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The Royal Rajasthan
 

Handicrafts in Rajasthan

 

Handicrafts, RajasthanThe royal history of Rajasthan and patronage of arts by the ruling families, Rajasthan’s mineral rich topography and its strategic location on the ancient & medieval trade routes have all contributed to the growth of a wide range of handicrafts and decorative techniques. Inlay, hand printed textiles, embroidery, metal casting, various painting styles, carving, appliqué, blue pottery and leather craft; all are a part of the rich handicraft tradition of royal Rajasthan.

With so much to offer, Rajasthan is a shopping haven for luxury shoppers looking for exquisite jewelry, sumptuous textiles, hand embroidered fabrics and footwear, antique and made-to-look-like antique furniture, miniature paintings all top the shopping lists.


Jewelry

Rajasthan is known for various types of enamel jewelry such as Minakari and Kundan that is a style of setting precious stones in gold. The enamel work is done on both gold and silver. Jaipur, Nathdwara and Pratapgarh are known for Minakari while Bikaner and Jodhpur are known for Kundan. Rajasthan is a well known centre for buying precious and semiprecious stones such as Diamonds, Lapis Lazuli, Ruby, Emerald, Garnets, Agate, Amethyst and Topaz. Thewa is another popular style of jewelry making; in this gold is set on glass base. Thewa has been popular in the Chittaur region. The craftsmanship and finish of the jewelry made in Rajasthan is of the highest standards.

Opulent male jewelry as well as exquisite pieces for ladies, all are available in Rajasthan. Some of the typical ornaments worn by both are necklaces, armlets, anklets, earrings and rings. Rajasthan is also known for its silver jewelry and accessories besides bangles made of glass and lacquer.


Textiles

Rajasthan has a fascinating range of textiles and dyeing & printing techniques. The colors of their clothes have always been brilliant, to counter the drabness of the desert. The printing styles include hand-block such as the quilts of Sanganer and Bagru; several tie and dye techniques like Bandhej, Bandani, Lehriya, Batik, Mothra, Ekdali, Shikari and Cheent and Lehriya. Bandhej style is popular in Jodhpur, Sikar, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Pali, Udaipur and Jaipur. Lehriya work of Udaipur is famous.

Rajasthan is also known for embroidery styles like Gota, Zardosi and Banarsi for formal and bridal ensembles. All these use metallic and threaded embroidery.


Paintings

Vibrant and expressive paintings depicting folklore are the hallmark of Rajasthan. It is known for its miniature paintings. There are various schools of miniature paintings that were patronised by the various royal houses such as Bundi, Kota, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Alwar. Scenes from the court, royal life, day to day life as well as mythological stories such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, and religious processions all find a place in the miniature paintings.

Traditionally, the paintings were made with vegetable and mineral colours. This practise is followed till date though now some artists also use synthetic colours. Phad and Pichwais are the two other styles of paintings that are found in Rajasthan.


Furniture And Artefacts

Wood and leather furniture in traditional styles of Rajasthan are extremely popular. Certain areas such as Jodhpur also specialise in antiques. The furniture that may be bought in royal Rajasthan includes chairs with painted backs, marble-top tables, camel-hide stools, and carved cabinets.

The artefacts include painted objects like boxes, chests snuff boxes and dancing figurines besides animals and birds. In the typical colourful style of Rajasthan and made of various metals to suit every budget, these are excellent souvenirs and gifts.


Leather Craft

Colourfully embroidered footwear that goes extremely well with formal clothing, musical instruments as well as leather accessories can all be found here. Different parts of Rajasthan are known for distinct types of leather objects. While Jaipur, Jodhpur, Barmer and Jaisalmer is famous for Jooties (embroidered footwear), Bikaner is known for painted lampshades, shields and vases while Tilonia is known for hard bags, belts, hats, chairs and foldable chairs.


Stone Carving

Exquisite stone carving that makes objects look filigree is among Rajasthan’s well known crafts. These stone carvings may take the form of objects like statues, figurines and boxes or products that embellish the home such as latticed windows and screens. There are different coloured stones found in Rajasthan, ranging from white marble to pink Dholpur, green Kota, red sandstone and white & grey soapstone.


Metal Craft

Enamelled silver pill-boxes & figurines and brass objects like swords, shields, dancing peacocks and caparisoned elephants all add to the beauty of your home.


Blue Pottery

Blue pottery is an art form that came to India from Persia. Maharaja Ram Singhji first introduced it in Rajasthan. The blue colour comes from ground quartz stone. Floral and arabesque patterns as well as animal patterns are used. Some of the blue pottery objects have a semi-translucent quality. Articles like ashtray, tiles, flower pots and lamp shades are very popular.

 

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