Odisha Pattachitra


Odisha Pattachitra paintings are very famous for its vivid hues, minute detail in the painting and for using natural colors. This craft has its origination from a small village known as Raghunathpur.

The name Patachitra comes from two word, “Patta” means fabric (mostly saree) and “Chitra” means pictures. These painting are traditionally made either on fabric or on dried palm leaves.

Odisha Pattachitra has a lengthy and significant historical background. Local artists have been using it for centuries, passing down their knowledge and methods from one generation to the next.

To learn more about the different handicrafts product of Odisha, you may read this article : Odisha Handicrafts

Pattachitra Significance

Pattachitra paintings,mostly portray the tale from Hindu mythologies along with the painting of temples, symbols and heritage places.

Pattachitra expanded over time to cover a wider range of topics, such as folklore, historical events, and daily life. This shows the creative thinking of the artisians.
Pattachitra artists were praised for their exquisite craftsmanship and artistic talent, and the art form rose to popularity both domestically and abroad.

Odisha Pattachitra is has a significant contribution to the states’s economy. It is sole earning source for artists in the cluster. Migrated artisans from Raghurajpur to Pipli also practicing these crafts.

Pattachitra is natural dyes

Pattachitra art has changed over time in terms of methods and fashions. Traditionally, the artisians were using natural colours in Pattachitra. The colors were collected from different parts of plant, vegetables, stone or natural minerals.

But this is a time consuming process and becomes dull with time. To make an artwork that would last for a very long time, these pigments were combined with natural binders like gum arabic or resin.

Recently some arttists have begun to use synthetic colours as well to reduce the production time and because of the easy availability of synthtic colors.

With help of technology, artisians have made moulds to create paintings. Here they dont need to paint every single details by hand. But this will reduce the skill set of the craftmen.

Pattachitra artists been evolved themself by experimenting with various brush materials, different shading methods, using the painting on different material etc.

Some artists have even added modern themes and aesthetics to their Pattachitra paintings, giving the traditional art form a contemporary spin while maintaining its original aesthetic.

Pattachittra themes :

odisha pattachitra

From the time when the craft of Pattchitra originated, mythological stories and temple painting was the only theme for artisians.

In recent time they have added vaiety to the painting using thier creativity which are modern with an ancient taste. They are including visiting places, pictures of well known persons, logo of companies etc into thier themes.

Also during festive session they get a surge in demand for paintings of Lord Jagannath, Load Ganesha, Dashavatar etc. These mythological figures are brought to life on the canvas by the artists, who expertly capture their emotions, expressions, and divine aura.

Pattachitra symbols :


The paintings’ use of symbolism and hidden meanings in Odisha Pattachitra is yet another intriguing feature. Pattachitra artists use a variety of symbols and motifs to communicate more complex metaphors.

For instance, peacock feathers stand for beauty and spirituality, and the lotus flower is frequently used to symbolise purity and enlightenment.

The artists also use complex patterns and designs with symbolic meaning, like geometric shapes and recurring motifs.

The Pattachitra artists’ work gains depth and complexity from these hidden meanings, enticing viewers to explore the stories and themes further.

Pattachitra Equipment:

To create various effects in their paintings, the artists employ a variety of brushes, including bamboo and squirrel hair brushes.

They also use a variety of conventional materials, such as handmade paper, natural pigments, and organic dyes.

Additionally, they draw exact lines and make symmetrical patterns using conventional tools like compasses and rulers.

How Pattachitra is made:

First the fabric is get treated with tamarind seed solution to create the canvas.

Tussar silk fabric is treated with a tamarind seed solution to create the canvas for Pattachitra paintings. The process not only stiffens the fabric but also improves its capacity for colour absorption.

The artists prepare their own natural colours using various organic materials once the canvas is ready.

For instance, they take white pigment from powdered conch shells, black pigment from lamp soot, and red pigment from the bark of the Indian almond tree.

To create the paint for their artwork, these natural pigments are
combined with natural binders like gum arabic or tamarind seed paste.

Odisha Pattachitra art is known for its masterful brushwork and minute details, which are among its defining characteristics.

To create a polished surface, the artists meticulously layer paint with small brushes. They use a variety of techniques, including shading, stippling, and cross-hatching, to give their paintings depth and dimension.

Additionally, they add a touch of opulence to their artwork by embellishing specific elements with gold leaf or gold powder.

Pattachitra effect on tourism

raghurajpur village

Raghurajpur, from where pattachitra was originated has been announced as the heritage village. This village is situated near Chandanpur, Puri. hardly 2 KM from the Chandanpur local market.

This place attracts many tourist from India as well as from abroad. Here in the village all most every house produces different products and every house members are involved in the process.

At the entry of the village only you will get big shops, selling pattachitra items. But go inside the village and directly meet the artist. 

While going through the village, they will call you to show their products. You can safely go inside their home, bargain and buy the product. Better first visit two three artesian and then buy.

In whole Odisha, you will get the authentic pattachitra products only in this village. In my tour, I found a shop at the entrance of the village, which was selling products with synthetic colors.

Even the painting were not hand made, rather made through moulds. Hence you need to be careful while buying these products. Rather than buying from big shops, go  to artesian’s home and explore.


Conclusion - Odisha Pattachitra

Odisha Pattachitra is a distinctive and alluring art form that highlights the state of Odisha’s rich cultural heritage.

It is a prized art form among collectors and art enthusiasts due to its intricate designs, vivid colors, and representation of mythological stories.

A deeper understanding of the Odisha Pattachitra’s history, components, methods, themes, and cultural significance will allow one to fully appreciate the beauty and skill that go into creating this traditional art form.

Here is the government website for Handicrafts : Handicrafts | Government Of Odisha

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