The arts and crafts of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is one of the richest states in the country in the field of arts and crafts.
A host of schools of miniature painting thrive in Rajasthan and, to a certain extent, they are a quaint mixture of Mughal and indigenous Indian
styles. The Indian style dates back to the Jain manuscripts of western India, now preserved in the temples of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
These manuscripts are inscribed on palm leaves and are illustrated with stylized miniatures, elements of which are obvious in the miniatures of
today. Art flourished in Rajasthan as far back as 2nd-1st centuries BC and continued over the centuries.
Mostly the kings and their nobles of Rajasthan were patrons of arts and crafts and they encouraged their craftsmen in activities
ranging from wood and marble carving to weaving, pottery and painting. The cave paintings, terracotta
and other stone sculptures excavated at different sites narrates the rich tradition of arts flourished in
the ancient times. The arts of Rajasthan can broadly be classified as:
1. Wall painting
2 Stone carving.
3. Painting on Cloths.
4. Painting on paper, palm leafs.
5. Painting on Sandalwood and Wood.
6. Painting on Ivory, Lac and Glass, pottery, leather etc.
7 Human body as godna, henna etc.
The paintings on the walls of palaces and the inner chambers of forts, havelies (the painted
havelies of Shekhawati are well-known), were very popular in the mogul period and in British periods in
Rjasthan. Influenced by the surroundings, these medieval paintings have their own unique styles - the
hills and valleys, deserts, places and forts, gardens, court scenes, religious processions and those
highlighting scenes from the life of Lord Krishna were the recurrent themes of these paintings.
A 30,000 sq km open-air art gallery, in the region called Shekawati comprises the districts of
Jhunjhunu, Churu, and Sikar in northwest Rajasthan. Shekawati towns as Mukundgarh,
Nawalgarh, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Mandawa, Bissau, Mahansar, and Dundlod, lies a
concentration of fresco paintings in grand old edifices, called havelis, now virtually deserted.
These havelis were an extension of the royal culture of the rich in this region.
The business community at that time had a lot of wealth and they used to compete with each other by
constructing the best haveli with the best paintings.
Though the number of havelis in existence is a matter of speculation, Rajasthan Tourisms
estimates that there are at least 5,000 havelis in the region. and it encouraging people to open
up their locked havelis to tourists. The government is also deputing personnel from the archaeological
department to preserve, maintain, and conserve the paintings, as also to train the local populace
to take care of them and their havelis.
Painting on paper, palm leafs
Painting on Cloths.