Raghurajpur Artist Village, Odisha

Raghurajpur Artist village is a mere 15 km drive from Puri. The entire village is a rich art gallery. Based on the results of the 1998 research which was done by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, it was decided that the village will be the very first heritage village for crafts. The villagers were then trained here to again learn their age old traditional techniques and execute them in their artworks and crafts. The artisans make various handicrafts here like traditional masks, stone idols, paper mache, sculptures, and wooden toys, but the famous are the pattachitra paintings.

What sets these paintings apart is the notable material of cloth used. It is known as Patta and basically it is nothing but a dried palm leaf. The surface is painted with vibrant, full of colors and intricate pictures of various Gods, Goddesses, depicting the mythological scenes. The artists here use natural mineral colors and vegetable dyes in their paintings. But the remarkable part is that they don’t use a pencil for drawing and the brush also which they use is made up of mouse’s hair. One of the special products of this village is the also the Sambalpuri Saree, which is a Tussar saree with various mythological scenes painted about Mathura Vijay and Raslila, etc.

Every house here is an art museum and every person living here is an artist of tribal art, bringing alive the mythological scenes in their paintings. Another interesting fact is that every year the God and Goddess of Puri go on a relaxation period for 15 days, so during that period, the statues are then replaced with these pattachitra paintings that portrays the three deities. To experience a live, vibrant art gallery overflowing with culture and stories you must visit Raghurajpur crafts village.

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