Dhokra artefacts

Dhokra metal casting is one of the most popular art forms practiced by the tribal communities of Bishnupur. What makes dhokra artefacts truly unique are their charming motifs and attractive patterns. Some of the most famous dhokra artefacts include images of deities like Lord Krishna, Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesha. You can also buy animal figurines, jewellery items and other utility articles made by dhokra craftsmen. This art uses the technique of lost wax casting, which is one of the oldest methods of non-ferrous metal casting. To make the artefacts, clay is used as the core material and wax is coated over it. A coating of clay paste is applied and the model is left to dry for sometime. The wax is then replaced by molten brass during the traditional method of hollow casting. Markets in Bishnupur are lined with beautiful dhokra items like bangles, pendants, ear rings, anklets, pen stands, key holders and little boxes.

Dhokra artefacts

Baluchari Sarees

A visit to Bishnupur is incomplete without buying beautiful Baluchari sarees, which are a hallmark of the region. Known for carrying elaborate motifs on the border and pallu, they were first made in a small village called Baluchar, in Murshidabad district. The Nawab of Bengal, Murshidkuli Khan, brought the craft to Baluchar from Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) and encouraged local weavers to practice the art of weaving these sarees. The industry moved to Bishnupur after a massive flood left Baluchar village submerged.

 

Read More
Baluchari Sarees

Terracotta artefacts in Panchmura

Tucked away at a distance of 22 km from Bishnupur, Panchmura village, in Bankura district, is famed for its attractive terracotta products. Home to around 70 families of terracotta artists, the village offers visitors a plethora of artefacts ranging from animal and human figurines to home decor and jewellery. Tourists can visit the Rural Craft Hub that was set up by the Government of West Bengal in association with UNESCO. While visiting the village, tourists can learn about the whole process of the art and also interact with the locals. The annual Terracotta Festival is a highlight that gives tourists an opportunity to learn the craft and shop for amazing ethnic art-ware. Visitors can also participate in various craft-making workshops at the Folk Art Centre.

The artefacts made in Panchmura are believed to be one of the first successful attempts by humans at clay modelling. The art form originated as a part of the religious rituals with the Bankura horse being a sign of devotion and bravery. It is believed that the people of Panchmura have been practicing this art form ever since the 7th century AD, when the region was under the rule of the Malla kings of Bishnupur.

Terracotta artefacts in Panchmura