over a large part of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta II, also known as Vikramaditya, emerged as one of the great rulers of the Gupta Empire. There was a huge demand for Indian crafts abroad and the Indian economy prospered due to the increase in foreign trade during the Gupta Empire. The Gupta period is considered the Golden Age of India.

Metals were used to make a wide range of items from daily use to luxury. The blacksmiths of that era were famous for their metal crafts. Mehrauli Iron Pillar is a living example of their exquisite craftsmanship. They were an expert in making metal sculptures of iron and copper.

Metal engraving, wood carving, terracotta, and pottery were other distinctive crafts. Various types of gold, silver, and copper coins were also issued with engravings during the Gupta period.

During the Gupta period, several more rock-cut caves were added to the original Ajanta caves. The murals and sculptures found in the Ajanta caves are highly artistic.

Crafts During the Medieval period (600 CE to 1526 CE)

The medieval period is the period that began after the fall of the Gupta Empire and ended with the beginning of the Mughal Empire in 1526 CE. Many dynasties, big and small, ruled India during this period.

The dynasties like Pratiharas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Pallavas, Palas, Cholas, etc. were great patrons of art and architecture during the medieval period. The many fine sculptures and temples built all over India tell us about the unprecedented development of art and architecture under these empires.

Some of the best examples of stone carvings can be seen in the famous Ellora and Elephanta caves which were built by the Rashtrakutas and in the Khajuraho temples which were built by the Chandelas. The most notable temple at Ellora is the Kailashnath temple built by the Rashtrakuta King Krishna I.

The Chola and Vijayanagara empires also made rich contributions in the art of sculpture, silk weaving, jewelry making, and temple carving. Apart from the temple sculptures, the bronze statues of the Chola period are world-famous. The bronze statues of Nataraja or dancing Shiva are the masterpiece.

Later, crafts such as pottery, weaving, wood carving, metalwork, and jewelry making flourished under the Delhi Sultanate.

Crafts During Mughal Empire (1526 CE to 1858 CE)

The Mughal Empire began with Babur in 1526 and ended in 1858 with Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor. By 1857, a large part of Mughal India was under the control of the British East India Company.

The Mughals were great patrons of art, architecture, and literature. They were deeply interested in the construction of gardens, tombs, and forts. Agra Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Taj Mahal, and Red Fort are some examples of magnificent Mughal art and architecture in India.

Various handicrafts of India like brassware, wood carving, marble carving, chikankari, zardozi, carpet weaving, shawl making, jewelry, meenakari, woven and embroidered textiles flourished under the Mughal Empire. The Mughals also introduced painting styles like miniature painting in India.

Handicrafts and handloom items were in high demand during the Mughal period in India and abroad. The British East India Company, which was established in 1600 CE to trade, also exported Indian textiles to London for re-export to other countries.

Indian textiles were more popular abroad than European textiles because of their long-lasting bright colors and innovative designs.

Crafts During British Raj (1858 CE to 1947 CE)

After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was ousted by the British East India Company and exiled from India to Burma in 1858. India came under the direct rule of the British Crown, rather than the British East India Company, from 1858 to 1947.

The Industrial Revolution that started in Britain in the 18th century spread to other countries as well. The economies mainly dependent on agriculture and handicrafts were dominated by industry and machine-made goods.

Under British rule, raw materials such as cotton began to be exported from India for their industries, and their machine-made textiles and other goods were sold back to India. Soon India became an exporter of raw cotton instead of being an exporter of Indian textiles. This policy decimated India’s handicrafts and textile sector and affected countless craftsmen across India.

Post-Independence Crafts of India (After 15 August 1947)

The Government of India realized the potential of Indian handicrafts and handlooms and their role in the country’s economy and employment and decided to re-develop the craft sector.

The Government of India constituted various bodies such as the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under the Ministry of Textiles to develop and promote handicrafts and handlooms in India and abroad. Various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Self Help Groups (SHGs) were formed to assist and train the artisans in their craft.

Several fairs and exhibitions are also organized by the state and central governments that promote handicrafts and handloom products of India at the state & national levels. With the support of the Government of India, Indian artisans have not lost hope and are continuously using their skills to create excellent products.

Handicrafts Today

India is a vast land of history, culture, and heritage. Handicrafts are made in every state of India. So we have divided India into six regions i.e. North India, Central India, East India, West India, South India, and Northeast India, to know in-depth about the handicrafts made in different states and union territories of India.

Handicrafts made in India include:-

a) Home Decor Items like Idols & Figurines, Candles, Planters, Wall Hangings, Clocks, Mirror Frames, Metal Bells, Decorative Bottles, Photo Frames, Candle Holders, etc.
b) Paintings like Madhubani Paintings, Mata ni Pachedi Paintings, Pattachitra Paintings, Warli Paintings, Gond Paintings, Bhil Paintings, Tanjore Paintings, Phad Paintings, etc.
c) Lighting Items like Lamps, Lamp Shades, etc.
d) Furniture like Chairs, Tables, Beds, etc.
e) Storage Items like Boxes, Baskets, Bathroom Accessory Sets, Organizers, etc.
f) Home Furnishing Items like Carpets, Dhurries, Curtains, Bedsheets, Cushion Covers, Coasters, Table Mats, Platters, etc.
g) Kitchen & Dining Items like Dining Table Accessories, Trays, Plates, Bowls, Cups, Glasses, Dinnerware Sets, Pots & Pans, Cutlery Holders, Tissue Paper Boxes, Towel Holders, Water Bottles, etc.
h) Clothing like Sarees, Dupattas, Kurtis, Dress Material, Stoles, Shawls, etc.
i) Jewellery Items like Jewellery Sets, Necklaces, Earrings, Bangles, Bracelets, etc.
j) Beauty products like Soaps, Combs, etc.
k) Accessories like Purses, Face Masks, Bags, Pouches, Laces & Motifs, etc.

Kamdhenu Cow and Calf for Home Decor
Kamdhenu Cow and Calf for Home Decor

In recent years, people across the world have been attracted to Indian handicraft products as they are eco-friendly. Handicrafts are exported from India to countries like the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East.

Handicrafts of North India

Handicrafts of Delhi (Union Territory)

Delhi, the capital of India, which was known as Indraprastha in the Mahabharata period and Shahjahanabad in the Mughal period, is the best example of unity in diversity as people of all religions live together here.

Delhi is famous for its mesmerizing historical monuments which themselves speak about the rich and artistic heritage of India. Some of the monuments of architectural importance are Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, Purana Qila, Agrasen Ki Baoli, Lodi Tomb, Safdarjung Tomb, India Gate, and Rashtrapati Bhavan, etc.

Apart from historical monuments, Delhi is also famous for its handicrafts such as Terracotta Pottery, Zardozi Embroidery, and Wood Carving. Some of the places to buy genuine Indian handicrafts in Delhi are Dilli Haat, Crafts Museum, and State Emporiums.

  1. Zardozi Embroidery

Zardozi is a Persian embroidery that flourished during the Mughal period in the 17th century. Zardozi is done using gold and silver wires as well as beads and sequins on expensive fabrics such as silk and velvet. Zardozi embroidered items are in great demand in the weddings and fashion industry. Zardozi is used to make Lehengas, Cholis, Sarees, Salwar Suits, etc.

Zardozi Embroidery Lehenga
Zardozi Embroidery Lehenga
  1. Terracotta Pottery

Since the early 1970s, there are over 400 potter families living in Prajapati Colony, Uttam Nagar. They use black, yellow, and red clay to make terracotta products. The products they make are planters, water pots, utensils, statues, diyas, etc. These terracotta products are in great demand nowadays as they are eco-friendly and unique.

Terracotta Lord Hanuman
Terracotta Lord Hanuman

Handicrafts of Haryana

Haryana is one of the northernmost states of India which surrounds Delhi on three sides. Haryana is an agricultural state as well as a developed industrial state.

The holy city of Kurukshetra is located in Haryana where the battle of Mahabharata was fought between Kauravas and Pandavas. Haryana is considered to be the origin of the ancient Harappan civilization, whose history is 5,000 years old. Various places like Rakhigarhi, Kunal are the sites of the Harappan civilization in Haryana.

Haryana is famous for its handicrafts like Pottery, Juttis, Sarkanda Craft, and Brassware. The famous Surajkund International Crafts Mela is also organized every year in Faridabad, Haryana.

  1. Handloom Weaving of Panipat

Panipat is famous as the “City of Weavers” because thousands of weavers live there and produce fabrics for home furnishing. Carpets, mats, dhurries, blankets, curtains, sofa fabrics, bed sheets, and other fabrics are woven in the handloom industry. Panipat today exports 50% of the country’s total handloom products and meets 75% of the blanket requirement for the Indian Army.

Handloom Bedsheet
Handloom Bedsheet

Handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh which is located in North India has always been an attractive place for mountain lovers. Apple orchards, tea plantations, dense green forests, lakes, and flowing rivers are popular tourist attractions of the state.

Apart from its physical features, Himachal Pradesh is also known for its unique handicrafts. Some of the famous handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh are Chamba Rumals, Pahari Miniature Paintings, Himachali Caps, Kullu & Kinnaur Shawls, Metal Craft, Silver Jewellery, and Pullas Grass Footwear.

  1. Chamba Rumals

Chamba Rumals or Handkerchiefs are famous for their embroidery which looks like paintings, that is why Chamba Rumals are also called embroidery paintings. Chamba Rumals are square or rectangle in shape and made of silk, cotton, muslin (mulmul) cloth. These are embroidered using bright colors like yellow, orange, blue, purple, and green.

Scenes from Lord Krishna Rasleela, Ramayana, Mahabharata are often depicted with fine embroidery on these handkerchiefs. The craftsmen also depict hunting scenes, dice games, flower motifs with embroidery.

Chamba Rumals are used to cover gifts and offerings. They are also given as gifts at weddings.

Chamba Rumal
Chamba Rumal
  1. Kullu Shawls

Kullu in Himachal Pradesh is known for good quality woolen shawls. Kullu shawls are handwoven shawls having multicolored geometric pattern borders. The wool required for weaving shawls is obtained from locally available sheep and goats. Pashmina wool is obtained from Pashmina goats. Earlier vegetable dyes were used to dye wool, but nowadays chemical dyes are used for bright colors. These shawls are in great demand all over India and thus this industry has grown a lot now.

Kullu Shawl
Kullu Shawl

Handicrafts of Jammu and Kashmir (Union Territory)

Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. Jammu & Kashmir has Srinagar as its summer capital and Jammu as its winter capital. Jammu & Kashmir is famous for its natural beauty, gardens, lush green forests, rivers, and lakes.

Kashmir was an important place on the Silk Route for trade in ancient times. Therefore, Kashmiri art is influenced by Persian, Chinese, and Mediterranean merchants, who acted as a medium of exchange of art, culture, and ideas.

The Sultan of Kashmir, Zain-ul-Abidin (1420–1470 CE), introduced the art of shawl weaving, carpet weaving, and papier-mache to the state. Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin brought many talented craftsmen and artists from Persia and Central Asia to Kashmir to train local artisans in various arts and crafts.

During the Mughal period, especially during the reign of Jahangir, Kashmiri handicrafts flourished the most.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Jammu and Kashmir are Knotted Carpets, Kashmiri Shawls, Papier Mache, Kashidakari Work, Namda Felted Rugs, Gabba Embroidery Rugs, Carved Walnut Woodwork, Khatumband & Pinjrakari Woodwork, and Wickerwork.

  1. Knotted Carpets

Carpets are one of the finest crafts of Kashmir. These are hand-knotted floor coverings made using wool or silk yarns. Carpet weaving in Kashmir is highly influenced by Persian art, although motifs also include local flora and fauna. Kashmir carpets come in various sizes and designs and are highly durable.

Knotted Carpet
Knotted Carpet
  1. Kashidakari – Kashmiri Embroidery

The word kashidakari means embroidery work using needles. Embroidery work is done on silk, wool, and cotton fabrics. Wool, silk, or cotton threads are used for embroidery work depending on the fabric.

The motifs and intricate needlework are inspired by the fascinating natural surroundings of Kashmir and depict the local flora and fauna. Kashmiri embroidery is mainly done on shawls, stoles, kurtas, and traditional clothes like pherans.

There are three types of Kashmiri embroidery which are mentioned below:-

a) Ari Embroidery – Ari work is the embroidery done with the help of ari which is a hooked needle.

b) Sozni Embroidery – This is the finest and delicate needlework mainly done on high-quality pashmina shawls.

c) Tilla Embroidery – Tilla embroidery is done by using zari threads. The zari thread is placed on the fabric as per the required design and stitched with cotton thread on top of it.

  1. Kashmiri Shawls

Kashmiri Shawl is the most loved product of Kashmir Valley. Based on production technology, there are two types of Kashmiri shawls:-

a) Kani Shawls, which are woven on a loom.
b) Sozni Shawls, which are needle embroidered.

The raw materials required for weaving shawls are shahtoosh, pashmina, and pure merino wool. These shawls are known all over the world for their softness, warmth, and beauty. The motifs are inspired by the local flora and fauna of Kashmir and include tulips, lily flowers, chinar leaves, mangoes, almonds, birds, etc.

Kashmiri Shawl
Kashmiri Shawl

Handicrafts of Ladakh (Union Territory)

Ladakh is a mountainous region with cold deserts and clear blue skies. The handicrafts of Ladakh are influenced by climatic conditions and Buddhism. Apart from this, the influence of Chinese, Tibetan, and Central Asian culture can also be seen in the crafts of Ladakh.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Ladakh are Carpet Weaving, Thangka Paintings, Pottery, Wood Carving, Pabu (Ladakhi Shoes), and Woollen Textiles.

  1. Ladakh Carpets

Carpet weaving is the main craft of Ladakh. Carpets are made on wooden looms and are called Khabdan in the local dialect. The main motifs used in the carpets are the dragon, the snow lion, and the Chinese wall. These are used for personal use in the living rooms and prayer rooms of the people living in Ladakh.

Ladakh Carpet
Ladakh Carpet

Handicrafts of Punjab

Punjab, the northwestern state of India, is the land of five rivers namely Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Chenab, and Jhelum. Due to the high production of food crops, it is also called the “Granary of India.”

The crafts of this region reflect the rich culture of Punjab. Punjabi artisans usually make utility products. Some of the famous handicrafts of Punjab are Wood Work, Panja Dhurries, Phulkari and Bagh Embroidery, and Punjabi Juttis.

  1. Phulkari and Bagh Embroidery

Phulkari means flower work but includes other motifs like birds, animals, rivers, sun, moon, etc. Bagh means garden, which is a fully embroidered phulkari that covers the entire fabric.

Phulkari embroidery was traditionally done on Khadar (a heavy cotton material), but nowadays silk, georgette, and chiffon are also used. The thread used in Phulkari is untwisted floss silk called pat which is dyed in the colors of choice. Earlier this type of embroidery was done on dupatta or veil but due to increasing demand, craftsmen are embroidering phulkari on sarees, kurtis, jackets and dress materials, etc.

Phulkari Embroidery
Phulkari Embroidery
  1. Punjabi Juttis

Jutti is the traditional footwear of Punjab. The jutti is made of leather obtained from the skin of a buffalo or cow and is embroidered using gold and silver wire. Women’s and men’s juttis are both similar in appearance, except men’s juttis have curled ends. There is no difference between left and right foot juttis. Juttis come in various designs like checkered patterns, embossed work, beadwork, etc.

Punjabi Jutti
Punjabi Jutti

Handicrafts of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is the largest state of India with Jaipur as its capital. The name Rajasthan means the land of kings. Rajasthan is blessed with abundant arts and crafts which can be easily seen in the forts and palaces of this state. The monuments like Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Mehrangarh Fort, etc. are examples of wonderful artwork of Rajasthani craftsmen. These forts and palaces are always the centers of attraction for foreign as well as Indian tourists.

Rajasthan shares its borders with Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Pakistan. Hence, the arts and crafts of Rajasthan reflect the mix of these places.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Rajasthan are Miniature Paintings, Pichwai Paintings, Phad Paintings, Gesso Paintings, Blue Pottery, Meenakari & Kundan Jewellery, Lac Jewellery, Jaipuri Razai, Mojari (Leather Footwear), Bandhej and Leheriya Tie Resist Dyeing, Block Making, Block Printing, Meghwal Embroidery, Puppets, Stone Carving, Marble Carving, Wood Work, Pattu Weaving, Kota Doria Weaving, and Molela Terracotta.

  1. Blue Pottery

Blue Pottery is a glass glazed pottery craft from Jaipur. This craft is called blue pottery mainly because of the use of blue-colored patterns in the pottery. This craft is the means of livelihood for many artisans of Jaipur.

Artisans use quartz powder, glass powder, Multani mitti, and gum as basic raw materials to make the product. Flowers are the main motifs of this craft, although images of royal elephants, camels, and horses are also depicted in this craft. Nowadays artisans make many useful products like vases, lamp stands, ashtrays, plates, bowls, bath sets, incense burners, doorknobs, jugs, mugs, tea sets, and napkin rings, etc.

Blue Pottery
Blue Pottery
  1. Meenakari and Kundan Jewellery

Meenakari or enameling is the art of coloring and decorating with colored minerals such as cobalt oxide and copper oxide. These minerals are applied to metal surfaces to give a colorful appearance to the Meenakari jewelry. Red, blue, and green are common colors used in Meenakari.

The word Kundan means extremely pure gold. Meenakari was earlier done only on gold (kundan), but at present, it is also done on other metals like silver, copper, etc.

Meenakari and Kundan jewelry is precious jewelry made of gold or silver and studded with gems. Kundan Jadai or gem setting is done on the front side of the jewelry and Meenakari is done on the backside. The main motifs used in this type of jewelry are flowers, leaves, peacocks, parrots, and elephants.

Meenakari and Kundan Jewellery
Meenakari and Kundan Jewellery
  1. Jaipuri Razai/Quilt

Quilt making is a popular craft of Jaipur. Jaipuri quilts are light, warm, and durable. High-quality indigenous cotton is used in Jaipuri Quilt. Cotton, silk, velvet, etc. are used as fabrics. Screen printing or hand-block printing is done to print the design on the fabric. Quilts are made in different colors and designs as per the requirement of the clients.

Jaipuri Razai
Jaipuri Razai
  1. Mojari – Leather Footwear

Mojaris are traditional leather shoes made in Rajasthan. Mojaris are mainly made in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Bikaner. These are made using the leather of cow, goat, or buffalo. Mojaris are stitched using cotton thread and embroidered with woolen, cotton, or silk threads. Men make leather shoes and women embroider. The mojaris are light in weight and multicolored.

Mojari Leather Footwear
Mojari Leather Footwear

Handicrafts of Chandigarh (Union Territory)

Chandigarh is a union territory and is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana. It is one of the best-planned cities in India with modern architecture.

Chandigarh is famous for the Rock Garden that displays art objects and sculptures made from urban and industrial waste.

The craftsmen of Chandigarh mainly practice Pottery and Phulkari Embroidery.

Handicrafts of Central India

Handicrafts of Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh was formed in the year 2000. Chhattisgarh is a heavily forested region, the main population of which is tribal. The state is rich in natural resources and minerals.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Chhattisgarh are Dhokra Craft, Bronze Ware, Iron Craft, Terracotta Pottery, and Pata Weaving. A type of silk known as ‘Kosa’ is a specialty of the region and is used to make colorful garments.

  1. Dhokra Craft

Dhokra craft is one of the traditional crafts of Chhattisgarh. The craft is mainly practiced in the Bastar region. In the Dhokra craft, products are made using a lost wax metal casting process. Artisans make lamps, idols of deities, figurines, toys, etc.

Dhokra Craft
Dhokra Craft
  1. Iron Craft

Iron craft is also a traditional craft practiced in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. Craftsmen specialize in making unique human figures out of wrought iron. Apart from human figures, the craftsmen of the Bastar region make lamps, masks, animal figures, and other traditional and contemporary products.

Iron Craft
Iron Craft

Handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is a state located in the central region of India. The earlier rulers of Madhya Pradesh were great patrons of art and architecture. Their love for art and architecture is reflected in various heritage sites of Madhya Pradesh such as Sanchi Stupa, Khajuraho temples, and many forts and palaces.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh that have evolved are Bhil Art, Bagh Prints, Chanderi Sarees, Maheshwari Sarees, Papier Mache, Dhokra Craft, Gond Paintings, Dhurrie Weaving, Batto Bai Dolls, Zardozi Embroidery, and Leather Toys.

  1. Chanderi Sarees

Chanderi saree is a handwoven saree made in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh. The saree is woven in chanderi cotton or pure silk, or silk cotton with a golden border and zari work. The motifs are in the form of small booties of gold coins, mangoes, peacocks, and geometric designs.

Chanderi Saree
Chanderi Saree
  1. Maheshwari Sarees

Maheshwari saree is a handwoven saree made in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh. The saree is woven with fine cotton thread in the weft and silk thread in the warp. The motifs like chattai (mat), jasmine, diamond, and brick are woven in gold zari.

Maheshwari Saree
Maheshwari Saree

Handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous and fourth-largest state, lies within the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Uttar Pradesh is a land of rich cultural heritage with many pilgrimage centers like Varanasi, Mathura, Vrindavan, and Ayodhya. It also includes various heritage sites like Taj Mahal (Agra), Fatehpur Sikri (Agra), Bara Imambara (Lucknow), etc. The crafts prevalent here are highly influenced by Persian and Mughal art.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh are Terracotta Pottery, Carpets & Dhurries, Zardozi Gold & Silver Embroidery, Glassware, Banarasi Brocades, Wood Carving, Brassware, Khurja Pottery, Marble Carving & Stone Inlay, Chikankari Embroidery, Bamboo Flutes, Sanjhi Art, and Bone Carving.

  1. Wood Carving of Saharanpur

Wood carving is the process of cutting wood to produce decorative patterns using hands and simple tools like chisels. Wood carving is mainly done in the Saharanpur City of Uttar Pradesh which is the largest place of wood carving in India. Sheesham wood is the preferred choice for wood carving but now mango wood and teak wood are also used. The artisans of Saharanpur make a variety of products with wood carving such as chairs, tables, beds, boxes, trays, etc.

Along with wood carving, artisans also do tarkashi which is the art of inlaying brass and copper wires into the wood. Tarkashi craft is mainly practiced in Mainpuri but is also done in Saharanpur and Nagina.

The craftsmen of Nagina also make combs and boxes out of ebony wood, but nowadays Sheesham is used instead of ebony wood.

Wood Carving Stool
Wood Carving Stool
  1. Brassware of Moradabad

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. It is a strong, shiny, and hard material. The items made from it are called brassware. Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh is a major producer of brass products. The process of making any brass product involves steps such as metal casting and metal engraving. Usually, traditional floral patterns are engraved on the products but nowadays craftsmen also create new designs according to their creativity.

Along with Moradabad, Aligarh is also a major producer of brass products. Moradabad is famous for vases, planters, bowls, plates, mirror frames, lamps and Aligarh is famous for its brass locks and statues.

  1. Khurja Pottery

Khurja is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Khurja has more than 400 pottery units manufacturing a variety of glazed ceramic wares. Manufacturing units have kilns whose temperature can go up to 1200 degrees. The kiln is used to bake the items at 1200 degrees after they have been made. Clay is the main raw material required for making ceramic pottery. Khurja pottery has motifs of flowers, leaves, birds, animals, and geometric patterns.

Khurja pottery is in great demand not only in India but also abroad. In Khurja, artisans make a wide variety of products such as planters, vases, tableware, tiles, etc.

Khurja Pottery
Khurja Pottery
  1. Marble Carving and Stone Inlay of Agra

Makrana in Rajasthan is famous for its marble stone. Makrana marble was used in the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Ever since the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, Agra has become famous worldwide for its marble carvings. Stone inlay work in marble objects is another unique craft of Agra. In this craft, various semi-precious stones are embedded in marble products.

Marble products are in great demand in the national and international markets. Nowadays artisans make sculptures, frames, boxes, tabletops, bowls, plates, etc. Being similar to marble, alabaster is also being used to make products.

Marble Carving
Marble Carving
  1. Chikankari – Embroidery of Lucknow

Chikankari is one of the finest embroidery work done in Lucknow. Chikankari is also known as white embroidery as it is mostly done using white thread on muslin cloth. But nowadays to meet the demands of the fashion industry, artisans have started doing this embroidery with colored silk threads as well.

Apart from muslin, georgette, crepe, chiffon fabrics are also used as the base materials for chikankari. Various motifs such as fish, mango, flowers, and leaves are commonly found in chikankari products. Artisans also use sequins, beads, and mukesh along with chikankari. Presently this embroidery is done on sarees, kurtas, dupattas, scarves, etc.

Chikankari Suit
Chikankari Suit

Handicrafts of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand, formerly a part of Uttar Pradesh, comprises two culturally distinct regions of Garhwal and Kumaon. The holy river Ganga originates from Gangotri and Yamuna originates from Yamunotri in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand is also known as Dev Bhoomi as it has many Hindu pilgrimage centers.

Ringaal, nettle, rambaans, and lantana used as raw material for most of the crafts are found in abundance in the dense forests of Uttarakhand. Some of the famous handicrafts of Uttarakhand are Nettle Fibre Craft, Ringaal Basketry, Copper Ware, Lantana Furniture, Rambaans Natural Fiber Craft, and Tibetan Carpets.

  1. Tibetan Woolen Carpets

Woolen carpets are woven by Tibetan refugees and the Bhotia community. Carpet weaving is an important source of income for Tibetan refugees and the Bhotia community. These carpets are woven on a vertical loom. Carpets are woven in various sizes using bright and colorful threads depicting Tibetan motifs. The motifs used are mainly geometric and floral. Also, reflecting the influence of Chinese art, these carpets depict dragons and the Great Wall of China. The colors are bold and bright. Tibetan carpets have a market in India as well as internationally.

Tibetan Carpet
Tibetan Carpet

Handicrafts of East India

Handicrafts of Bihar

Bihar is located in eastern India and its capital is Patna. Bihar has a rich historical, cultural, and spiritual past. Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. Bodh Gaya is considered one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

In Bihar, both men and women make different types of crafts to earn a living. Some of the famous handicrafts of Bihar are Sikki Grass Craft, Madhubani Paintings, Manjusha Paintings, Papier Mache, Sujani Embroidery, Khatwa (Applique Work), Jute Craft, and Lac Bangles.

  1. Madhubani Painting

Madhubani painting is mainly done in the Madhubani, Darbhanga, and Muzaffarpur districts of Bihar. This region comes under the ancient Mithila region. Thus Madhubani painting is also called Mithila painting. Madhubani painting is a world-famous art form. The main subjects of these paintings are mythological figures, deities, ritual activities, and local flora & fauna. Traditionally only handmade paper and natural colors were used to make Madhubani paintings, but now artisans are using acrylics and poster colors as well. Apart from painting, artists are also making hand-painted kurtis, saris, etc.

Various types of papier-mâché products like dolls, animals, lamps, planters, etc., made by the artisans of Bihar are also decorated with Madhubani art. Papier-mâché products are made using paper pulp.

Madhubani Painting
Madhubani Painting

Handicrafts of Jharkhand

Jharkhand is a heavily forested state and is located in the eastern part of India. The forests of Jharkhand are home to several lac insects and silkworms. And because of this Jharkhand is also a major producer of lac and tussar silk. The craftsmen of Jharkhand make Dhokra Craft, Lac Bangles, Cane & Bamboo Craft, Terracotta Craft, and Tribal Jewellery.

  1. Tribal Jewellery

The craftsmen of Jharkhand make traditional silver and white metal jewelry worn by tribal men and women. Ornaments are made using various moulds. Craftsmen also use the lost wax technique in some items like anklets. Craftsmen make necklaces, pendants, chains, armlets, anklets, earrings, and rings.

Tribal Jewellery
Tribal Jewellery

Handicrafts of Odisha

Odisha is a land of rich culture and tradition and is known for its wonderful temples and monuments. The architecture of various temples like Konark Sun Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, Jagannath Temple, and Rajarani Temple is amazing and stunning. The major arts and crafts of Odisha are associated with the worship of Lord Jagannath.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Odisha are Palm Leaf Engraving, Pipili Applique Work, Paddy Craft, Pattachitra Paintings, Brass & Bell Metal Ware, Papier Mache, Wood Carving, Tribal Jewellery, Sholapith Craft, Seashell Craft, Dhokra Craft, Coir Craft, Stone Carving, Lac Ware, and Silver Filigree.

  1. Pipili Applique

Applique is a patchwork technique in which pieces of fabric are sewn onto a larger fabric to form a picture or pattern. Pipili craft is mainly done in Pipili Village of Puri district in Odisha and hence the craft is named Pipili applique. The main motifs of this craft are the lotus, bird, elephant, lion, sun, and moon. The raw materials used are various colored fabrics, threads, and mirrors. Various products like umbrellas, wall hangings, bags, pouches, and cushion covers are made using applique craft.

Pipili Applique Work
Pipili Applique Work
  1. Silver Filigree – Chandi Tarkashi

Silver filigree is a craft introduced in the Mughal period. This craft is mainly done in Cuttack, Odisha. Silver wires of various shapes and sizes are used as raw materials. Thick silver wires are used to make the frame and thin silver wires are used to make the designs. The main products made in this craft are jewelry, idols, purses, trays, showpieces, pen holders, candle stands, photo frames, etc.

Silver Filigree
Silver Filigree

Handicrafts of West Bengal

West Bengal is a religiously diverse state with Kolkata as its capital. Kolkata is popularly known as the City of Joy. West Bengal is a land of festivals and celebrations. The most famous festival of West Bengal is Durga Puja.

The Sundarbans, one of the largest mangrove forests in the world and home to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, provides the raw material for various wood-based craftworks.

Some of the major weaving and crafts of West Bengal are Baluchari Sarees, Jamdani Sarees, Wood Carving, Terracotta Sculptures, Pattachitra Paintings, Grass Mats, Sholapith Craft, Dhokra Craft, and Kantha Embroidery.

Shyama Rai Temple in Bishnupur, West Bengal is famous for its terracotta artwork.

  1. Kantha Embroidery

Kantha embroidery is mainly done in West Bengal. Kantha embroidery is done on old sarees. Threads are used from the borders of old sarees to make motifs by embroidery. The motifs used in Kantha are flowers, tree of life, human figures, animal and bird figures, etc. Nowadays, Kantha embroidery is also done on new fabrics using contemporary motifs. The embroidery is mainly done by women artisans and the product range includes quilts, pillow covers, bedspreads, saris, dupattas, suits, stoles, and furnishing fabrics.

Kantha Embroidery
Kantha Embroidery
  1. Jamdani Sarees

Jamdani sarees are the traditional handloom sarees of West Bengal. Jamdani sarees are very delicate and fine. These are made of cotton or silk. Floral, geometric, paisley, and leaf motifs are used in Jamdani sarees.

Jamdani Saree
Jamdani Saree

Handicrafts of West India

Handicrafts of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu (Union Territory)

Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu is a single Union Territory that was created in January 2020 after the merger of the two separate Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. Dadra and Nagar Haveli was under Portuguese rule till 1954 and Daman and Diu were under Portuguese control till 1961.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is rich in natural flora and fauna with lakes, waterfalls, and forests. The artisans of Dadra and Nagar Haveli use locally available raw materials such as bamboo and wood to make various natural products.

Daman and Diu is a popular tourist destination with spectacular beaches and Portuguese-style architecture. Crochet Work and Tortoise Shell Craft are the most popular crafts of Daman and Diu.

  1. Tortoise Shell and Ivory Craft

Tortoise shells are used by artisans to make jewelry products. The tortoise shells are steamed to soften and shape them. The products are finally polished and finished.

Earlier artisans used to make a variety of products from ivory. But after the ban on ivory, ivory was replaced by acrylic and plastic pipes, which resemble ivory. Craftsmen now make bangles, earrings, rings, and hair clips using acrylic and plastic.

Ivory Craft
Ivory Craft

Handicrafts of Goa

In the 16th century, Goa came under Portuguese rule and remained an important Portuguese colony until 1961. Goa became a union territory and later became an independent state of India in 1987. The arts and crafts of Goa are highly influenced by the Portuguese style of art. Goa is home to fascinating churches, palm-fringed beaches, and hill forts.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Goa are Brass Ware, Bamboo Craft, Natural Fibres Craft, Coconut Craft, Seashell Craft, Pottery, Wood Carving, Lace & Crochet Work, and Candle Making.

  1. Seashell Craft

Seashells are available in abundance along the beaches of Goa. The seashells are cleaned, cut, and carved to make a variety of household products. The products are also combined with other materials such as brass and wood. Boxes, mirror frames, and jewelry are mainly made in Goa’s seashell craft.

Seashell Craft Bangles
Seashell Craft Bangles

Handicrafts of Gujarat

Gujarat is a state located on the west coast of India. Gujarat was also the home of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was born in the city of Porbandar, Gujarat. His famous ashram is situated on the banks of the river Sabarmati. Dwarka in Gujarat is one of the Char Dhams and is often identified with the ancient kingdom of Lord Krishna. Gir National Park in Gujarat is home to Asiatic Lions.

Many craftsmen in Gujarat make handicrafts to earn a living. Major handicrafts of Gujarat are Mata Ni Pachhedi Paintings, Rogan Paintings, Pithora Paintings, Bead Work, Bandhani Tie and Dye Craft, Patola Weaving, Mashru Weaving, Sujuni Weaving, Ajrakh Block Printing, Block Making, Traditional Embroideries, Applique Work, Copper Bells, Terracotta Craft, Pottery, Mud Work, Wood Carving, Sankheda Furniture, Leather Craft, and Silver Ornaments.

  1. Bandhani – Tie-Resist Dyeing

Bandhani is a textile in which a pattern is made by resisting dye on the fabric by tying knots on it before dyeing the fabric. Skilled craftsmen are required to make Bandhani textiles. The bandhani is done on silk, fine cotton, muslin, and wool with natural dyes. The main products made in Bandhani textiles are sarees, stoles, shawls, and salwar kameez.

Bandhani Dress Material
Bandhani Dress Material
  1. Ajrakh Printing

Ajrakh is a block-printed textile with indigo blue and crimson red background. The dyeing process traditionally uses natural dyes as well as mordants. These natural colors are derived from vegetables and minerals. But nowadays synthetic colors are also being used by artisans. Presently, artisans from the Khatri community specialize in this craft. The main products made by the artisans are stoles, dupattas, shawls, sarees, running fabrics, etc.

Ajrakh Printed Saree
Ajrakh Printed Saree
  1. Patola Weaving

Patola is a luxurious double ikat fabric woven mainly in the Patan district of Gujarat. This fabric is woven with dyed warp and weft threads. Silk thread is used to weave Patola fabric. Weavers weave geometric, floral, peacock, tiger, and elephant motifs. Presently, weavers make Patola sarees, scarves, stoles, and dupattas.

Patola Silk Saree
Patola Silk Saree

Handicrafts of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is one of the most prosperous states of India. Its capital is Mumbai, also known as the economic capital of India.

The rock sculptures at Elephanta Caves, the Buddhist caves at Ajanta, and the rock-cut temples at Ellora in Maharashtra are the finest examples of ancient Indian art. Elephanta Caves, Ajanta Caves, and Ellora Caves are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Some of the major handicrafts of Maharashtra are Warli Paintings, Mashru & Himroo Textiles, Paithani Sarees, Narayan Peth Sarees, Dhurrie Weaving, Banjara Embroidery, Kolhapuri Chappals, Brass Musical Instruments, Metal Ware, Bidri Ware, Kolhapur Jewellery, Wooden Toys, Sisal Fibre Craft, Terracotta, Pottery, and Silver Ware.

  1. Kolhapuri Leather Chappals

Kolhapuri chappals are made in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. These chappals are flat, beautifully designed, and handcrafted. The raw materials used by the artisans to make Kolhapuri chappals are buffalo skin and goat leather. Leather cords are used in the stitching of chappals, and no nails are used. These chappals are available in multiple colors like tan, maroon, mustard yellow, and brown. Nowadays, apart from chappals, artisans are also making purses, bags, and wallets.

Kolhapuri Leather Chappal
Kolhapuri Leather Chappal
  1. Paithani Sarees

The Paithani saree is a heavy silk saree handwoven in the towns of Paithan and Yeola in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The motifs woven by the interlocking technique are floral, paisley, parrot, peacock, and lotus.

Paithani Saree
Paithani Saree

Handicrafts of South India

Handicrafts of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is located in the south-eastern coastal region of India. Just before independence, Andhra Pradesh was ruled by the Nizams of Hyderabad and before them many dynasties like Pallavas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas ruled here. These dynasties made significant contributions to the art and culture of Andhra Pradesh. Heritage sites, forts, monuments, palaces, temples, and mosques are full of wonderful arts and crafts. The paintings and stone carvings of the Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh are spectacular. Leather shadow puppetry known as Tholu Bommalata is the most popular craft of the state.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Andhra Pradesh that have evolved are Kalamkari Textiles, Kalamkari Paintings, Leather Puppets, Knotted Carpets, Kondapalli Wooden Painted Toys, Crochet Work, Bronze Casting, Wood Carving, Stone Carving, Wooden Cutlery, Terracotta Pottery, Musical Instruments, Banjara Embroidery, Brassware, Lacquerware Toys, and Palm Leaf Craft.

  1. Leather Puppets

Leather puppet making is one of the most famous and oldest crafts of Andhra Pradesh. These puppets are quite large in size and are made from translucent goatskin. Bright colors are used to depict the themes of Ramayana and Mahabharata on leather puppets. Shadow Puppet Theater or Tolu Bommalata is used to reenact stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Leather Craft
Leather Craft

Nowadays, not only puppets, but artisans also make many contemporary products like lamps, planters, jewelry, watches, etc.

  1. Kalamkari Textiles

Kalamkari is a dye-painted and printed cotton fabric. Kalam i.e. a pen made of bamboo stick is used to draw pictures on cotton fabric. Sometimes block printing is also used with painting. These fabrics are dyed in natural colors. A chemical called mordant helps the dye bind to the fabric.

Kalamkari paintings depict themes taken from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Jataka, and Panchatantra. Kalamkari fabric is being used nowadays in household items like bedspreads, curtains, table cloths, etc., and in apparel like kurtas, sarees, and dupattas.

Kalamkari Dress Material
Kalamkari Dress Material

Handicrafts of Karnataka

Karnataka is a southern state rich in natural resources like teak, sandalwood, and rosewood. Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, is the capital of Karnataka and the center of the software and IT industry.

The art and architecture of Karnataka can be easily seen in the monuments of the state. The 6th to 8th century Badami temples, Hampi – the site of the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire, Tipu Sultan’s 18th-century fort at Srirangapatna, all tell about the rich history of Karnataka.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Karnataka are Mysore Paintings, Wood Carving, Sandalwood Carving, Channapatna Wooden Toys, Rosewood Inlay, Stone Carving, Bronze Metal Casting, Sheet Metal Embossing, Bidri Ware, Mysore Silk, Ilkal Sarees, Kasuti Embroidery, Banjara Embroidery, and Dhurries.

  1. Bidriware

Bidriware craft is practiced in Bidar, Karnataka. In this craft, the product is made using zinc and tin alloy. Then the metal inlay is done using silver. This alloy never rusts. The designs and motifs used in the Bidriware craft are influenced by Persian art. Artisans make hookahs, pitchers, bangles, buttons, figurines, vases, and boxes.

  1. Wood and Lac Turnery of Channapatna

Channapatna is a city in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka and is famous for its wooden and lac turnery products. The product is made from wood using simple tools like saws, chisels, and lathes, etc., and then colored using colored lac. Mostly hale wood is used by artisans. Toys, rattles, bangles, puzzles, games, beads, and keychains are the main products made by Channapatna wood and lac turnery craftsmen.

Channapatna Toy
Channapatna Toy

Handicrafts of Kerala

Known as God’s own country, Kerala is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Asia. It has lush greenery, beautiful backwaters, hill stations, serene beaches, rainforests, and historical monuments. The state of Kerala is also rich in rubber, tea, coffee, cardamom, and cocoa. Kerala is also known for its rejuvenating Ayurveda spas.

Many craftsmen in Kerala make crafts from natural resources like wood, fibre, coir, bamboo, metal, and stone.

The weavers of Balaramapuram, Thiruvananthapuram specialize in making traditional handloom cloth.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Kerala are Mural Paintings, Bell Metal Craft, Buffalo Horn Craft, Coir Products, Coconut Shell Handicrafts, Cane & Bamboo Craft, Screw Pine Products, Banana Fibre, Straw & Other Natural Fibres Handicrafts, and Wood Carving.

  1. Coconut and Coir Craft

Due to the high demand for eco-friendly products, every part of the coconut tree is used in some form or the other in Kerala. The various uses of coconut trees for making various products are mentioned below:-

a) Coconut shell is used for making various products like cups, bowls, boxes, spoons, trays, soap dishes, etc. Kozhikode district of Kerala is famous for brass broidered coconut shell products.

b) The trunk of the coconut tree is used for making tables, chairs, vases, etc.

c) Coconut fiber is spun into coir yarn. Coir yarns are woven into extremely durable floor coverings such as carpets, mats, and rugs.

Coconut and Coir Craft
Coconut and Coir Craft

Handicrafts of Pondicherry (Union Territory)

Pondicherry was a French colony until 1954 and is now a union territory. Pondicherry’s grand churches and public buildings are reminiscent of French architecture. One of the great archaeological sites located in Pondicherry, Arikamedu had trade links with the Roman Empire around the 1st century CE.

Pondicherry handicrafts like Kora Mats, Pottery, Terracotta Dolls, and Seashell Craft are very popular among tourists.

  1. Seashell Craft

Seashell craft is mainly done in Karaikal. Seashells are used as raw material. Artisans clean, cut, and carve shells into different shapes to make different products. They make various jewelry items like bracelets, bangles, rings, earrings, hair clips, etc. They also make boxes and tabletop products.

Seashell Craft
Seashell Craft

Handicrafts of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is a state located in South India and is famous for its Dravidian-style Hindu temples. The temples of the state are not only places of worship but are also a testament to the ancient stone carving tradition of Tamil Nadu. The rock-cut Varaha Cave Temple & Pancha Rathas at Mahabalipuram and the famous Meenakshi Temple in Madurai are examples of amazing stone carvings done here.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Tamil Nadu in which artisans have expertise are Kalamkari Textiles, Tie & Dye Textiles, Woollen Druggets, Lace Work, Toda Embroidery, Palm Leaf Craft, Sholapith Craft, Seashell Craft, Kora Mats, Tanjore Paintings of Chennai & Thanjavur, Bronze Casting, Brass Lamps, Stone Carving, Wood Carving, and Terracotta Pottery. Not only in handicrafts but craftsmen from Tamil Nadu also specialize in weaving high-quality cotton and silk. The temple city of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu is a major center of silk weaving.

  1. Wood Carving

Wood carving is a traditional craft and is mainly used for making temple-related products such as chariots and idols of Hindu deities. Wood carving craftsmen follow the rules laid down in the Shilpa Shastra for making idols of Hindu gods and goddesses.

For wood carving, the craftsman draws a sketch on the wood and it is then chiseled. Nowadays products used in homes like brackets, pillars, doors, carved furniture, etc. are also made.

Teak, mango, and vengai wood are used to make temples and household items. The main motifs used in wood carving are mythological and flora and fauna.

Wood Carving Ganesha
Wood Carving Ganesha
  1. Kanjeevaram Silk Sarees

Kanjeevaram sarees woven in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu are world-famous. These sarees are handwoven and are quite heavy. Inspired by temple architecture and nature, peacocks, kalash, temple designs, scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata are used as motifs in sarees. Kanjeevaram sarees are quite expensive as they are woven in pure mulberry silk with gold zari on hand-operated pit looms. Commonly used colors are mustard, dark green, maroon, etc.

Kanjeevaram Silk Saree
Kanjeevaram Silk Saree

Handicrafts of Telangana

Telangana is located in South India. Initially, Telangana was a part of Andhra Pradesh, but in June 2014 it was declared as a separate state with Hyderabad as its capital. Beautiful monuments of Telangana like Charminar, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Falaknuma Palace, Chowmahalla Palace, Warangal Fort have amazing architecture.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Telangana are Pochampally Ikat Weaving, Telia Rumal Tie and Dye Textiles, Bidri Ware, Pembarthi Metal Craft, Cheriyal Scroll Paintings, Nirmal Paintings, Batik Paintings, Nirmal Toys, Dhurrie Weaving, Gadwal Handlooms, Silver Filigree, and Dhokra Craft.

  1. Pochampally Ikats

Ikat weaving is a resist-dyeing technique in which the yarn is tie-dyed before weaving. After the introduction of Ikat weaving in Pochampally Village, it came to be known as Pochampally Ikat. Presently, the craft is practiced not only in Pochampally but also in many villages like Koylagudam, Chautuppala, Siripuram, Bhuvanagiri, Puttapakka, etc.

Weavers are manufacturing sarees, dupattas, stoles, kurtis, and home furnishing products with geometrical designs. The main colors used in Pochampally Ikats are magenta, parrot green, golden yellow, orange, off-white, brown, black, etc.

Pochampally Ikat Suit
Pochampally Ikat Suit

Handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Union Territory)

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands surrounded by sea. The islands are covered with dense forests, white-sand beaches, and palm trees.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are Cane and Bamboo Craft, Coconut Shell Craft, Mat Weaving, Seashell Craft, Pottery, and Woodwork.

Handicrafts of Lakshadweep (Union Territory)

Lakshadweep is the smallest union territory consisting of 36 islands. Lakshadweep is known for its lush green landscape, beaches, and natural flora and fauna.

Some of the famous handicrafts of Lakshadweep are Crafts of Shells, Corals, Oysters, Coconut Shells, Tortoise Shells, and Embroidered Jackets.

Handicrafts of Northeast India

The North East region of India includes Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. Sikkim became a part of the North-East Council (NEC) in 2002. The climate of the Northeast is humid, and the states are rich in biodiversity.

The Northeast region of India is known for its eco-friendly handicrafts and unique products. Some of the famous handicrafts of the North East are Cane and Bamboo Craft, Wood Carving, and Mats. Weavers weave different types of fabrics using Cotton, Wool, Muga Silk, Eri Silk, etc.

  1. Eri & Muga Silk

Eri and Muga are indigenous silks of Assam.

Eri silk is obtained from the “Philosamia ricini” silkworm which feeds mainly on castor leaves. Eri silk is also called ahimsa silk because the yarn is obtained without killing silkworms. Eri silk is white or light brown in color. The Spinning of Eri silk is mainly done in Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. The main products made from Eri Silk are handwoven fabrics, shawls, and draped skirts.

Muga silk is obtained from the silkworm “Antheraea assamensis” which feeds on the leaves of Som and Soalu plants. Muga Silk is highly durable and has a golden yellow color. Muga silk is a bit warm, so it is suitable for winters. The main products made from Muga silk are bedspreads, furnishing materials, shawls, and sarees.

Eri Silk Fabric
Eri Silk Fabric
Muga Silk Fabric
Muga Silk Fabric
  1. Textile Weaving of North East

The weaving of cloth is done by women in the northeastern states. Shawls and wraps were originally made of cotton and wool. Nowadays, the products include bedspreads, furnishing materials, shawls, and sarees. Commonly used patterns and designs include human figures, flowers, birds, and animals.

Textile Weaving
Textile Weaving
  1. Cane and Bamboo Craft

Bamboo is an evergreen plant and belongs to the grass family. A cane is a long and hard central part of the bamboo plant that resembles a tube and is used to make furniture. More than 50% of the bamboo species in India are found in the North East.

The craftsmen of the Northeast make various products using cane and bamboo. From houses to gates, baskets to bridges, mats to floorings, artisans specialize in creating beautiful and unique cane and bamboo products. Craftsmen use bamboo to make various types of furniture like stools, chairs, sofas, tables, beds, etc. Apart from these, things like hats, lamps, bowls, bottles, organizers, planters are also made using cane and bamboo.

Cane and Bamboo Craft
Cane and Bamboo Craft

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