In this state dominated by villages, craftsmanship is largely confined
to pottery and various kinds of embroidery and weaving. Theatre,
an integral part of the state, is very popular here, with the themes
revolving around mythology and religion.
The Kraft Bazaar is a completely new entity of Haryana Tourism
that has been set up alongside the popular Oasis tourist complex.
The Kraft Bazaar has beautifully designed huts/shops creating ambience
of a traditional bazaar, paved paths and a tastefully landscaped
environment. There are 48 shops, a stage for cultural programmes
alongwith a green room for artistes, 2 exhibition halls for crafts,
games for children, a welcome gate, foot paths and attractive lighting.
Kiosk for ethnic fast food, children's park with fancy swings, office
store, ticket counters and public convenience are other facilities
being provided here. Before long, an amusement park for children
will be set up in a specially ear marked area.
The Kraft Bazaar will operate round
the year, with a change in craftspersons and festivities every 15
days. The Sri Ganesh Festival will be followed by the Dussehra Festival,
the Kartik Festival,
the Deepawali Festival, Guru Purav, Id Festival, Christmas Carnival
and the Lohri Festival.
The main attractions at the Kraft Bazaar, are cane furniture (West
Bengal), decoration items & readymade garments (Nagaland), artificial
flowers (Nagaland), wooden items (Karnataka), artificial jewellery
(Haryana), sandalwood & bone items (Haryana), phulkari suits
(Punjab), terrakotta items (Haryana), tribal metal jewellery (Orissa),
dabka, patch, applique suit (Uttar Pradesh), banarsi silk items,
chickan items (Uttar Pradesh), glass jewellery (Delhi), handloom
products (Haryana), artificial jewellery (Delhi), wood carving furniture(Uttar
Pradesh), hand embroidery(Haryana), tin and foil painting, dabka
embroidery (Haryana), handloom products (Uttar Pradesh) and straw
picture (Kerala). Among the participating craftspersons hailing
from different parts of the country, one is a National Awardee,
one is a National Merit Certificate holder and 3 are State Awardees
Pottery is essentially a village craft, and Haryana is essentially
a village state. The potters wheel, dating back to pre-Aryan
times, is the most common feature of any village in India.
Although numerous kinds of wheels are used throughout India, in
Haryana the kick-operated type is common. With this contraption
you dont use your hands to turn the wheel as in normal cases;
on the other hand, you use your foot. The actual wheel may be either
of cement or stone.
The material for making earthen articles comes cheap, and from
the earth itself. While the potter works on the wheel, he has a
helper (usually his son or a relative) mixing clay, while a woman
(his wife or a sister) makes intricate designs into the finished
vessel or toy.
From utensils to toys to decorative pieces, clay forms the most
essential ingredient on which the potter literally survives. Seasonal
festivals call for the potter to get cracking he has to make
hundreds of toys like miniature cows, horses, people, houses and
sepoys which are then sold in brightly decorated stalls along dusty
Haryana is quite famous for its woven work, be it shawls, dhurries,
robes or lungis.
The Haryana shawl, an offshoot of the shawl from Kashmir, is a
work of art in itself. Known as phulkari, it is a spectacular piece
of clothing, full of magnificent colours and intricate embrodiery.
Worn with with a tight-fitting choli (blouse) and ghaghra (long
skirt), it forms the basic winter wear for the women of Haryana.
A deviation from the phulakri is the bagh (garden). In this case,
the entire cloth is covered with embrodiery inasmuch that the base
cloth is hardly seen.
Phulkari is made by female members of a house, and takes a long
time to make; sometimes even a few years.
only one woman works on the design so that the uniformity is maintained.
However, it is no surprise that the other women also contribute
in little ways to its creation.
Traditionally, work on a phulkari commences from the time a daughter
is born in the family and is given to her at her wedding.
Against a red background, motifs of birds, flowers and human figures
are stitched into the cloth. The design is fed into the cloth from
the reverse side using darning needles, one thread at a time, leaving
a long stitch below to form the basic pattern.
The stitching is done in a vertical and horizontal pattern as well
as variations from this standard format, so that when the phulkari
is finally complete the play of light on its shiny surface can do
wonders. Satin and silk is also used frequently to enhance the effect.
design almost always follows a geometric pattern, with green as
the basic colour probably because mainly Muslims worked on them.
Although lacking in technical finesse, it makes up for the loss
by a colourful display of its design.
Everything goes into its design elephants, houses, crops,
the sun, the moon, kites, gardens, anything and everything.
The embrodiery is worked into khaddar (coarse cotton cloth) with
silk thread. Khaddar is cheap and locally available everywhere in
India, and in making a bagh narrow pieces are used. Sometimes two
or three baghs will be stitched together to for a phulkari.
Another kind of shawl is the Chope , a rather simple affair in comparison
to the phulkari and bagh, and is presented to a new bride by her
maternal grandmother. The darshan dwar shawl is gifted to a temple
by a devotee whose wish has been fulfilled.
Haryana durries are rather coarse, although spectacular geometric
designs adorn the entire rug. The Jats of Haryana are known to make
durries with white triangles often set against a blue background.
In Haryana, durrie making is concentrated in and around Panipat.
Karnal is a hot spot for bright robes and lungis (a skirt-like
garment worn by men and originally invented by Gautam Buddha), a
common garment worn by inhabitants of rural India.
Haryana was always a rendezvous for various tribes, invaders, races,
cultures and faiths, going right back to BC 2500, and it witnessed
the merging of numerous styles of painting.
While references to paintings are to be found of the Aryan period,
art actually flourished during the reign of the Guptas (5th century
BC to 6th century AD). However, these are mostly concentrtated in
southern India, and nothing close to such magnificent art is to
be found in Haryana.
Discoveries of earthen ware and designs painted on them in black
and white in Siswal district in Haryana are the first impressions
of art in this state.
Mitathal and Banwali districts have also revealed that art did
exist here, but definitely on a much smaller scale than that of
the Deccan and southern India. The drawings are mainly in horizontal
and vertical lines, with a little more creativity allotted to floral
art. During Harshas reign art and painting received special
attention for some time as the king himself was a painter of sorts.
After Harshas death, painting flourished for a while under
the Rajputs, but the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate put an
end to this.
The Sultans had no love for art they were busy fighting
wars and battles and never did patronise painters. The Mughal empire
was different, and art reached its zenith during this time. Jahangir
was a patron of art, and during his reign the influence of the Persian
painting style was happily married to the Indian style.
However, all that was happening in Delhi, and Haryana was conveniently
left out in the cold. There were rich jagirdars who liked paintings,
and they engaged artisans and painters to do up their houses; celings,
walls, the works.
Temples were another area where the painter got to work, decorating
everything within reach with landscapes, dances, hunting expeditions,
wrestling bouts, birds, bees, and love scenes. Come the 18th century,
and the Rewaris made sure that painters got enough work, albeit
under a Rajput style.
The god Krishna was a big hit in the villages walls, doors,
windows all bore his likeness with the Mughal and Kangra styles
merging with the Rajput style.
The walls of the palace of Maharaja Tej Singh in Mirpur in Gurgaon
is adorned with paintings, following the Rajput pattern. The patterns
on the walls express scenes from the Ramayana. The Matru Mad ki
Paio in Gurgaon features mythological paintings, but these are slowly
The Asthal Bohar paintings are also in the Rajput style, and their
influence can be seen even in the Shiva temples in Panchkula and
Pinjore, Venumadhava temple in Kaul, the temples in Kaithal and
Pabnama, the Kapil temple in Kilayat and the Sarsainth temple in
Sirsa. The Rang Mahal in Pinjore is also decorated with wall paintings,
an originality straight from the hands of Mughal painters.
The samadhas of Lala Balk Ram and Lala Jamuna Das in Jagadhari in
Ambala are famous for their walls paintings from Hindu mythology.
The entrances to both are flanked by heavily painted dwarapalas.
The Rajiwala temple near the samadhas also boasts of religious
themes in its paintings. Its walls, cells and verandah have been
subjected to the Jain style, while the Qila Mubarak, a two-storeyed
Mughal structure is embellished with images of birds and flowers.
Kurukshetras Bhadri Kali temple has religious themes and
frescos running throughout its structure, with a broad frieze bordering
the lower end. The second storey is covered with murals, as is the
haveli (house) of Rani Chand Kaur in Pehowa, the temple of Shri
Ram Radha in Pehowa and the temple of Baba Shrawan Nath. In fact,
youll find similar paintings in temples and holy Hindu places
The Persian style infused with script also gains prominence, especially
with murals in which the Persian script is freely used. Elaborate
detail forms the central theme within which verses from the Koran
are written in various flowing styles, following the calligraphy
Mughal paintings also seeped into Hindu temples, especially in
Kaithal, Kalayat and Rohtak. Here too, the subject matter is lifted
right out of mythology and carry moral and spiritual messages.
In Rohtak paintings have been found which are now in possession
of the Manuscripts Department of Kurukshetra University. Liberal
use of blue, pink, green, orange and red enhance the beauty of these
paintings which are of the Lord Vishnu and his incarnations.
Rock and stone were the most common subjects for the development
of art, right from the Maurya period to Harshavardhana to the Mughals
and the British.
However, the Mughals put a stop to carving idols and images out
of rock as this was against the very basis of Islam. They went a
step further, destroying temples and any such figure which crossed
Sculpture in Haryana was concentrated around centrtal and northen
parts and was basically religious in content. Vishnu was the most
important, and he and his incarnations were enough material for
sculptors to start cutting away. A figure of Vishnu found in Kurukshetra
is a remarkable piece of art, showing the god with four arms gracefully
reclining on the coils of Anantnag, the many-headed snake. This
stone figure was probably made in the 10th century AD.
Gods formed the basis of sculpture in ancient Haryana, and likewise
all over India. Sandstone was widely used, be it green, buff, grey
or black. But besides the images of Hindu gods and goddesses, Jain
images from the Pratihara period (9th century) have also been found,
all made of sandstone. The Buddha also surfaces once in a while,
like in Rohtak where he was found seated cross-legged on a lotus
pedestal and made entirely of grey stone.
Information on Traditional Crafts, arts, handicrafts of Haryana - India