Rural Arts: A Journey Through Indian Village Paintings

Rural Arts: A Journey Through Indian Village Paintings

India’s rural art is a combination of both Hindu and Buddhist cultural influences, and it’s seen in different mythology, be it on the wall or the palaces. The rural population indulged in such artworks as a means for their smaller-scale business. The creativity that finds a portrayal in these artworks is praised until now.  All the remnants of these art forms are evidence of the heritage and culture of ancient India.

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The journey of rural art is breathtaking, be it the most popular Madhubani painting, Kolam painting or Mandana painting, there are many paintings to explore. Another famous art form, the Pattachitra painting, is an old rural art from Odisha and West Bengal. What’s astonishing is that these brilliant works are available as affordable paintings toady.

Usually, Pattachitra art is done on cloth and paper, with intricate designs. Also, this painting represents the mythological narratives and folktales, along with the oldest dance forms. Pattachitra means cloth painting, and this village painting wonderfully depicts the story of Hindu deities.

Yet another renowned rural art is the Madhubani art, this painting finds its origins in a beautiful place called Mithila in Bihar. Many tools are used to create Madhubani art like fingers, twigs, nib pens, and even matchsticks, and the color used is natural dyes and pigments. It is characterised by its eye-catching geometrical patterns.There is ritual content for particular occasions, such as birth or marriage, and festivals, such as Holi, Surya Shasti, Kali Puja, Upanayana, and Durga Puja. The remains of this art are seen nowadays on the walls and ancient pots, and in this modern era, the canvas representation of Mithila art is fantastic. Recently, it has received GI (Geographical Indication) status.

Madhubani paintings or Mithila Art use two-dimensional imagery, and the colors used are derived from plants. Ochre, Lampblack and Red are used for reddish-brown and black, respectively.

The art form depicts people and their connection with nature and all other objects of religious prominence like tulsi, sun, and moon. Also, Mithila art has several recognitions to its credit, including the prestigious Padma Shri, received in the year 1975, and various state and national honors.

Kalamkari paintings can make for a great pick when it comes to Indian wall painting because it’s a type of hand painting that comprises block print. Originated from Telangana, Kalamkari means doing freehand designs with ‘kalam,’ that’s a pen.

Kalamkari art form finds representation in different Indian mythologies like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and various Puranas. Hence, we can say that it was born out of an art of story-telling. Also, recently, Kalamkari art is being depicted on the printed or synthetic sarees and dupattas. The evolution of Kalamkari is perfect for designing fabric because the prints are the same as the handwork. The process of kalamkari painting is very slow and dynamic. It goes through a process of resist — dyeing and hand printing.

Kolam is a variety of rice, and it’s usually grown in south India. Now the flour of this Kolam rice is used for Kolam painting. This artwork often involves the composition of different symmetries, curved loops, and dots’ grid pattern. Moreover, in the contemporary world, this rural art is popularly known as rangoli in various states of India. A combination of different colors is used to make beautiful Rangoli patterns.

Yet another affordable and famous Indian wall painting is the Mandana artwork. The painting style has its origin in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and it acted as a symbol of welcoming God during different festivities. The perfect symmetry and accuracy of this painting are breathtaking, and hence these paintings are very high in demand in foreign countries.


The paint forms, as mentioned above, have originated in the past five thousand years, and they have evolved drastically. All the oldest artworks influence the modern era of digitization in art. The rural culture of India is diverse and beautiful, and when it finds depiction in these artworks, it becomes even more fascinating.

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