10 Unknown Facts About Pattachitra Paintings of Odisha That Will Make You Want To Own A Piece Right Away!

10 Unknown Facts About Pattachitra Paintings of Odisha

Patachitra sarees stand out amongst the clusters of handmade paintings. These paintings are distinctive with their detailed narration of the beautiful stories and colorful motifs. The continuous colorful motifs is a specialized form of art which has a long history. These beautiful paintings of Pattachitra handlooms are also connected to the tradition of temple paintings. This form of art and painting has the lineage related to the cult of Shri Jagannath and the temple traditions in Puri. and it is believed to have originated centuries back.

Pattachitra paintings are intricate and detailed. These were made out of vegetables and the process was considered extremely pious and holy. This all takes weeks and a lot of time. Pattachitra the word comes from sanskrit “patta” meaning a cloth and “chitra” meaning painting. Initially Jagannath and the related cultures were the main theme of patachitra sarees. With time many contemporary styles came in and motifs have become very vibrant and gorgeous.

  1. These are from the 12th Century- It is believed to be the oldest art form existing in Odisha and is still in the trend to catch the eyes. The first painting of pattachitra was found during 5 BC. Such an old form of art and trending in sarees and jewelleries is incredible.

  2. Pattachitra painting can take months to complete- To paint one single Pattachitra painting , it takes at least five days to half a month. While elaborate or customized paintings take upto months to be completely ready. To carve one Pattachitra painting depends upon the level of intricacy and size of the paintings.

  3. The paintings juste need a place to draw- Pattachitra paintings are not limited to cloth or canvas, Though maximum sales of Pattachitra paintings are of the cloths and canvas, the paintings are painted on the walls or sometimes on cardboard. These beautiful carvings can be seen almost everywhere. A wall, a cloth, a cardboard,a canvas oa piece of paper.

  4. Pattachitra runs in the lineage- Usually the craft or the craftsmanship is passed on to the younger generations. Whole of the family is assigned to make one part of the painting. Like the women prepare the glue, the canvas and help out in filling the borders, the master painter or the Chitrkara who is usually a male draws the initial sketch and completes the painting. Whole of the family is chitrakars.

  5. It began with palm leaves- As you have seen pattachitra art painted everywhere but it began with palm leaves. Initial paintings on leaves were found on palm leaves, some of which were also manuscripts. These were not only pretty but durable which were preserved for centuries. These were one of beautiful preserves kept by the historians.

  6. Pattachitra belongs to two states- Odisha and West Bengal both are the hub of patachitra. The GI tag is registered differently in both the states and is credited to the different style and motif of the paintings in both the states are different. Pattachitra of Odisha is registered as Odisha Pattachitra while that of West Bengal is registered as Bengal Pattachitra.

  7. The themes are always related to the Jagannath Cult- All the paintings painted are related to Jagannath cult. Mythological, religious stories and folklore are usually painted on the canvas and cloth. It is all painted in style of both classical and folk elements.

  8. Pattachitra paintings for Special occasion- When three lords of Puri dham Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhdra are sick (according to the ritual) and are kept ki the anasar ghar (sick room) then the pattachitra paintings are worshiped.

  9. The colors used are original- The dyes used in the pattachitra painting are all natural. The whole village is dedicated to pattachitra and all of them work to make natural colors and paints the canvas or cloth colorful and detailed. Seashells are used for white color and the black color comes from burnt earthen pots and others are likewise from different natural products.

  10. Pattachitra is not limited to paintings, paintings on sarees. It has got diverse uses like pattachitra mugs, pattachitra artifacts and pattachitra jewelry available. These products are loved and are valued.


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