Odisha boasts of a rich cultural legacy that can be easily witnessed in its arts and handicrafts. The land that was under the reign of different rulers from an array of dynasties and sects showcased different transformations as the power went from one hand to other. This change also played a pivotal role in the evolution of the art and handicraft of Odisha. The anachronisms that today stand on this land lure travelers from all across the world. And all this had been made possible due to the keen efforts of the then rulers who never compromised with the task of promoting the rich heritage and artistic skills of the golden times.
While those of the golden times were preserved the land saw a new dawn when few other art works such as the sand art came to rise. This work that is one of the most famous one in the state of Odisha boasts about the artistic skills of the craftsmen and the journey of the same from the earlier times to the modern era.
Each and every part of Orissa is enriched with art from tribal regions, to ethnic villages and cities. Although the land saw the rise and fall of many dynasties, the beginning and end of many movements, its artwork never saw dusk and evolved with magnificence with each passing year.
Introduced by the Maurya rulers around 2000 years ago, weaving is a renowned artwork of Odisha. The artwork that provides employment to the weavers of the state has undergone numerous evolutions since its inception. Today, the weavers make use of Silk, Tassur and cotton fabrics to weave the intricate modern, tribal and traditional patterns.
Applique art is widely used in saris, bed sheets, lamp sheds, table cloths as well as a sophisticated wall art form. The artwork that was originally initiated in Pipli village near Puri has reached out to the whole of the country.
In this age of paper and printing press, the land of Odisha still lingers to palm leaf writing as it is considered auspicious. This practice is mostly common among professional horoscope or nahakas and used for making weddings cards. Palm leaves were also used in the ancient tomes to write letters, books and document vital facts. Nowadays, the leaves of palm trees are also used for some decoration work.
The metal art work involves the transformation of brass metal into a wide range of utility object like plates, statues, flower vase and many more. The silver filigree artists of Cuttack are appreciated for their gifted skills of highly alluring artwork that was once also popular among the royal females. Moreover, their ethnic values and intricate designs make them pieces of great demand in the modern marketplace too.
The famous artwork of Pattacharita is an art that makes use of vibrant colors for painting 'patta' (specially treated cloth). This art has gained much recognition after being associated with the Jagannath Puri Temple. As soon as the Lords are done with their 'Snana Jatra' or culmination, three special pattacharitas are hung on the sanctum.
Stone carving is one of the most notable artwork of Odisha that can be easily seen on most of the temple walls of the state. The artwork that was introduced during the Kalinga days has given rise to numerous erotic sculptures. The craftsmen near Balesore are widely famous for their form of art that comprises carving the utensils of semi grey stone called kiching.
The craftsmen of Odisha are known for their amazing shell art by which they provide beautiful shapes to shells & conches. These pieces of modern art are mostly bagged by travelers as souvenir and remembrance of their Odisha trip. One can easily find numerous articles of daily utility such as pen stand, wall hangings, art pieces and many more in Odisha.
The sand art of Odisha has gained huge appreciation all over the world, much due to the excellent skills and efforts of the artists. This modern day art form is scaling new heights in the world of the art and craft.