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Kalamkari Paintings

India is an enriched textile entity where the artists have created a number of mediums to feature their imaginations and proficiencies. Religious textile portrays the culture of India in the best way. Gujarat is a city of India which is famous for its kalamkari art and is also named as Mata ni Pachedi. No doubt Gujarat is the economic, cultural and traditional hub for India where people earn their livelihood mostly from art and textile. The city is famous for a number of other attractions like Somnath Temple, Gir National Park and many other places.

This religious art is produced on the cream shaded cloth. They are hanged paintings having iconographic representations of goddesses and gods. They normally form backdrop behind the goddesses Durga in the temples. People, who wish to make their dreams come true, visit their temples in order to request their gods. During the season of festival, this art is demanded by almost every single person in the city. In early times, the entire work was done manually. But now, the artists have modified its techniques and start to use blocks to craft paintings.

Kalamkari is a term having strong relation with the Indian Textiles from its starting as the simplest folkcraft though bad and great times down to their revival these days. Kalam is derived from Persian language which means pen and Kari is the Persian name of work. In fact, the term came into existence with Muslim influences on the India culture and tradition, even though the practices and techniques are far older in comparison.

The origin of Kalamkari art is possibly from the regions of South India and became famous with the need of illustrating temple rituals. The temples were specially made with large and religious themed cloths. This fact is also true that by the advent of carbon dating, people continuously find evidences of older Indian textiles exhumed in areas such as Mohenjodaro, Fostat of Egypt and Harappa of Pakistan. Lots of heirloom cloths, that are pretty old, have been revealed in Indonesia. These cloths are imported from western parts of India, from Surat and Gujarat. A number of cloths contained block prints, a few were painted pieces and there are also evidences of Kalamkari in them.

There are lots of scholars who are continuously increasing their knowledge about this topic and are able to put more light over this subject every year.
There are some Pichhwais (clothes that drop from the back of Shrines) of Gujarat and Rajasthan who are considered as Kalamkari art. Generally, these paintings are made on clothes which people mostly use to decorate shrines of Lord Krishna due to his appearance in Rajasthan as Srinathji. There is a wide range of methods that vary from place to place and artist to artist.

Normally, Kalamkari paintings are the products of southeastern coast that Europeans consider Coromandel Coast; finally centered in Masulipatnam and Sri Kalahasti and every place providing quite unique results.

Traditional Trivia

Kalamkari paintings are also known as Pachedi or Devi ka Parda. They are crafts made of clothes only meant for the followers of goddess Durga. Artists first print panels of Kalamkari by the help of wood blocks using black and maroon colors vegetable dyes with white settings.

This art is frequently practiced in Gujarat by Chitara society and men folks normally draw the outlines of paintings while, women are liable to contribute in the intricate and elaborate section of Kalamkari paintings. The picture of Durga is the major beside their religious scenes that are produced with shades of white and maroon.

The Aura of Life on Walls : Kalamkari

Kalamkari is an ancient technique of paintings crafted on fabrics. The artists use date palm or bamboo sticks to make outlines. Their one end is made pointed containing a bunch of fine hairs to serve as pen or brush.

Kalamkari paintings are particularly famous for Hindu mythological stories from epics such as Srimad Bhagwat, Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana. In earliest days, people used to craft paintings on walls portraying this respect and affection for their gods and goddesses. But after sometime, artists decided to copy those paintings over some sort of fabrics so that they can be maintained securely and safely and even, people can install them for decorative as well as religious purposes.

Interesting Facts

  • Kalamkari is the watermark of Gujarat, India. The kalamkari paintings are used for decorative motifs on the terracotta clay pots and many other items for which, the state is famous.

  • The kalashti version of Kalamkari paintings features Hindu mythological themes, epics (Mahabharata and Ramayana) images of goddesses, gods, and heroes.

  • The Karrupur version of kalamkari paintings has been created in Thanjavur state during the rule Maratha. This is one of the oldest forms of Kalamkari paintings which have been famous since centuries.

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