has its usual assortment of rural handicrafts of hand painted wall
hangings, wooden stools, miniatures in paper and leaves, stone pottery,
bamboo and leather goods and appliqué work. But Bihars
most famous indigenous art is Madhubani paintings. Originally humble
expressions of the sheer creativity of the rural women, this village
wall paintings now adorn gracious city homes and are exported.
This art is a strict monopoly of the women of Mithila. Done in
primary colours of natural origin on paper and cloth, they narrate
mythological and religious events. However, the ancient designs
in bright colours can still be seen on the mud walls in the districts
of Champaran, Saharsa, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Samastipur.
Begusarai, Purnea, Bhagalpur and of course, Madhubani the trade
centre for this unique art.
The origin of painting is traced to a moving legend recorded in
the Chitralakshana the earliest Indian treatise on painting.
The Chola rulers in the south, made extensive use of Kolam, floor
designs. Only women do these decorations.
The paintings on walls have deeper themes, also narrative in a series
of panels. Wall paintings are usually made at festivals and special
occasions like marriages. Folk paintings attain a high standard
and artists won a great fame in this art.
Of all the art forms in the Mughal period, miniature paintings are
painstakingly painted creations that depict the events and lifestyle
of the Mughals in their magnificent palaces.
The wall paintings of Madhubani are joyous expressions of the women
in Madhubani. The lively compositions and the vibrant colors used
to paint them are generally drawn from Indian mythology.
In Muzaffarpur, the principal city in this domain, bangle making
is a cottage industry, in the truest sense, for every household
is a manufacturing unit of these lac turnery beauties. The adjoining
forests of the state provide the basic raw material for bangle making.
With the help of simple domestic fire, and vivid imagination, the
craftsman breathes life into roundels of lozenge pink, flaming orange,
brilliant vermilion, regal purple or even dignified ochre circles,
to ornament the wrists of a bride. In fact, there is a special ritual
of bangle wearing, where the bride-to-be is made to wear turmeric
colored bangles that are suitably embellished with pieces of glinting
mirrors, brilliant tinsel and painted stripes. The other women of
the household too keep a large variety of bangles to suit every
outfit they plan to wear for the occasion.
Bihar was the land of the Buddha's nirvana, a land where he received
the divine inspiration to propagate Buddhist path of Middle Living.
The stone images of Gaya regenerate Lord Buddha's messages. The
pearly luster of the gray-green stone provides an interesting patterning
on the image surface. The alternative black variety, quarried from
the adjoining hills, is ideal for tableware. Stem handled drinking
glasses, smoothly turned out coasters and large platters customarily
used to serve offerings to deities at temples, keep the Gaya stone
masons constantly innovating and creating. In recent times they
have veered from the traditional Buddha figurine to that of the
elephant god Ganesha.
Information on shopping in Bihar - India