Handicrafts of Rajasthan
The exotic spectrum of Rajasthan's handicraft heritage is a dazzling kaleidoscope of colours and textures. The depth, range and inspirational complexity of this heritage stems from its socio-economic ethos, with whole villages pursuing certain crafts, which are intrinsic to their survival or their daily needs. Royal patronage gave it vital impetus.
Handcrafted textiles adorn the colourful bazaars of Rajasthan. Visitors can take their pick from the choicest offerings available in sophisticated boutiques or the shops that line the markets across the state of Rajasthan. There is tie and dye work from Jodhpur, the distinctive native hand-block fabrics of Sanganer and Bagru villages around Jaipur and the 'lehariya' prints from the villages around Udaipur.
Jaipur is one of the world's leading diamond and emerald cutting centres. The tradition of 'Minakari' and 'Kundan' work in gold reached an all time high in enamel jewellery centres like Bikaner, since Mughal times. From Pratapgarh comes the pretty 'Thewa' work, gold filigree work on glass which is seeing a revival. Ivory and Lac bangles, and silver tribal ornaments made in Rajasthan are stunning in their artistry.
Mughal miniature painting is richly represented in Rajasthani art. The popularity of miniature painting was translated in the mushrooming of styles distinctive to various regions of the state creating the Kota-Bundi 'kalam', the Marwar School, the Jaipur School, the Bikaner School and the Kishangarh School of painting. From Nathdwara came the tradition of 'pichwais'. The 'pichwai' was a cloth hanging or backdrop to the deity Krishna, painted in bold colours. 'Phads' or scroll paintings relate the tales of the Bhopa folk hero Pabuji.
Pottery, Stone Craft and Leatherwork:-
Pottery tradition of Jaipur is translated into its various hues of blue pottery which is made from crushed quartz. This is embellished with painted motifs in geometrics and nature's bounty in bright yellows, oranges and green.. Its skilled stone carving is evident in beautiful fretwork, carved deities and elaborate columns. Marble tabletops, lamps and candle stands bear the fine detailing at which the native craftsmen are so skilled. Rajasthan's leather craft tradition is showcased in its 'juttis', both plain and embellished. Bikaner's famous 'gesso' work (treated camel leather) is available in a range of boxes, lampshades and containers.