Introduction | Handicrafts of Rajasthan

Perhaps it is a revolt against the drab landscape, or could be a spillover of the efforts made to combat the harsh weather gods or maybe it is the innate richness in civilization, no matter what the reason, the native Rajasthanis are highly accomplished craftspersons. The land is an exuberance of color and culture. The unique blue pottery or the marble and terracotta idols, the designed gesso purses, or the Thewa and Meenakari jewelry, the state has imprinted on the craft items of its singular, vibrant character. An entire range of decorative items fabricated in this heritage state, the marble carvings and miniature paintings, Phad and Pichwais, the multi-hued carpets and rugs, the vibrant Bandhej and block printed textiles, the metal jewelry boxes and wooden artifacts, the bone work and ivory carved items, the lac bangles, and the velvet quilts. Rajasthan is famous for the excellent handicraft culture cultivated in the state.

Every nook of the state boasts of master artisans who have stunned the world with their craftsmanship. Let us take a look at the rich and unknown handicrafts of Rajasthan.

1. Blue Pottery | Handicraft Rajasthan

Blue Pottery is one of the well-known crafts of Sanganer, Jaipur. It is a mix of Chinese glazing technology with Persian decorative arts and was brought to India by Mughals. It gets its name from the blue dye, used to color the pottery. The design patterns are floral, animal, and birds motifs. 

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Apart from usual urns, artisans have come up with tea sets, cups and saucers, glasses, jars, mugs, ashtrays, and more. 

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The tiles of blue pottery are an attraction and amazingly handcrafted products with super cool designs. They can be exhibited in numerous ways to create patterned floors and walls, yet eye-catching.

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2. Terracotta Work | Handicrafts in Rajasthan

Terracotta works of Rajasthan are also extremely famous. Terracotta blocks are used as building construction material in Udaipur and its surroundings.

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Nohar in Bikaner is famed for producing intricate ware in terracotta. Nagaur and Merta are also famed for the many trinkets and terracotta jewelry produced there. Molela has earned a name for the captivating carved plaques and figurines of terracotta made there. 

It can be seen on the facades of the railway station of Udaipur.

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3. Marble Works | Handicrafts of Rajasthan

All marble items are crafted by skilled craftspersons using simple tools by hand carving on high-grade Makrana marbles. 

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The handicrafts have the Meenakari and Kundan works of Rajasthan. Marble pot and vases, in Matka shape, bottle shape, and Surahi model are uniquely designed in high-quality florals patterns. 

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The floral embossed paintings are also admirable. Statues, sculptures, furniture, tabletops, flower vases, serving trays, are made from marbles in Rajasthan. These perfect home decor or gifting items make a fantastic display. 

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4. Woodcrafts | Art of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is famed for hand-carved wooden screens, jharokhas of jaali, furniture, and household items.

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Barmer, Jodhpur, Kishangarh, and Shekhawati regions are famed for unique styles of furniture making. 

The miniature paintings embossed sleek tables-chairs of Barmer have made a name for themselves while the quaint Jodhpur pieces lend an old-world charm to the homes. Ornate designing and intricate patterns provide furniture with a rich and opulent look. Tilonia Furniture is famous for the designs woven out in jute. Wooden frames are coupled with jute or leather to create beautiful woodwork furniture. The Kishangarh region is prominent for the excellent hand-painted pieces its artisans turn out.

5. Puppetry | Handicraft Rajasthan

Puppets, locally called Kathputlis, are an indispensable part of the culture and life of Rajasthanis. 

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The tradition of puppetry in the state was handed down generation after generation and is the oldest puppet-making region in the entire world. String puppets were the common kinds made in Rajasthan. 

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Made of the local mango wood (aam) the body parts are fashioned out of stuffed rags and pieces of cloth. Wooden carved painted faces having long traditional outfits make the Katputlis very catchy. The royal characters are enhanced in stone and bead jewelry and shiny clothing. Udaipur is one of the oldest puppets-making centers in the state. Katputli Nagar in Jaipur is one of the state’s biggest puppet markets.

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6. Thewa – Glass Work | Handicrafts of Rajasthan

Like the rest of the state handicrafts, the glassworks of Rajasthan are unique in both design and usage. Besides beautiful and traditional handicraft items, Rajasthan is famed for its Thewa work. 

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The colored glass base, embossed with golden miniature artwork is the attraction of the Thewa work. The stained glass work of the Havelis, palaces, and temples of Rajasthan or Rajputana are visual delights. An excellent display of stained glass windows, glass mosaics, and intricately inlaid glasswork mark the beauty of Udaipur City Palace and the old Havelis of the Shekhawati region of the state. 

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The princely state of Sirohi boasts of its spectacular fort which has been lavishly adorned with gold and the colored glassworks made by the artisans of Pratapgarh. Thewa pendants are famous pieces of jewelry with their blazing hues and exquisite patterns. Chittorgarh is famed for such Thewa jewelry.

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7. Jewellery | Arts of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is famous for its glass bangles and mirrored lac bangles, contemporary yet ethnic. These bangles make up the display on most street markets of Jaipur and Jodhpur. Made of lac, these hand-made bangles are strikingly beautiful with bold, inglorious, and vibrant colors. These bangles have artistic designs made up of colorful beads, stones, or mirror work to look prepossessing.

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Kundan is a style of jewelry making, practiced in Rajasthan. It is also known as Jadau work. The gemstones are stud in lac with the help of gold foil. The pieces are enamel to give them a bright look. The Kundan is also known as refined gold. 

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Meenakari Jewellery is another specialty of the states’ artisans. Precious and semiprecious gems are embellishing into gold or silver jewelry and enameled with bright colors. 

Honored to perfection by the jewelry makers of the state, these now bear the unmistakable stamp of Rajasthani expertise.

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8. Textiles | Handicrafts in Rajasthan

The textiles of the state have an immense and ever-growing international demand. The array of kaleidoscopic colors and a spectrum of hues used in creating these textiles is mind-boggling. 

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The myriad colors include the bright and cheerful greens, blues, reds, pinks and the gold used for overprinting (Khan Work). Be it the patterned Bandhani or Bandhej or the wavy Lehariya, the crackled Batik or the Shikari, the Cheent, or the Mothra, Rajasthan is the hub of tie and dye work, and are attractions at local markets of the state. Jodhpur, Jaipur, Pali, Udaipur, and Nathdwara are famed for Bandhani textiles. 

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Embroidery and patchwork are practiced well in Bikaner, Barmer, and surrounding regions. The Zari or zardozi work of the state is also very famous. The block-printed textiles of Sanganer in Jaipur are very famous. The prints of Bagru and Jajams are distinguishable by their dark hues and attractive circular designs.

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9. Carpets and Rugs | Arts of Rajasthan

Moneyed hues and exquisite design are the hallmarks of the hand-woven carpets and rugs. Carpets are traditionally weaved with wool but in Rajasthan carpets and rugs are often made out of silk and cotton fiber.

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Unique themes and floral patterns provide the concept for these masterpieces. The carpets and rugs woven at Bokhara are among the finest in the world and are hand-knotted. 

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However, the thick rugs, or durries, stark colors, and felt finish creates an essence all over the world. The Durries of Jaisalmer and Bikaner has been lauded worldwide due to the master craftsmanship exhibited on cotton yarn.

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10. Leatherware | Handicrafts of Rajasthan

The leatherware industry in the state of Rajasthan employs both men and women. The cutting, tanning, and stitching of the leather are done by men, while the women take on the embroidery and decoration aspect. The decoration of the footwear is enhanced with sequin, beads, golden and colored threads.

Jaipur, Jodhpur, Barmer, and Jaisalmer are famed for producing premium quality leather footwear known as Juttis and Mojaris. The Juttis are the slip-on sandals of the state enhanced tastefully. 

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Mojaris are durable and hardy footwear. 

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Tilonia village near Ajmer is known for the graphic patterns made on the primordial leather products. Other products made of leather in Rajasthan are shoes and sandals, pouches, purses and handbags, hats and caps, belts, instruments used in folk music such as the dhol, dhapli, tabla and kamancha, lamp and lampshades, and even furniture such as stools and chairs.

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Author

Manvi Khandelwal, a 20-year-old, is an architecture student. She had been passionate for architecture, since her childhood. She always thought of architecture as a way of living life, apart from designing spaces. She loves to dance, and to her architecture is a choreography of volumes to define her environment.

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