Located about 52 km away from Bhubaneswar, Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village that is famous for pattachitra paintings. This art form can be dated back to the 5th century BC. In this, colourful patterns featuring mythological themes are painted on a piece of cloth. Visitors can also buy tussar paintings, palm leaf engravings, pottery, paper mache items, masks carved out of wood and stone, and cow dung and wooden toys. It is possibly the only place in India where there is such a large congregation of artists.

Raghurajpur is also well known for the Gotipua dance troupes, which is the precursor of the popular and globally appreciated Odissi classical dance. Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the doyen of Odissi classical dance, was also born in this village.

Raghurajpur holds the distinction of being developed as Odisha’s first heritage village and as a crafts village. After this initiative, the village got an interpretation centre, commissioned artworks adorning the homes of the artists, as well as a rest house.

The art of pattachitra is said to have been revived by an American lady, Helena Zealy in the 1940s. She organised several pattachitra exhibitions in the US and invited connoisseurs over to the village. It was largely due to her efforts that the pattachitra art form earned international appreciation.

Raghhurajpur is also the only place where one can find patas. These are traditional decorations used under the throne of Lord Jagannath and on the three chariots during the Rath Yatra festival that takes places every year in Puri. The charming town of Raghurajpur is located in the midst of groves of coconut, palm, mango and jackfruit. There are two main streets in the village with around 120 houses, which are decorated with mural paintings.

Other Attractions in Puri