The Handicraft Map of Maharashtra

Maharashtra, known as the land of Bollywood, has captivated us with its cinematic marvels. However, this vibrant state is also a treasure trove of arts and crafts, boasting a rich cultural heritage. Delve into the diverse artistic traditions that have originated from Maharashtra as we present a comprehensive list of arts and crafts unique to this region. Discover the hidden gems of creativity that have shaped the artistic landscape of Maharashtra, beyond the realms of the silver screen.


Maharashtrian Embroidery


Maharashtrian embroidery is a testament to the state's artistic prowess and the skilled craftsmanship of its artisans. Known for its intricate threadwork and vibrant color palettes, Maharashtrian embroidery adorns various textiles, including sarees, shawls, and garments. The traditional motifs and patterns, such as the famous Warli art-inspired designs, add a touch of cultural richness and grace to these embroidered creations, making them a cherished part of Maharashtra's textile heritage.

Kasuti Embroidery


Experience the artistry of traditional Kasuti embroidery with Tara Hulamani's online workshop.


Kasuti embroidery is a traditional art form that originated in Karnataka, and is practiced mainly in the districts of Beed and Wardha in Maharashtra. It is known for its mesmerizing patterns and motifs created through intricate stitchwork and these designs can be found on sarees, traditional wear, and purses. The embroidery involves using a variety of stitches, such as the Gavanti, Murgi, negi, and Menthi, to form elaborate patterns. The exquisite designs often feature geometrical shapes, floral motifs, and peacock patterns.


Banjara Tribal Embroidery


Picture courtesy: Hindi Krafts


The Banjara community in Maharashtra is primarily concentrated in the regions of Khandesh, Vidarbha, and Marathwada, with some presence observed in Solapur district. Banjara tribal embroidery, also known as mirror work, is a vibrant and intricate craft originating from the Banjara community in India. This traditional art form involves skillful stitching techniques combined with the sparkling beauty of mirrors to create stunning textiles and garments. Each piece reflects the rich cultural heritage and nomadic lifestyle of the Banjara tribe, with elaborate motifs, bright colors, and mirrored embellishments adding a touch of exuberance to their creations. The craft has evolved over generations, and today, Banjara tribal embroidery continues to be celebrated for its artistic finesse and unique cultural significance, mesmerizing textile enthusiasts worldwide.

Weaves of Maharashtra


Vintage photograph of sari weaving in Maharashtra (1873)


The weaves of Maharashtra exemplify a rich tapestry of traditional craftsmanship and cultural heritage. From the intricate handloom sarees like Paithani and Karwath Kathi to the vibrant cotton fabrics like Khan and Kosa silk, Maharashtra boasts a diverse range of weaving traditions. These weaving techniques have been passed down through generations, and each region within the state contributes unique designs and motifs to the fabric.




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Himroo, with its origins in Persia, holds a special place in the heart of Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Introduced by Mohammad Tughlaq, this fabric made with silk and cotton is a testament to the innovative skills of local craftsmen, enriched with a touch of Persian refinement. Also known as Kum Khuab or Kinkhwab, Himroo's distinctive charm lies in its exquisite use of golden and silver threads, adding a touch of opulence to its allure. This art form beautifully weaves together the cultural influences of Persia and the artistic finesse of Maharashtra, making Himroo a cherished and timeless craft.


Solapur Terry Towel


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In an interesting note, there is a special Solapur Terry Towel which refers to the weaving or knitting of terry towels that are produced in the Solapur district of Maharashtra state. This particular type of towel has been granted protection under the Geographical Indication (GI) of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. It is officially recognized as "Solapur Terry Towel" under item 9 of the GI Act of 1999 by the Government of India, with registration confirmed by the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks.

The Solapur Terry Towel boasts a distinctive design and enjoys a thriving global market. Additionally, it is closely associated with the production of Solapuri chaddar. The craftsmanship involved in producing these towels provides livelihood support to approximately 200,000 individuals in the Solapur district. The towels themselves are crafted using cotton yarn.

Paithani Weaving


Picture courtesy: Vogue India


Paithani is a traditional handwoven textile craft originating from the town of Paithan in Maharashtra, India. This craft is renowned for producing exquisite silk sarees adorned with intricate and vibrant designs, often featuring peacocks, lotuses, and other nature-inspired motifs. The weaving process involves using a unique technique called "tapestry," where colorful silk threads are carefully interlaced to create intricate patterns. The production of Paithani sarees requires immense skill and dedication, with some pieces taking several months to complete. These luxurious sarees are treasured as prized possessions and are worn on special occasions and celebrations, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and artistic finesse of India's traditional textile craftsmanship.


Karvati Silk Saree


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The craft of "Tasar Karvati Saree" originated in the villages of Andhalgaon, Mohadi, and Palandur in the Bhandara district of Vidarbha, Maharashtra. In the past, handloom weavers in this region specialized in crafting cotton gamchha using 20s cotton yarn, featuring a distinctive two-sided Karvati border resembling a saw tooth. The name "Karvati" is derived from "Karvat," meaning saw in Marathi, alluding to saw-tooth-like designs on the fabric. As District Bhandara is abundant in tasar cocoon production, the weavers ingeniously introduced tasar material into the weaving process, giving rise to the exquisite Tasar Karvati Saree, a unique blend of cotton and tasar silk that highlights the weavers' ingenuity and skillful artistry.


『Mominpura's Weavers』


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The weavers of Mominpura in Nagpur, Vidarbha, carry a rich historical legacy as skilled artisans from the Muslim community who migrated to the region centuries ago. Their craft of handloom weaving involves creating exquisite textiles like Paithani and Himroo sarees, known for their intricate designs and vibrant colors. With meticulous work on handlooms, these dedicated artisans produce exceptional handwoven fabrics, stoles, shawls, and dress materials, preserving their cultural heritage and showcasing the unique aesthetics of Vidarbha. Despite modern challenges, the weavers of Mominpura continue to uphold their traditions, serving as a testament to the enduring art of handloom weaving in India's diverse textile heritage.




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Ghongadi, the traditional woollen blanket of Western Maharashtra, holds a significant cultural importance as an integral part of the region's lifestyle. Originally associated with the Dhangad community of shepherds, Ghongadi serves as a versatile garment, providing warmth during winters and protection from incessant rains. It holds ceremonial significance, being used to welcome guests and as a sacred fabric in important occasions like marriages. Additionally, the rough texture is believed to aid in back pain relief, while its natural thermal properties are useful for treating fevers. These blankets are handwoven on pit looms, dyed using natural colors, and traditionally made from the wool of Deccani sheep, giving it a black shade, but nowadays, other types of wool are also used. With a weaving process taking around seven days, Ghongadi stands out for its durability and ease of maintenance compared to other blankets. 




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Khana or Khunn Fabric, originating from North Karnataka and widely produced in Southern Maharashtra, is a lightweight blend of cotton and silk known for its historical significance dating back to the 8th century under the Chalukyas. Primarily used for making cholis or blouses, Khana stands out for its delicate motifs, extra warp threads, and meticulously woven borders. The fabric boasts vibrant designs inspired by local metaphors, including depictions of the Sun God, chariots, and Tulsi leaf, showcasing the fine brocade-like weave that adds to its beauty and appeal. 

Khan fabric, known as Khana in Karnataka and Khun in Maharashtra, has a rich historical significance and continues to be popular in modern times. With its brilliant shine and unique texture, Khan fabric has evolved from being used solely as a blouse piece to creating exquisite jewelry, kurtas, Dev vastra, and decorative pieces. Unlike ilkal and other sarees where tana and bana are the only yarns, Khan fabric impressively employs three yarns simultaneously, adding an elegant and felting texture to the fabric. There was a time when Khun was only known to be an accompanying blouse piece to ilkal sarees. Still, in the modern age, it is being used to design several different attires and outfits, showcasing its versatility and adaptability. Khun is woven specifically on three kinds of looms, further highlighting the craftsmanship and technical expertise involved in producing this beautiful fabric.


Solapuri Chaddar


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Solapur Chaddar, yes from the sample place as the terry towel, also known as Solapur blanket, is a cotton blanket produced in the city of Solapur, Maharashtra. These blankets are known for their unique design, durability, and high-quality craftsmanship. The history of Solapur's textile industry can be traced back to the time of the Peshwas when the development of the handloom weaving industry began. Independent artisan weavers operated in Solapur, with each household having one or two looms. Over time, the industry underwent changes with the introduction of modern factories in the 1970s. Since the 1950s, Solapur Chaddars have been manufactured by Padmashali weavers from South India who settled in Solapur. They have become popular throughout India and have received Geographical Indication (GI) status, highlighting their specific origin and characteristics. Today, Solapur Chaddars continue to be treasured as a significant textile product from Maharashtra, reflecting the rich history and craftsmanship of the region.


Jalgaon's Unclassified Textiles



Jalgaon, a bustling district in Maharashtra, plays a significant role in the textile industry, encompassing a diverse range of unclassified textile activities. From jute pressing, baling, spinning, and weaving to hemp and flax spinning and weaving, the district thrives in the manufacture of rayon, ropes, twine, strings, and various goods crafted from materials like cocoanut, aloes, straw, linseed, and hair. Moreover, Jalgaon is a pivotal contributor to India's mat (chatai) production, accounting for approximately 60% of the country's output. This sector serves as a major source of employment, empowering both rural and urban communities by providing livelihood opportunities.


Narayan Peth Saree


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Narayan Peth saree, a beloved traditional Maharashtrian craft, has gained immense popularity in and around the Sholapur district of Maharashtra. It has become the favored choice among the women in this region. Crafted exclusively in this district, Narayan Peth saree showcases the rich heritage and skilled craftsmanship of Maharashtra. These exquisite sarees are woven with luxurious silk fabric, and their allure lies in the contrasting zari border adorned with elegant rudraksha motifs, adding a touch of timeless beauty to this cherished piece of clothing. 


Dhurrie Weaving


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Dhurrie weaving is a traditional craft that involves creating flat-woven rugs and carpets using a handloom. Artisans in Maharashtra skillfully weave together cotton or wool threads to produce vibrant and durable dhurrie textiles. These rugs often feature intricate patterns and designs, reflecting the creativity and skill of the weavers. Dhurries serve both functional and decorative purposes, adding a touch of traditional elegance to homes and spaces. Saygaon is a place in Maharashtra known for its involvement in dhurrie weaving. Skilled weavers in Saygaon produce a wide range of dhurries, incorporating traditional patterns and motifs. The artistry and attention to detail displayed by the weavers of Saygaon have made their dhurries highly sought after in the market.


Ganga-Jamuna Saris


Photo Courtesy: Okhai


The Ganga-Jamuna Saris of Maharashtra are a mesmerizing traditional craft, known for their unique double-colored appearance. These saris are created by skillfully blending two contrasting hues in the warp and weft, resulting in a harmonious interplay of colors. The intricate weaving technique used by artisans gives these saris their distinctive look, making them a cherished symbol of Maharashtra's artistic heritage.


Kosa Weaving 


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Kosa silk weaving, a prominent cottage industry in Bhandara district, Maharashtra, holds a significant place in the region's rich cultural heritage. The craft involves the use of Kosa silk, a special variety of silk produced from the cocoons of Antheraea mylitta, commonly known as the Tasar silkworm. The artisans skillfully rear the silkworms and carefully extract the cocoons to obtain the fine, lustrous Kosa silk yarn. The weaving process involves traditional techniques, where skilled weavers create intricate and elegant patterns on handlooms, producing exquisite Kosa silk sarees, stoles, and fabrics. The distinctiveness of Kosa silk lies in its lightweight and breathable nature, making it perfect for summer wear while exuding a luxurious sheen. This age-old craft continues to thrive in Bhandara, showcasing the artistic finesse and dedication of the weavers, and adding to the vibrant tapestry of Maharashtra's cottage industries.


Manchester of Maharashtra



Ichalkaranji, with its remarkable journey in the textile industry, owes its flourishing craftsmanship to the visionary efforts of Babasaheb. He invited weaver families from neighboring villages to Ichalkaranji, providing them with lands and financial assistance to produce cloth on handlooms. The success of this plan was evident in Ichalkaranji's reputation for producing exquisite 'Patagi' and Kunabau sutade.' Babasaheb's unwavering support for the weavers included financial aid through the state treasury, concessions in taxes, and the supply of plots at concessional rates. Under his constructive leadership, the powerloom industry began, leading Ichalkaranji to be hailed as the 'Manchester of South Maharashtra.' With the establishment of 'The Ichalkaranji Central Cooperative Bank,' the city's economic growth soared. Today, Ichalkaranji stands as the largest industrial center, producing a diverse range of cotton cloth on powerlooms, attracting national and international traders due to its cutting-edge facilities in yarn production and cloth processing. The remarkable growth of Ichalkaranji's weaving industry can be attributed to Babasaheb's pioneering efforts and support, transforming the city into a thriving hub of Indian craftsmanship.


Maharashtrian Crafts

Crafts not only serve functional purposes but also narrate stories of the region's history, traditions, and the skilled hands that meticulously bring each piece to life. Embodied in textiles, woodwork, metalwork, and more, Maharashtra's traditional crafts are a testament to the enduring legacy of its artisans and the timeless beauty they create.


Sisal craft

In Ahmednagar, there are two notable crafts. The first is Ambadi, which refers to the traditional sisal craft. Skilled artisans in Ahmednagar use sisal fiber, derived from the Agave sisalana plant, to create a range of products including mats, rugs, baskets, and decorative items. The second craft is the production of brass musical instruments, specifically the Taal, Jhaanj, and Ghanta. Taal is a type of cymbal used in Indian music, consisting of two metal plates that create a metallic sound when struck together. Jhaanj is a small brass percussion instrument with cymbals attached to a string, producing a rhythmic sound. Ghanta, a brass bell, is commonly used in religious ceremonies and festivals, emitting a resonant tone when rung. These crafts showcase the artistic skills and cultural significance of Ahmednagar.


Sisal Crafts: The Handicraft Map of Maharashtra


Puneri Pagadi

The Puneri Pagadi is an iconic style of turban that carries a rich history and cultural significance. It originated in the 19th century when it was introduced by Mahadev Govind Ranade, a notable social reformer. The pagadi's prominence soared even further following its depiction in the renowned Marathi play, Ghashiram Kotwal, in 1973.

The core materials for crafting the royal headband are cotton or silk, complemented by starch derived from various homemade methods. The inclusion of starch serves a crucial purpose, providing the headband with the essential permanent folds it requires, ensuring that the most elegant curves are impeccably maintained and gracefully held in place.

To protect the distinct identity of the Puneri Pagadi and preserve Pune's cultural heritage, there was a demand from the local community to grant it a Geographical Indication (GI) status. On September 4, 2009, the Pagadi was granted Geographical Indication status, officially recognizing it as a unique cultural symbol of Pune. This bestowed Intellectual Property Right (IPR) on the Pagadi, making it illegal to sell any turban outside of Pune under the name of Puneri Pagadi without proper authorization.


Puneri Pagadi: The Handicraft Map of Maharashtra
Picture Courtesy: Mahesh Kale on X


Handmade Paper

Kagzipura, an artisanal craft representing the revival of handmade paper in India, involves a community of skilled artisans known as Kagzis (derived from "kagaz," meaning paper). To create this durable paper, the Kagzis ingeniously repurpose old cloth and cotton, ensuring that no trees are cut in the process. Through a meticulous procedure of soaking, mixing, pressing, and drying, they produce an exquisite array of eco-friendly paper products. This craft's versatility is exemplified by its use in making paper for the Quran, where Kagzis utilize cotton and bamboo pulp, adding to its cultural significance and reinforcing its role in sustainable papermaking practices. Kagzipura not only preserves India's cultural heritage but also upholds environmental conservation and showcases the profound creativity and ingenuity of the Kagzi community. 


Handmade Paper: The Handicraft Map of Maharashtra
Picture Courtesy: Aurangabad Buzz


Wooden Toys

Sawantwadi is renowned for its mango-wood toys, primarily crafted by the Chitari community, but their commercial success has attracted other cultures to adopt the craft. These toys are skillfully manufactured using various techniques, such as wood and lac turnery, flat-shaped component assembly, and solid-wood sculpting. The process involves shaping seasoned mango wood into cylindrical forms using chisels, followed by meticulous surface polishing to create these exquisite and distinctive wooden toys.


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Lacquerware Craftsmanship

Lacquerware craftsmanship in Sawantwadi, Maharashtra, is highly renowned for its exquisite artistry. This traditional craft involves the skillful application of layers of natural lacquer, derived from tree resin, onto wooden surfaces. One notable aspect of Sawantwadi's lacquerware craftsmanship is the production of Ganjifa Cards. These circular cards are meticulously hand-painted with intricate designs using natural dyes, gold leaf, and lacquer work. The combination of vibrant colours, delicate patterns, and the lustrous finish achieved through lacquer work makes Sawantwadi's lacquerware truly exceptional. 


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The Bidriware handicrafts of Maharashtra originate from the city of Aurangabad. The term "Bidriware" refers to a mixture of copper and zinc metals, creating a distinctive blend resembling silver and brass. It is one of the renowned silver or brass handicrafts of Maharashtra, with a long history of usage by the people of the region. The art form was also patronised by the Mughals. Initially, Bidriware adorned swords and other royal weapons, but over time, it expanded to encompass a variety of domestic household items. The range of Bidriware handicrafts from Maharashtra includes plates, bowls, vases, ashtrays, jewellery boxes, glassware, and bangles. These pieces showcase intricate craftsmanship and the unique beauty of Bidriware, making them cherished items within the realm of Maharashtra's handicraft tradition.


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Kolhapuri Chappals

Kolhapuri Chappals are a prominent handicraft of Maharashtra, particularly associated with the city of Kolhapur. The rich art and crafts of Kolhapur are well-known, with the Kolhapuri jewellery collections and the famous Kolhapuri chappals being highly regarded. These chappals are handcrafted from leather, showcasing the skill and craftsmanship of local artisans. Kolhapuri chappals have gained popularity both in the domestic market and international markets, becoming sought-after footwear. The origins of Kolhapuri Chappals can be traced back to the 12th century when King Bijjala and his minister Basavanna encouraged their production to support the local cobblers and promote the craft. 



Chandi Che Kaam

Chandi che kaam, also known as silverware, is a traditional craft practiced in various regions of Maharashtra. Artisans skilled in this craft create exquisite silver items such as utensils, decorative pieces, jewellery, and religious artifacts. Chandi che kaam showcases the mastery of silversmiths in shaping and embellishing silver to produce stunning pieces of functional and decorative art. Hupri village, located in Maharashtra, is famous for its expertise in Chandi che kaam or silverware. The artisans of Hupari village are known for their intricate silverwork and attention to detail. They create beautiful silver pieces that are highly valued for their craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal. The art of Chandi che kaam has been preserved and passed down through generations in Hupri village, contributing to the cultural heritage of Maharashtra.


Picture Courtesy: Shree Vishwakarma Silver House


Kumhar Kaam

The art of pottery in Maharashtra encompasses the skills of an artisan who creates various clay items such as Surai, Math, Khuje, Ranjan, Kundya, Ghat, Gadgi, Madki, Cover, Panatya, Kaule, Bricks, and Kundya by shaping wet clay and baking them. The potter also specializes in crafting single and double ovens and grills, which do not require baking. This craft extends to the creation of idols, including Gauri-Ganpati, Durga, and other deities, as well as Hartalikas, bullocks, Diwali forts, and dolls like Bulabai-Buloji. The potters, known as Kumhars, hold a significant position among the twelve Balutedars. They have been practicing their craft since ancient times, even during the Rigveda era. Their deities of worship include Panchanepir, Bhavani, Sangai, Sitala, and Hardiya. Within the pottery community in Maharashtra, there are 22 sub-castes, such as Ahir, Kadu, Kannada, Konkani, Khambhati, Garete, Gujar, Gore, Chagbhais, Thorachake, Pancham, Balde, Bhandu, Bhondkar, Bhonde, Maratha, Ladbuje, Lanchache, Lad, Lingayat, Hatghade, Hatode, and Kumawat. Pottery in Maharashtra showcases regional styles and variations, reflecting the diversity within the state. Different regions have their unique pottery techniques and designs, ranging from rustic tribal pottery in rural areas to contemporary styles in urban centers. Traditional artwork, such as creating idols for festivals like Gauri-Ganpati and Durga, holds great cultural significance. 


Picture Credits: Rajesh_India/Flickr


Dharavi Pottery
Kumbharwada, located in Dharavi, Mumbai, is a vibrant and bustling pottery colony, known for its rich heritage of pottery craftsmanship. The skilled artisans, known as Kumbhars, have been shaping clay into beautiful and functional pottery for generations. Kumbharwada is nearly a hundred years old settlement, primarily established by immigrants from Saurashtra (now Gujarat) who were potters, adding to its historical significance. The craft is deeply rooted in tradition, and the potters continue to use age-old techniques to create an array of clay products, including pots, vases, and utensils. Despite facing modern challenges, the Kumbhars' community remains dedicated to preserving their craft and passing it on to the next generations, making Kumbharwada a unique and culturally significant destination for pottery enthusiasts and tourists alike.


Picture Credits: LBB (


Uthavache Kaam

Uthavache Kaam, also known as metal embossing, is a technique employed to create raised motifs and designs on various sheet metals such as silver, gold, copper, brass, and aluminium. Nashik, a district in Maharashtra, is renowned for its expertise in Silver Uthavache Kaam. 

The process of crafting these items begins by preparing the pitch (ral path) and filling it with tar resin or brick powder. The pitch is then heated and left to cool. Next, a sheet of silver is placed over the cooled pitch, and the desired design is carefully drawn onto its surface. An etching tool is then used to outline the design, while a dulling tool is employed to depress the portions that should not be highlighted. This meticulous process is repeated until the entire sheet is embossed. To give the embossed portion its final shape, a chipping tool is used. The pitch is reheated to separate the finished product from it. For a polished finish, the embossed sheet is cleansed using diluted sulphuric acid and brightened with a soapnut solution before being wiped, brushed, and polished. Uthavache Kaam once enjoyed patronage from royal families in the past. However, over time, this craft, which was traditionally passed down through generations, has experienced a decline. 


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Various Tribal Crafts

The indigenous Madia-Gond community of Maharashtra showcases remarkable skills in wood carving and bamboo craft, preserving age-old traditions. Noteworthy is the Pog-gota, a tobacco box intricately carved from the soft wood of the Shivan tree or Ber, reflecting the community's cultural nuances. Combs, another popular item, exhibit detailed wood carvings and are worn by Madia women during traditional dances.Bamboo holds a special place in Madia-Gond craftsmanship, with the community demonstrating extensive knowledge in its use. From creating mats and baskets to constructing houses and even generating fire through bamboo friction, their expertise spans various aspects of bamboo craft. The bamboo bottles crafted for carrying oil or toddy illustrate the versatility of this material.
In the realm of Moond, the marriage pillar, Madia-Gond artisans carve intricate chain-like structures from the Salai tree trunk, emphasizing their reverence for the sacred. The Moond, central to marriage rituals, is crafted with precision, taking several days to complete. Despite the richness of their traditional crafts, the Madia-Gonds face a challenge in marketing their products beyond community use. Skill development programs have been initiated, aiming to introduce the community to the national and international markets. The artisans have diversified their creations, crafting items like pen stands, soap cases, and even modern bamboo houses, showcasing their adaptability. However, there's a need for sustained efforts to harness, develop, and promote their traditional knowledge, providing opportunities for them to display and sell their products on a broader scale. Through such initiatives, the Madia-Gonds can receive due appreciation and remuneration for their skilled labor, ensuring the preservation of their cultural heritage and craftsmanship.



Nashik Woodcarving

Nashik is renowned for its exquisite wood carvings, particularly in carved timber houses, where every window, beam, door bracket, and pillar is adorned with intricate carvings inspired by the sacred lotus theme. The craft involves using driftwood root, and skilled artisans expertly carve and mold the wood into attractive shapes and figures, often depicting gods, plants, insects, or humans. The process includes cutting, grazing, and smoothening, followed by polishing with sanding and wood varnish. These carvings can also be transformed into sculptures, and what makes them fascinating is that they are created from a single piece of wood without any joints, with added supports for stability and strength. Even today, wood carvings of Hindu deities and auspicious motifs adorn the entrances of households, preserving the rich cultural heritage and artistry of this traditional craft.


Picture Credits: Shree Samarths Enterprises


Sea Mova Driftwood Carving

The craft of wood carving from the Sea Mova tree, flourishing along the seashore, is an ancient and cherished art form in the region. The wood obtained from the root of this tree, also known as drift root, is meticulously carved and shaped into beautiful figurines and sculptures. These intricate carvings can depict deities, animals, birds, or humans, showcasing the artisan's exceptional skill and creativity. The process involves cutting, grazing, and smoothening the wood, followed by polishing with sandpaper and coating with wood varnish to achieve a lustrous finish. Notably, these sculptures and figurines are carved from a single piece of wood without any joints, and additional supports are occasionally added for stability. The wood carving tradition extends to various household items like front doors adorned with intricate Hindu deities and auspicious motifs, small shrines, carved stools, fans for deities, fertility couples, and ceremonial containers. Furthermore, the craft encompasses ceremonial items like carved panels of deities, known as kavadi, carried during vows to Lord Murugan or Karthikeya. Kitchen instruments in wood, lathe-turned and lacquered toys in vibrant colors, and carved wooden toys, dolls, and elephants are popular artifacts reflecting the artisans' skills and craftsmanship in the state. This traditional craft continues to thrive, preserving the cultural heritage and artistic expressions of the region's skilled woodcarvers. 


Picture Source: IndiainCH


Devrai Art Village


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Devrai Art Village is a captivating haven nestled amidst the lush forests of Panchgani, Maharashtra. This unique initiative aims to preserve and promote traditional tribal art and craftsmanship by providing a platform for local artisans to showcase their talents and skills. Established in 2008, Devrai Art Village nurtures the creativity of tribal communities, particularly the Warli and Madiya tribes, by encouraging them to create stunning handcrafted pieces inspired by nature and their cultural heritage. The art village offers a serene space for artists to create their masterpieces using sustainable materials like metal, wood, and stone. The artisans' creations range from intricately designed sculptures to exquisite jewelry, each piece reflecting the essence of their tribal roots. Visitors to Devrai Art Village have the opportunity to witness the artists at work, gaining a deeper appreciation for the ancient techniques passed down through generations. Through this cultural sanctuary, Devrai Art Village not only empowers the tribal artisans but also contributes to the preservation of indigenous art forms, ensuring that the rich heritage of Maharashtra's tribal communities continues to thrive and inspire generations to come.


Art Forms of Maharashtra


'Auspicious Allies' by contemporary Indian artist Parag Borse


Warli Painting


Dhan ki Khetee: Warli Painting by Anil Wangad (Know More)


Warli Painting is a captivating form of art practiced by the indigenous Warli tribe residing in the Thane district of Maharashtra. This unique art form involves using white pigment made from a mixture of rice paste and water to create intricate geometric patterns on walls or cotton cloth. The simplicity of Warli art is striking, with its distinct stick figures and basic shapes portraying scenes from daily life, nature, and rituals. The paintings often depict harvests, dances, and social gatherings, encapsulating the cultural traditions and beliefs of the Warli community. Ganjad village, located in Maharashtra, is renowned for its contribution to the art of Warli painting. The village is home to talented Warli artists who have mastered the intricate techniques of this indigenous art form. Ganjad village serves as a cultural hub, preserving and promoting Warli painting through workshops, exhibitions, and community initiatives. The artists of Ganjad village have played a crucial role in keeping the legacy of Warli painting alive and thriving.

Chitrakathi Painting


Kumbhakarana Sleeping: Chitrakathi Painting by Chetan Gangavane (Know More)


The Chitrakathi is an occupational caste known for their traditional role as storytellers who use pictures to accompany their narratives. They are found in Maharashtra, as well as parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Chitrakathi artists create a series of single-sheet paintings, bundled as "pothi," depicting stories such as local versions of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The art form has historical roots and was revived by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. However, Chitrakathi storytelling is at risk of extinction, and efforts are needed to preserve this unique tradition. Prominent Chitrakathi artists include Jayashree Patankar, Alaka Bhandiwad, and Indira Seshadri, among others.


Maharashtrian Jewellery



A Maharashtrian lady with jewel ornaments [Painting by Raja Ravi Verma]

Maharashtrian jewellery reflects the rich cultural heritage and traditional craftsmanship of the region. Known for its intricate designs and use of vibrant gemstones, Maharashtrian jewellery showcases a harmonious blend of traditional motifs and contemporary aesthetics. From the iconic nath (nose ring) to the elegant kolhapuri saaj (necklace), each piece carries a story and embodies the timeless beauty of Maharashtra's jewellery traditions.


Peshwai Jewellery


Peshwai Chinchpeti Choker


Peshwai Jewellery, also called 'Maharashtrian Temple Jewellery" is a traditional form of jewelry that originated in Maharashtra, India, during the reign of the Peshwas. It encompasses a range of opulent ornaments including Tanmani & Chinchpeti necklace (Peshwai haar), nath, bangles, Peacock Waki or vaki, Pearl Bajuband, mangalsutra, etc. This exquisite style of jewelry is characterized by its intricate designs, luxurious gold craftsmanship, and the use of precious gemstones. Peshwai Jewellery reflects the grandeur and opulence of the Maratha Empire, with its majestic necklaces, intricately crafted earrings, and statement pieces adorned with vibrant gems. Today, Peshwai Jewellery continues to be cherished for its cultural significance and timeless beauty, making it a treasured part of Maharashtrian heritage.


Kolhapuri Jewellery


Kolhapuri Saaj by Rishab Gold


Maharashtrian jewellery draws inspiration from the legacies of the Maratha and Peshwa dynasties. The Kolhapur saaj necklace is one of the most known examples of the jewllery from this reigon, which holds significant cultural value for Maharashtrian women. Kolhapur is particularly famous for crafting various jewellery pieces, including the Har and Malas, Mohanmal, Bormal, Chaplahar, Pohehar, Putlighar, and Thushi. These names are derived from the unique shapes and designs of the jewellery. The Tushi, a choker adorned with closely bound tiny gold beads, is especially popular in Kolhapur. Hand wear ornaments for Maharashtrian women include Patlya (two broad bangles), bangdya (four simple bangles), and tode (two finely carved thick bangles). Chinchpeti, a choker necklace, tanmani, a short necklace, and nath, a nose ring, are crafted using a combination of pearls and red and white stones. Bajuband, an amulet-like armlet, is also a beloved ornament among Maharashtrian women. Flower-shaped earrings hold great popularity within the Maharashtrian jewelry tradition.


Halwa Dagine


Picture Credits: Atlas Obscura


Halwa Dagine is a traditional craft of creating intricate sugar jewellery in Maharashtra. The craft involves molding melted sugar into various ornate shapes, such as flowers, leaves, and beads, which are then delicately assembled to create stunning pieces of edible jewellery. This craft requires skillful handling of hot sugar syrup and meticulous attention to detail. The finished Halwa Dagine jewellery is not only visually appealing but also edible, adding a unique and sweet touch to Maharashtrian cultural celebrations and weddings.


Hupari Silver Jewellery 


Hupari Payal/Credits: Facebook


Hupari, known as the "Silver Nagari of India," has a rich history of silver jewelry craftsmanship dating back to the 13th century. The craft gained prominence during the mid-1500s with the construction of the Ambabai temple and further flourished under the encouragement of Shahu Maharaja of Kolhapur. In 1904 AD, Krishnaji Ramchandra sonar's shift from gold to silver marked a turning point for the trade. Today, the village is synonymous with India's silver jewelry hub, boasting an estimated annual turnover of INR 1000 cr. Hupari specializes in crafting payals, challe, and kaddore, with the unique production of seamless silver balls (gujrav or ghungroos) being exported to other jewelry hubs in India. The traditional payal varieties, such as Rupali, Sonya, Gajashree, and Gajashree chum-chum, feature intricate motifs like Koyna, Pankha, Topi, Shankh, and Pari, showcasing the village's expertise and mastery in silver jewelry making.



1 comment

  • Anjali: December 16, 2023
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    Excellent!!! 👌
    Congratulations..very well written🙂🙌

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