Wednesday, March 19, 2014

RAGHURAJPUR, the Heritage Village

In the heart of Puri, in the state of Odisha lies the heritage village of Raghurajpur. It lies 14 kms from Puri , situated on the southern banks of river Bhargavi.

It is home to crafts like Tussar paintings, palm leaf engravings, stone and wood carvings, cowdung and paper machies, toys and masks.

In the village every villager is an artist and every home an artist studio. The craft dates back to 5 BC.

It takes the artist 5 ot 15 days to make a painting and sometimes up to a month.

It is particularly famous for Pattachitra paintings.

Pattachitra is a traditional painting of Odisha, India. These paintings are based on Hindu mythology and specially inspired by Jagannath and Vaishnava cult.

 All colors used in the Paintings are natural and paintings are made fully old traditional way by Chitrakaras that is Oriya Painter.

 Pattachitra style of painting is one of the oldest and most popular art forms of Odisha. The name Pattachitra has evolved from the Sanskrit words patta, meaning canvas, and chitra, meaning picture. Pattachitra is thus a painting done on canvas, and is manifested by rich colorful application, creative motifs and designs, and portrayal of simple themes, mostly mythological in depiction.

 The traditions of pattachitra paintings are more than thousand years old.

The painters use vegetable and mineral colors without going for factory made poster colors. They prepare their own colors.

 White color is made from the conch-shells by powdering, boiling and filtering in a very hazardous process. It requires a lot of patience. But this process gives brilliance and permanence to the hue.

 'Hingula', a mineral color, is used for red.

 'Haritala', king of stone ingredients for yellow,

 'Ramaraja' a sort of indigo for blue are being used.

 Pure lamp-black or black prepared from the burning of coconut shells are used

In 2000, Raghurajpur was chosen by INTACH as Odisha's first Heritage village. But this colorful Heritage artist village hides a dark story.

The artists create meticulous hand crafted art that is grossly underappreciated.  

The artists are given a raw deal by middlemen who buy their paintings at a nominal price and sell at high profits to customers  in other  cities.

This post is part of an INDICHANGE effort by Indiblogger to  raise awareness not only for this ancient heritage crafts village but to create an environment where the artists are given their due price  so that this art form continues to thrive in Raghurajbir village.

 My effort  through this post is to generate world wide interest and appreciation for the talented artists so that they get their due monetary  reward and this traditional craft is kept alive for future  generations.

If you happen to visit Puri,make sure to visit Raghurajbir village.


  1. Informative post accomnied with lovely pictures.
    Happy Holi

  2. Thank you. Hope u too had fun on Holi :)