India, with its 29 states and extensive territory, has a multitude of different languages, ethnicities,
and cultures. The physiognomies, landscapes and local cultures vary greatly. From this
monochrome of colors is born rich local craftsmanship, both ancient and modern, whose
production and style are exported to the whole world. We invite you to discover here the
authentic handicrafts of India.
Indian arts and crafts productions come from ancient traditions whose techniques are
transmitted from generation to generation. Among them, the miniature art of Rajasthan, whose
most prolific center is in Udaipur. Songs, dances and other forms of art constituted royal
decorum, as well as the art of miniature painting. To show their power and influence, the kings
gathered artists, especially during religious or cultural festivities, to make detailed paintings of
From the north to the south of India, the arts vary, as do the materials (textiles, stone, wood,
bamboo, etc.) and patterns. In Aranmula, a small town in Kerala (South), unknown artisans,
comparable to true magicians, can turn a simple piece of metal into a mirror. The south is also
known for the art of statues carved in wood or stone.
In Andhra Pradesh (Southeast), pearls are cultivated that give shape to luxurious jewels. In
northeastern India, and especially in the state of Assam, local artisans produce organic silk.
Almost all Indian states produce silk saris, each with its own specialty. Among the best known
are the saris of Benares, Mysore, and Kanchipuram, some of which are manufactured with gold
In Gujarat, in the west of the country, there are so-called tie and dye textiles, or bandhani, which
use a particular technique. Of tribal inspiration, it is one of the Indian textile arts richest in
ornaments. Regarding the tribes, these are a source of interesting artistic production. Madhubani
or mithila paintings, with the brilliant colors of the state of Bihar, and of which each work is
unique, to the metal statuettes (the Dhokra art) of the Chhattisgarh state, Indian tribal art also
expresses millenary legends where human and animals merge in a world where nature is the
owner and modernity has no place.
Let's look more closely at the different materials with which the Indian handicrafts are created:
It is also characteristic of India the use of metal melting, engraving, enameling or embossing in
the creation of utensils for ceremonies in temples, ceremonies in homes or simply to transport
water. The brass meenakari crockery engraved or enameled is one of the most typical Rajasthan
handicrafts and Uttar Pradesh. The color designs stand out in the gleaming metal. In Jaipur and
Udaipur there are handcrafted objects enameled in gold and silver, with precious stones mixed
between blues, bright greens, and deep reds real stones.
Another technique widely spread in India is the lost-wax casting, used to melt brass, bronze, and
other metals, with it, are made the huge bronze statues of Hindu deities in Swamimalai, Tamil
Nadu, the vessels for rituals of Kerala and the Dhokras of Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
The most representative image of India is the Taj-Mahal, where in addition to its characteristic
forms we can admire its splendid marble mosaics and its hand-carved designs, which are still
reproduced in Agra in all kinds of utensils, boxes, plates, bowls, etc.
It is also to be admired the handicrafts of the statues that are made in Mahabalipuram that reflect
the art of the temples of South India, the alabaster boxes and the statues of Benares, Bihar and
Jaipur, and the balconies, columns and red and yellow sandstone windows of the houses and
temples of Gujarat and Rajasthan all carved by hand.
It is still usual to find in different Indian villages potters spinning the lathe with their feet while
their hands give shape to a new creation, as it represents the crafts of the country. With fast and
precise movements they are modeling the clay just as their ancestors did five thousand years ago.
The blue ceramics of Jaipur enjoy great popularity, reminiscent in a way Persian tiles and
Chinese porcelain. Other forms are the black pottery of Chin-hat and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh,
the green openwork pottery of Khurja, and the huge terracotta horses of Tamil Nadu and West
Once finished, the ceramics are hand painted giving life with unique designs and styles from
each region. It is also interesting to note that many workshops leave their doors open to tourists
so they can see how these artisans work day by day and can value their work and understand
better the handicraft items in India.
The deserved fame of the fabrics of India is due to its delicacy and the richness of colors and
designs used, it is one of the most relevant crafts after jewellery. The best-known textiles are
printed cotton, silks, Kashmir carpets, and scarves. The famous pashmina scarves are made of
goat wool from the high regions of the Himalayas.
There is a wide variety of garments, from the simplest to the most elaborate. For its elaboration
waxed, embroidered, patterned, painted, dyed and adorned fabrics are used with applications
made all by hand and there is a big difference between the garments used in the different regions
Another technique is used to make fabrics with diagonal stripes of different colors or used for
nature designs. It consists in dyeing separately the threads of the warp and the weft before
placing them in the loom and interlacing them so that they form stylised drawings of flowers and
animals adorned with geometric design.
In India, you will realize the richness and beauty of the crafts that can be found in each region.
All the crafts and design represent the daily life and history of the country. No Indian crafts are
similar to another given that all of them are made by hand by different craftsmen who apply
different work sets and materials.
For this reason, we must not let this wonderful work disappear and appreciate it more, always
keeping in mind that they are unique works done by unique people.