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of Sun Crafts in Puri who is known for his Pattachitra styled sarees says, “This craft has become extremely popular and we get international orders for sarees that take more than six months to make offering a distinct look based on this art form.” Apart from Pattachitra, paintings on Tussar Silk are another attraction that is equally worked upon by the Pattachitra artists in Raghurajpur and otherwise. The paintings on silk usually showcase tribal and village lifestyle. There are some that simply use black ink and portray multi-dimension shapes for designs that look very attractive. According to Nayak, the tribal paintings and mythology are usually the common themes chosen for Pattachitra.There is a definitive style of this art form and artists bring in their creative inputs within that to give it a new direction. This way the art form is changing yet keeping the age old essence intact.” Apart from such paintings, palm leaf engravings, paper masks, paintings on coconut and betel nut (Supari) also attracts travellers allowing them to peep into the world of the Pattachitra that is surviving with support from the Government. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India recognise and thereby offer an intense art experience to discerning tourists by taking artists from this village to many cities to showcase their talent. Adorned Village Though the art form of Pattachitra and Tussar painting are in great demand all across the world and are being exported by India, a visit to this secluded geography is a different experience altogether. Raghurajpur in this respect has really evolved as a craft village in every sense. It becomes apparent the moment one steps down and enters this locality. A big billboard



January 2012

Tussar Silk Painting

Reaching Raghurajpur The craft village of Raghurajpur can be reached from Bhubaneshwar (nearest airport) which is 50 km away. It is just 14 km from Puri and can be accessed through taxi and coach services available easily. Lying on the coastal belt, it is advisable to avoid visiting the crafts village during Monsoons. September-April is the best time to visit the village when the temperature falls down to a comfortable level averaging 26°C. welcomes all and the houses elegantly decorated with these paintings showcase the talent that this village possesses. It is said that every single house in this village promotes this craft and is taking the heritage forward. The village houses display the craft and entering these small homes gives a wider perspective on how the artists make incredible things using such basic materials. Their painting style carved on wood, wooden dolls, even cowdung and papier mache (chewed paper) toys, etc. brings a new dimension to this handicraft. This unique traditional craft of Odisha comes to life in this village and has been preserved for long. It is heartwarming to see that kids are also deft at this craft and join their parents in learning the tradition. This age old art form has not lost its sheen in the commercial dynamics of export opportunities it commands. Changes are being brought in to ensure that paintings last long keeping the spirit of this craft at a high. This village, in that term, undoubtedly ensures that the tradition remains alive as a craft, enjoyed by kinsman and tourists alike. R

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