India is a mystical land of different cultures, languages, religions, and art forms. Diversity is replicated in the handicraft of India as well. Each region has a unique form of craft that depicts the story of its rich heritage and the process of its evolution. India is abundantly blessed with exquisite handicrafts that grab attention worldwide. Handicrafts are an integral part of Indian tourism that has captivated many foreign markets.
Rightly said, art is the foundation of the history of mankind, and these artists beautifully explain the evolution of the art forms that are the pride of every nation. Walking through the alleys of India, you would come across some intriguing facts and heartwarming stories behind every piece that truly is a labour of love. Let's help restore the rich art culture of India by buying these local handicrafts that are preserved by the generations of the artisans.
Take a look at some of the most exquisite Handicrafts of India listed below that depicts the tale of artisan’s toil.
Warli is an exquisite handicraft of India that dates back to 2500-3000 years. This tribal art form has emerged from the tribes residing in the mountains and coastal areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The paintings are simple sketches with geometrical shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles.
These shapes are derived from nature, where the circle represents the sun and moon while the triangle denotes trees and mountains. Palghar district in Maharashtra is where the art form is still practiced and is a source of livelihood for Warli artists.
Popularly known as Kathputli, it is a form of puppet theatre that originated in Rajasthan over a thousand years ago. Kathputli consists of two words ‘Kath‘ and ‘Putli’ that translates to a doll made of wood. However, the wooden puppets also require cloth, cotton, and wires in their construction and decoration.
These puppets are maneuvered with the help of a string. Puppet theatre is performed in fairs and festivals and generally depicts stories for educational and awareness purposes. They make beautiful souvenirs from the regions of Rajasthan such as Jaipur, Bikaner, Udaipur, etc.
Carpet weaving is another popular handicraft of India. These hand-woven carpets are known for their intricate designs. Uttar Pradesh is the hub for the carpet-producing industry in India. The city of Bhadohi houses 500 carpet weaving industries, which makes it a leading carpet weaving hub in south Asia.
Srinagar, one of the most visited tourist places in India produces the finest quality silk carpets that have gathered immense popularity throughout the world.
Phulkari is an intricate embroidery technique, but the term is also used for shawls and scarves embroidered with Phulkari. The striking feature of this handicraft is the use of vibrant colors. Having a colossal mass appeal, the handicraft is being recreated in contemporary ways by the designers.
The place to purchase this exquisite piece of handicraft in India is Amritsar in Punjab where vibrant culture is depicted through the bright colors of Phulkari threads.
Dhokra art is a unique form of metal casting practiced in Madhya Pradesh and parts of Bihar, Odisha, and West Bengal. This handicraft is known for its simplicity and is capable of producing unique items each time.
The handicraft is used to make items like jewelry, ashtrays, pen stands, and candle stands.
Pashmina shawls are made from superior quality cashmere wool. The entire process of making the shawl is carried out manually and may even take up to 10 days.
This immensely popular handicraft in India is produced in the Kashmir valley and is the epitome of experienced craftsmanship.
Tarakasi is the meticulously carved handicraft found in Cuttack and other parts of Odisha. The craft has gained immense popularity and it is used mainly to make jewelry.
Silver is beaten and transformed into wires, these wires are then joined to form beautiful handicrafts.
This is the most eco-friendly handicraft to have emerged from India. Apart from being unique, the handicraft is diverse and impeccable. The art is used to make baskets, dolls, toys, furniture, mats, wall-hangings, crossbows, jewelry boxes, etc.
The place to purchase these handicrafts in India is West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura.
Zardozi is an age-old art form that incorporates the use of silver threads, gold petals, pearls, and precious stones. The art is quite popular even today though the gold and silver are replaced by copper wire polished in gold or silver and silk thread.
The art is famous for its systematic and detailed approach to creating elaborate designs. Delhi is a place where you can find pieces of this rich embroidery that is famous around the globe.
Terracotta translates to baked earth and is an age-old technique of making handicrafts with mud or clay. Apart from being eco-friendly, this craft is capable of producing stellar pieces. Traditionally used for figurines, the art is now used to make toys, pots, vases, dolls, artifacts, and home decor.