The Uttar Pradesh state has some popular art tradition centers in India. The state has supported several art forms ever since the Mughal days. Monarchs like Shah Jahan, Akbar, Farrukhsiyar and Dara Sikoh were the great admirers of art and supported various traditions throughout their reign. Nawabs of Awadh and various other nobles carried that culture onward. It is the main reason as to why Benaras to Agra, every big or small town is well-known for craft in Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh Art and Craft!
The main Uttar Pradesh art and craft forms that are widely practiced from ancient times are sculpture, painting, hand-crafted designs on wood, metal, ivory, clay and stone.
Painting & Rock Painting
Since pre-historic times, painting in Uttar Pradesh are being practiced. The cave paintings of Chitrakoot and Sonbhadra portray scenes of war, hunting, animals, festivals, romantic life and dance. The golden era of painting in UP was the Mughal Period. The art of painting achieved its peak during the reign of Jahangir. The Mughal panache of painting is still one of the greatest accomplishments of Asian culture and is exclusive in its style, presentation and concept.
The art of painting attained the height of perfection in the range of Bundelkhand while the King of Orchha rebuilt Keshav Dev temple in Mathura. The paintings of Gokul, Mathura, Govardhan and Vrindavan illustrate scenes from Lord Krishna life. One more chief pre-modern painting custom of UP is identified as the Garhwal School that was supported by the Garhwal Kings.
One of the significant crafts of Uttar Pradesh is Chikankari, that involves traditional and subtle hand embroidery. This style of handicrafts is mostly practiced in Lucknow. It is generally done on the fabrics such as, muslin, chiffon, organza, silk and organdie. Chikan Kurtas and saris make some flawless summer wear.
Zardoji embroidery is an additional unique art where the embroidery is performed in three different dimensions. Zari works of Varanasi are well-known in the whole wide world.
Attractive metal ware products and pottery are also created on large scale in Uttar Pradesh state.
Carpet weaving is also a significant cultural face of Uttar Pradesh. The state provides 90% of the nation’s carpets and carpet weaving centers in the state are mainly located nearby Bhadohi, Khamaria and Mirzapur.
Uttar Pradesh brassware is the largest Copper and Brass manufacturing state in India. In domestic ware small water-pots are known by the name of its source, such as, Sitapur, Banaras, Etawah and many more. The traditional articles are mostly made up of copper. Moradabad in UP is known for its art metalwork and has gained popularity for its intricate engravings and coloured enamelling.
Glassy pottery on white background and green and blue patterns is developed in Rampur, Chunar and Khurja in Uttar Pradesh. UP has produced some of the best and finest Chunar black clay pottery. It is decorated with silver paint in classic and sophisticated designs. The art form in Nizamabad has high precision and has high lustre and gloss derived from the powder known as kabiz which is made from the mud of rice fields. Khurja is also quite popular for its economical and rough tableware.
The city, Gorakhpur has villages where animals’ clay figures are done. The city is also famous for its richly decorated terracotta horse. The potter makes the basic form by tossing separate pieces on the wheel and then assembling them again.
Lucknow is popular for its enamelling work and jewellery. Attractive silverwares with designs of roses, snakes and hunting scenes are quite famous. The Zarbuland and Bidri and silver works of Lucknow find countenance on outstanding pieces of jewel boxes, huqqa farshi, bowls, trays, cigarette holders, cufflinks and so on. Prominent bone and ivory carvings with motifs of leaves, flowers, trees, creepers, animals and birds are widely made in Lucknow. The leading craftsmen designs and make intricate items such as, lampshades, knives, small toys and shirt pins.
From the 19th century, Lucknow is known for producing perfumes or ‘Attars’. The Lucknow perfumers tested and flourished in making attar with subtle and long-lasting fragrances which are made from numerous aromatic herbs, sandal oil, spices, musk, frgrance of leaves and flowers. The illustrious Lucknow fragrances are keora, khus, chameli, agar and zafran.