Magical Odisha – An Architectural and Cultural Odyssey

Odisha located on the eastern seaboard of India has long been known for its rich culture and heritage. Celebrated as Kalinga kingdom in the historical time, Odisha was once an important maritime nation. Odisha’s Sadhavas (merchants) often would make sea voyages to carry out trade with the merchants of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Siam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka and bring enough wealth. Through these mercantile communities, Odisha also had made profound cultural expansion in Southeast Asia, which is evident among numerous Hindu and Buddhist art of the region. A comparison of Odisha’s historic art with Southeast Asia’s Hindu and Buddhist sculptures show strong cultural ties between the two regions.

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The Golden Sea beach of Puri at the time of Sunrise

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Odisha’s Wall Murals at Nuapatna Village

For an appreciation of Odisha’s heritage and to narrate the stories of Odisha recently Virasat E Hind Foundation had conducted its first curated trip for four guests from the National Museum of Thailand at Bangkok. It was the brainchild of our esteemed friend Ms Anita Bose who also worked as a volunteer in the museum until recently.  Though the guests are based in Bangkok at the moment they represent diverse nationality, Beverly from the United States, Cathy from the UK, Nathalie from France and Tasnee from Thailand.

The trip was for 5 days, part of an 11 day East India Tour, which also included West Bengal, Anita’s home state, apart from Odisha. In Odisha, the trip was conducted in the golden triangle (Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark), Buddhist excavated sites at Ratnagiri and Udayagiri, the royal heritage of Dhenkanal, Joranda, the global headquarter of Mahima Cult, Dhauli, the battle site of Kalinga, Ragurajpur, Odisha’s craft village, Nuapatna textile cluster and Dokra craft of Saptasajya. The logistic support for the trip was provided by Discovery Tours and Travel, Bhubaneswar.

The trip had been designed to showcase Odisha’s diverse heritage in a capsule, from culture to heritage, forest and mountains, art and craft and food.

Visitors arrived from Kolkata in an early morning flight and they were received with a hearty welcome.

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Receiving the guests at Bhubaneswar Airport

Our first destination was Dhauli, the battle site of Kalinga. Dhauli is also where the story of Odisha begins. At the break of the dawn, the site of Dhauli is transformed into a mystical aura overlooking the Daya River, which was the stage of Kalinga battle. You become a time flyer visualizing how the site would have looked 2,300 years before at the time of the battle and Emperor Ashoka gave up his arms while surrendering to the eight noble paths of Buddhism.

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At Dhauli Battle Site in the Early Morning

Our next stop was the Yogini Temple at Hirapur, one of the four open-air circular shrines dedicated to Tantric Yogini worship in the whole of India. Some of the Yoginis at Hirapur look terrific with their Tantric gesture and attire. Our guests also offered puja at the shrine and were narrated about the Tantric practice in Odisha in the historical era. The temple is dated to 9th century.

After visiting the Yogini temple, we headed for Ranch Restaurant to relish an Indian breakfast. It was also the occasion for a chit chat and to know the interest of the guests better.

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The next stop was at Raghurajpur, Odisha’s craft village. Sri Gangadhar Maharana, Odisha’s finest patachitra artist had been intimated before. Our guests strolled through the open-air art corridor of Raghurajpur and interacted with several artisans and finally spent considerable time at Gangadhar Ji’s house to see his innovations for the art. We also narrated the origin and evolution of patachitra art and what makes it unique among all Odia crafts. Anita also has written a book on Patachitra and Jagannath cult. The next surprise was the Gotipua dance. The young boys had dressed up like girls and performed stunning dance sequences before us for about 30 mins. It was the highlight of the day. Our guests were simply astounded.

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At Raghurajpur

We headed for Puri for the check-in at Cocopalm Resort, which is sea facing on the Beach Road.

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On day 2 the early morning was spent at the golden beach of Puri experiencing various morning activities in the beach and fishermen delving into the deep sea.

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At Golden Beach in Puri

After a lavish breakfast in the hotel, we headed for Konark, Odisha’s only world heritage monument and an epic in stone. Our guests were taken on a journey through its art corridors. It was magnificent glowing under the morning sun. After spending an hour we visited the recently built Konark Interpretation Centre and explored Konark’s history, legend, art, architecture and also about history and monuments associated with Sun worship of India. Watching a documentary film on Konark in a cosy theatre was an experience by itself.

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At Konark

After relishing a delicious meal at the seaside Lotus Resort we returned to Puri for a brief nap. In the evening we again travelled to Konark to witness Odissi Dance at Konark Kala Mandap. Thanks to the gesture of Anita, Abhada, the mahaprasad of Lord Jagannath had been arranged in the hotel.

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On Day 3 we explored the temples of Bhubaneswar in the morning. Our guests were narrated about the idea behind Hindu temples, their meaning and in particular about Kalinga temples, their architectural styles, legends, history and cultural significance. We saw Brahmeswar, Parasurameswar and Mukteswar temples.

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In Bhubaneswar Temples

After visiting the temples we headed for Odisha Hotel in Lewis Road to relish a sumptuous Odia thali. It was grand with all ingredients of an Odia meal, badi chura, chenna tarkari, kakharu phula bhaja, tomato khata, patra poda machha, and rasagola. All our guests enjoyed the food very much.

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After lunch, we went to visit the towering Lingaraj Temple, the highest achievement of Kalinga temples. The next surprise was a visit to the Odisha Craft Museum, one of the finest museums in the country showcasing the region’s finest art and craft heritage.  Our visitors were thrilled while taken through a journey of Odisha’s timeless craft culture.

After a coffee break in the museum, we travelled to Dhenkanal for the night stay.

Everyone was surprised when we entered through the ramp and the majestic gate of the royal palace. No one had ever thought that they would get a chance to stay in a royal palace. It turned out to be a wonderful experience for all our guests.

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Next day was the longest journey to the Buddhist corridor. After breakfast, we headed for Udayagiri and then Ratnagiri, both excavated Buddhist sites having much artistic splendour of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. It was almost an emotional journey for all our guests specialising in Buddhism and its art.

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At Udayagiri, Ratnagiri and Joranda

In the evening while returning back we spent an hour at Joranda’s Sunya Temple, the seat of Mahima Cult, a 19th-century religious movement which rejected the Hindu orthodox practises and emphasized on the nirakara (god without form) philosophy. Our guests got a chance to interact with resident monks who are known for their simplicity having matted hair and wearing the bark of trees.

Our last day of the trip was spent at Dhenkanal’s Dokra village and at Nuapatna textile cluster. The highlight of the day was having interaction with Sri Sarat Patra, Nuapatna’s most respectful and talented weaver. The trip ended with the shopping of stoles and saree at his shop.

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At Dokra Village and Nuapatna with Sri Sarat Patra

In the words of Beverly Frankel

I want to tell you how much I appreciated your knowledge, guidance and friendship throughout our February trip in Odisha’s many architectural and cultural sites. As “Culture Vultures” from the National Museum Volunteers in Bangkok, we adored being able to experience the beautiful villages you showed us for the Patachitra paintings, Odisha dancers, batik and ikat weavers and bronze cast makers.  The religious contrast between the majestic temples of Konark and Bhubeneshwar’s Lingaraj, etc and the Aleka Mahini settlement was amazing to see the range of devotional activities.

Ashok’s conversion to Buddhism retold by murals, stone engravings, and the Buddhist sites of Udaigiri and Ratnagiri were unforgettable. Appreciated especially was our arrangement to spend the night in the old Palace in Dhenkanal.  It was magical –  dining in the garden and living in the spacial splendour of the old rooms. The seaside of Puri and life in the markets and streets of our journey were added delights.

Thank you for making it all possible and guiding us with your vast range of knowledge.

 

Celebrating Seasons through Pattachitra

From the dawn of civilization, our artists have drawn inspiration from changing seasons to paint, sculpt and write their dreams. Here is the story of Bijay Parida, a celebrated Pattachitra artist from Bhubaneswar and his visualisation depicting seasons of Odisha.

‘Once upon a time…an exiled Yaksha in a distant land

Pinning for his beloved…urges to carry a message to her’

A yaksha could change its form at will, take to the sky and fly where his fancy takes him, become invisible and indulge in a variety of supernatural capers. But the yaksha of Kalidasa’s Meghadootam had temporarily lost all these power. He had been banished for a year from Alkapuri, his divine abode beyond the sky touching peaks of the Himalayas by Kubera, the god of wealth.

Wandering southwards the yaksha had reached Ramagiri, south of Vindhyan-Satpura Hills. He was remembering of his young wife whom he had left behind in Alkapuri. They had been married just a few months. Standing on the top of Ramgiri, he looked up the overcast sky and envied the heavy, moisture-laden clouds that were slowly making their way northwards. He imagined they were going to his home in Alka, as they were moving in that direction. He wished he could join them, indeed race them, and fly home.

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A Yaksha Couple Illustrated in Cave 17 at Ajanta

More than 1500 years later the vivid imagination of poet Kalidasa on the celebration of love with monsoon has found a fresh perspective through the fancy of Chitrakara Shri Bijaya Parida, an internationally acclaimed patachitra and pothi chitra artist from Bhubaneswar.

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National Awardee Artist Bijaya Parida

Travel Tips

Bijaya Parida

Chhabighar

31//1936, Road No 2, Gangotree Nagar, Sisupalgarh

Bhubaneswar 751 002

Ph +91-9437132688 

Bhubaneswar is well connected by air, train and road. The city has a large number of hotels of various categories and restaurants. Widely celebrated as the temple city of India there are a number of options for a heritage enthusiast in Bhubaneswar, such as Ekamra Walks in the temple corridor, Monks, Caves Kings Walks at Khandagiri and Udayagiri Hills and Museum Walks at Kala Bhoomi on every weekend. Bijay Babu’s residence cum workshop is situated in the close vicinity of the temple corridors and near the ancient capital of Kalinga during Ashokan Era in 3rd century BCE, Sisupalgarh.

In 2015 when I visited Raghurajpur a few of the striking murals that fascinated me most was a large collage depicting 6 seasons (Greeshma, Varsha, Sharada, Hemanta, Sita, and Vasanta) and the divine Odia life that revolve around them in the land of Lord Jagannath.

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Greesma

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Varsha

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Sharada

The murals appeared stunning with minute perfection and detailing in a riot of colours. And what could have been the best central theme than illustrating Radha and Krishna’s epic love story that has been always eternal for billions of Hindus across the world?

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I did not know at that time about its creator and came to know recently when I met Bijaya Babu at his residence in Gangotri Nagar in Ekamra Kshetra, Bhubaneswar. Bijaya Babu is an artist par excellence. He has also been a great innovator of ideas both in patachitra and pothi chitra (palm leaf). In one of my recent posts, I had highlighted one of his unique creations, a talapatra pothi pankha (fan) exhibited at ODIART Purvasha Museum in Chilika.

Also, Read Here:

Etching Krishna and his Childhood

In the early 2000s, INTACH had assigned Shri Anupam Saha to illustrate the walls of all the traditional houses at Raghurajpur in patachitra style. Bijaya Babu’s help was sought as Saha also had wanted social themes which he found difficult among the local artists to visualize. Most of the murals illustrated were conventional religious themes of Odisha. Bijaya Babu earlier had seen Bundi paintings in Rajasthan and had appreciated the depiction of rain and monsoon in the backdrop while projecting Krishna and his leela in the front.  That triggered his mind to conceptualize six seasons in patachitra style using Radha and Krishna as the central characters.

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A Bundi Mural from Rajasthan

Once the idea got established Bijaya Babu started replicating it in tassar silk for his patrons.  I was fortunate to see and touch one. However, the colour scheme used here is a mix of black and faded brown –red distinctive from the conventional colours used in patachitra painting.  The painting had six equally divided units arranged in two rows, each unit depicting a season.

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The first unit is the summer season. Gopis are seen making turmeric and sandal paste which would be applied to Radha and Krishna to relive them from the scorching heat.  At the lower frame sakhies are seen bathing Krishna and also merrymaking in the cool water of Yamuna.

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The next frame depicts monsoon, the season of restlessness both for humans, and trees and animals. But monsoon is also the season of romance when couples often find excuses to ease off under floating dark sky and against trembling trees and gushing water.  Radha and Krishna are delighted to be in rain experiencing all the ongoing events silently surrounding them. There is yet another couple too, equally indulged seeking divine union.

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Sharada is the next season which has a clear sky. Sharad Purnima, the full moon night of Ashwina is celebrated as Kumar Purnima in Odisha. It is also the brightest full moon night of the year. While everyone seems to be in the celebration mood, Radha and Krishna are indulged in their private space under the moonlit sky.

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Hemanta follows Sharada, the season before winter. With pleasant weather and abundance of life, the coast of Odisha goes festive celebrating boita bandana as the reminder of past maritime heritage in the dawn of Kartik Purnima day. Krishna and Radha are depicted in a romantic mood, while Krishna offering a pan to his beloved.

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Winter follows the Hemanta season. With long nights and short days, while the folks are seen warming their bodies around a bonfire, Radha and Krishna are seen in their private space comforting each other in a cosy chamber against the intense cold outside.

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The last frame is the depiction of Vasanta, the king of all seasons. Here we see the celebration of Holi with colours and water. Krishna is seen playing Holi with his gopis and the target is his beloved Radha.

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The conceptualization of the theme is epic reflecting the true spirit of India where the life is being celebrated with great pomp and festivity in a divine spirit for thousands of years. Change in seasons brings us new meanings to life and fresh purposes to live with celebration.

Author: Jitu Mishra

He can be contacted at jitumisra@gmail.com

Kalighat Patachitra – A Journey

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” as Plato had once said and it holds true for Kalighat patachitra. With their lack of symmetry in human figures and sense of proportions, they often fail to impress the eyes of a realist. However, these paintings appeal to many art lovers with their bright colours, bold and vigorous strokes, and free flowing curves. It also occupies an important place in the history of Bengal and Indian art, as it forms a distinct line where the traditional pata or scroll painting took an urban form, while transcending the boundaries of religion and exploring into the contemporary socio-political realm. Thus, Kalighat patachitra is the first school of art in India that can be considered as truly modern.

 

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Hanuman in boots. Note the modern twist given to popular characters

 

Kalighat paintings, as evident from the name, originated in the vicinity of the famous Kali temple, which was founded in 1798 and is located on the bank of the Adi Ganga in southern part of Calcutta. This school of painting, which started sometime between the 19th century continued until early 20th century and included sketches and paintings created by artists referred to as the ‘Patuas.’

Historically the Kalighat paintings claim its lineage from the once popular narrative scroll paintings of rural Bengal.  Patuas, who were avid story tellers, moved from village to village with their painted patas and sang tales from the epics, various folklores, and the Puranas, to the largely illiterate farmers. The scrolls or patachitras which were hand painted, were long narratives that often stretched to more than 20 feet. Sometimes the paintings and narratives were made on scrolled clothes, and these were known as jorano patas. In a patachitra, each section was referred to as a pata. The travelling patuas would roll open the colourful patachitra scroll and would sing about one pata at a time.

 

Somewhere in the middle of 18th century, many of these patuas moved to Kolkata from the villages, especially from the Midnapur and 24 Paraganas areas, and settled around the Kalighat temple. Amidst this new setting the patuas soon realised that painting long narrative scrolls was not just tedious and time consuming but economically not feasible. The devotees that thronged the temple were looking for small, inexpensive paintings that were done quickly and could be carried back as souvenirs. Thus, to meet consumer demands, handmade papers were replaced with cheap, locally available mill papers; paintings were made affordable; and churned out in large numbers. Despite the influx of mill papers, the patuas continued with their tradition of  using natural dyes, made from different vegetables and plant extracts that were mixed with natural binding agents, such as, those made from bael fruits and tamarind seeds. The colours used along with the bold black strokes were mainly shades of red, yellow, blue, and white, while the jewellery was depicted using silver or tin, the later being a cheaper alternative, easily available, that also did not tarnish with time. The brushes used were also natural, made from easily available materials, such as squirrels’ fur, calf’s hair, and goat’s tail. Later with the coming in of water colours from England, the painters slowly adopted these synthetic paints, as they were easily available and proved to be more cost effective.

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Kalighat paintings unlike other folk paintings of India show the human face in full frontal or three quarter views. Also interestingly, Kalighat patuas depicted enhanced glittering effects of jewellery in tin/silver or gold, which is seen only in Mughal and Rajput paintings. Another influence of Mughal art is seen in the large number of animal depictions by the Kalighat patuas. These artists did not follow any set rules of art but mirrored contemporary social life, thus giving us a wonderful insight into the religious and social life of Bengal during the 19th and early 20th centuries. These paintings were ultimately a product of that particular era, which skilfully amalgamated both the British style and Bengal techniques in their bold colours and strong lines that showed simple settings with minimum characters.

 

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From the Sundari series that depicted voluptuous women

 

 

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Duldul, the horse of Imam Hussain in Karbala. The silver lines have been used to highlight arrows. Patua artists painted scenes from other religious narratives indicating the secular bend of the art form.

 

The Kalighat patachitra themes vary widely and the patuas of Kalighat did not separate art from life; and social hypocrisies, quirks, meanness, and follies, were all shown liberally through their paintings.  The early patachitras (early 19th century) focused mainly on religious topics, but in later part of the 19th century the themes turned more contemporary and depicted some famous social events, like the infamous Elokeshi-Mohanta affair, or the subsequent murder of Elokeshi by her husband known as the great Tarakeshwar scandal. Paintings also depict the then well known characters, such as, Rani of Jhansi, and the wrestler Shyamakanta fighting a tiger, and Bengali women on a balloon flying in the sky. Often humorous scenes are also depicted from the ‘Babu Bibi culture’ that show the changing Kolkata socio-cultural landscape under colonial influence. The popular religious themes of Kalighat patachitras were depictions of the Kali devi, devi Durga as Mahisasurmardini, Shiva in his various avatars, Vishnu in his different incarnations, tales from Ramayana and Mahabharata, and depictions of scenes from Krishna’s life, such as Krishna milking a cow, Kaliya daman, Krishna killing the demon Putana, Krishna with Radha, Krishna with Balarama, Krishna with Yashoda, among many more.

 

 

 

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The Whore’s goat. A humorous depiction of the times when Babus were in the throes of bewitching prostitutes

 

The Kalighat School of painting started dying out with the influx of cheap oleographs that reproduced the paintings. These cheap oleographs from Bombay and Germany blatantly copied the Kalighat patachitras, and flooded the markets with their machine made prints, ruthlessly killing the once flourishing Kalighat patachitras. The patuas with their strong sense of creativity and skills, failed to cope up with the rapid speed of the machines and decided to give up the art form. By 1930, the school of Kalighat patachitra completely died out, and whatever paintings were later found are now seen in prized art collections in various museums and private collections of connoisseurs.

 

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Saraswati

 

Famous artists like Jamini Roy took inspiration from this art form that could truly be called as the product of rural renaissance. A school that has inspired satire in narrating social events while preserving an age old tradition of storytelling was hailed globally but has failed to achieve similar recognition on homefront. An exhibition of Kalighat patachitras was held in Prague as early as 1872 but in Kolkata only in the late 90s for it was labelled as bazaar art catering to gossip mills rather than a higher pursuit of excellence. As Shyamalkanti Chakravarty, Director of Indian Museum, once said “It’s time art lovers realised who the forebears of modern Indian art really were.”

(All photographs shown here are of prints in post card size, collected by the author over time. No original paintings have been shown here, and the pictures are for representational purposes only)

Author – Monidipa Bose

She can be reached here

Raghurajpur – An Open Air Museum

Can anyone ever think of ‘Odisha’ without thinking of Lord Jagannath. No way!! Rhythms of Odia life deeply revolve around scores of rituals related to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subadhra throughout the year.

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The trinity that resides in Puri celebrates festivals as any of us do. In the month of June, when the weather becomes excessively humid and unbearable, the deities are brought out from the temple for a holy bath. After the bathing ritual, the deities are traditionally believed to fall ill and are kept in a sick room for 15 days. During this period, no pilgrims are allowed to do the divine darshan. Historically, there was a need for substitute images for the public view and to which prayers and rituals could be offered. Anasara Pati, a painted sheet of cloth, depicting the deities used to be the substitute image meant for prayers by the pilgrims during the period of illness.  These patachitras were prepared by the master artists of the Chitrakara community.

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Anasara Pati – Image Courtesy: Prateek Patnaik

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Jatri Pati

The preparation for the making of Anasara Pati would begin on the auspicious day of Akshaya Trithiya. On this day, a Chitrakara would receive a piece of cloth to prepare canvas from the temple administration. When he would complete the painting, the family priest would come to his house to perform a puja of the Pati in the presence of all his family members. A day after this puja, a priest from the Jagannath temple would come to his house with a garland and accompanied by people carrying ghanta (gong), chalti (ritual umbrella) and kahali (pipe). Another puja would be performed at his house before the Anasara Pati would be rolled and tied with a piece of black cloth. The Pati would then be carried to the Jagannath temple by the Chitrakara in a ceremonial procession. This tradition of Anasara Pati goes back to the time of King Anangabhima Deva, who ruled Odisha between 1190 and 1198 CE.

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In Puri, there is a belief that a pilgrimage to the town is incomplete unless the pilgrim takes back with him/her five Patas of Lord Jagannath, five beads, five cane sticks and nirmalya (dried rice from the temple kitchen). In Bengal, as a ritual, every pilgrim returning from Puri, gifts one of these Patas and a few grains of the dried cooked rice, Mahaprasada, to his/her friends and relatives.

Though, Chitrakaras throughout history had deep connection with the temple and its rituals at Puri, in the 19th century, they fell into the trap of middlemen who exploited their situation adversely. They lost their source of livelihood and homesteads and started to look for other sources of employment. Many of them became daily wage labourers in betel-leaf gardens, carrying water and head loads of soil while some became masons and others agricultural labourers.

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Depiction of Pana Baraja – Betle Leaf Garden in Raghurajpur

It took more than a generation and the enterprise of an American lady called Helena Zealy, who was in Odisha between 1952 and 54, to revive this precious art form. Helena, while learning Odia in Puri, met Panu Maharana, a Chitrakara trying to eke out a living by selling a few paintings to pilgrims and tourists on Puri beach. She was mesmerized by the sublime beauty of incredible Pata paintings and its vivid depiction of mythological lores and legends. She then established a strong bonding with the Chitrakaras of Raghurajpur, a village full of artists, 10 km from Puri on Puri-Bhubaneswar Road. Along with the master craftsman, Jagannath Mohapatra, she devised a marketing strategy for the promotion of Patachitras as souvenirs and the sustenance of art and artists on a local level. A gurukul ashram was set up in Raghurajpur where young artists were trained in the art and later a co-operative society that took care of the export of the Patas to countries far and wide.

 

 

Raghurajpur

The word Patachitra is derived from the Odia words Pata, which means cloth, and Chitra which means picture. Chitrakaras of Raghurajpur mostly use colour pigments obtained from minerals and a few from vegetable extracts. For white, conch shells are the main source, which are bought from the fishermen. The yellow pigment is extracted from a mineral – Orpiment (Arsenic sulphide). The mineral is ground into fine powder and then made into a thick paste by adding a little water and mixing with mortar and pestle. Glue is than added to the thick paste and made into small tablets and dried. Hingula (crude cinnabar), used for blood red, is available in mineral stone form and when pulverized yields a bright red. It is made into a paste and then into tablets. Chitarakaras also use Geru (red ochre) stone, which at first is finely ground, mixed with water and then allowed to settle. The water containing the pigment is boiled till it becomes a thick paste and then made into tablets after adding glue. Black pigment is obtained from lamp black. A wick lamp is lit with Polanga, a kind of oil and above it is placed a brass plate filled with water. After thirty minutes of burning, the soot gathered on the back of the plate is scraped off and glue is added. Blue is obtained from indigo, which is sold in tablet form. Before a Chitrakara begins painting, the colour tablets are soaked in water and then used after the canvas is dried and hard enough for etching. A gummy paste of boiled tamarind seeds and powdered shells or granite is plastered over the stretched cloth in layers to harden the surface.

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Some of the popular themes found in Patachitras are the Vesas (costumes) of Jagannath, Kanchi-Kaveri expedition of King Purusottama Deva, Dasavatara (ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu), Krishna Lila, Rasa pictures and themes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. Once used exclusively to adorn the walls and precincts of the Lord Jagannath temple in Puri, today the lively art and its symbols are etched onto the walls of the houses of the master artists in Raghurajpur. The symbols and style has been adapted to etch on palm leaves and also on the Papier-mâché sculptures and carvings.

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Thanks to an initiative by INTACH and the state government, the entire village of Raghurajpur and the neighbouring Danadashai, have been turned into a crafts village, a living museum throbbing with creativity and pulsating with the colours of nature. All the houses here belong to master artists who are involved in some art form or the other.

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Lord Brahma

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A Gurukul

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Chaitanya Mahaprabhu being received by the King of Puri

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Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

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Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri

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A Shop

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Lord Krishna at Vrindavan and Mata Yasoda

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A Scene from the Mahabharata

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Sharada Ritu (Autumn Season)

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Rural Life

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Krishna and Radha

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Raghurajpur is not just known for patachitras; it is equally known for a dozen other art and crafts, such as palm leaf etching, papier-mâché masks, and ganjifa.

 

 

It is also the birthplace of Gotipua, a dance that is performed by pre-teen boys dressed as graceful feminine dancers. Gotipua is the seed dance from which the classical Odissi dance was developed. Not just a village of national awardees but also the birthplace of the wizard Kelucharan Mohapatra, Raghurajpur is a village where art is in the air, soil and water.

Author – Jitu Mishra

He can be contacted at jitumisra@gmail.com