Vindusagar tank, Bhubaneshwar

This late-19th century photograph of the Bindusagar lake was published in Antiquities of Orissa, authored by Indologist Rajendralal Mitra (1824 – 1891). The lake dating back to the 8th – 9th century is situated north of the Lingaraja Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Bhubaneshwar. It measures about 1300 ft in length and 700 ft… Read more »

The Black Pagoda, or, Sun Temple, Konark

This photograph depicts the before-restoration ruins of the Sun temple at Konark, in Orissa. Once famous as the Black Pagoda, for the temple resembles the chariot of the Sun God, with 12 wheels and seven horses that represent the number of months in a year/zodiac signs and days in the week. It was built by… Read more »

Odisha Pattachitra

PATTA PRIMER It’s a practice so ancient, precise and rooted in faith, the art it produces is considered worthy of worship. Like all living traditions, Odisha’s Pattachitra too has its fables, customs and idiosyncrasies. READ MORE EYES RIGHT Thanks to its harmonious play of colours, pleasing symmetry and recognisably Indian motifs, a Pattachitra is a joy… Read more »

Pattachitra: Vocations in a village

The Pattachitra tradition practiced in Odisha and West Bengal is the art of creating religious paintings on fabric, walls, palm leaves or manuscripts. The tradition grew out of ornamenting the sanctum sanctorum of the Jagannatha Temple in Puri, Odisha and eventually spilled out onto different surfaces. Pattachitras were originally created by the chitrakara class of… Read more »

Talapattachitra: Krishna Raas Leela

The patachitra tradition practiced in Orissa and West Bengal is the art of creating religious paintings on cloth, wall, palm-leaf or manuscripts. The tradition grew out of ornamenting the sanctum sanctorum of the Jagannatha Temple in Puri, eventually branching out into other domains. They were originally created by the artist (chitrakara) class of Orissa called… Read more »

Pattachitra: Krishna Leela

This pattachitra describes Krishna and Balarama leaving Vrindavan to go to Dwarka – where Krishna settled and ruled as king. Gopis can be seen lining ahead of the chariot and bidding him farewell. Since this a modern rendition of the legend the figures are actually shown waving to each other – a gesture borrowed from… Read more »

Pattachitra: Story of Jagannath

This is an Orissa Pattachitra detailing the Jagannath temple in Puri, along with other scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The pattachitra tradition is an indegenous artform of Orissa, where religious paintings are done on a canvas created with cotton cloth (called patta). The colours emploed are also natural – derived from various minerals… Read more »

Pattachitra: Krishna Ras Leela

This is a pattachitra created by Akshaya Kumar Bariki, and dealing with the theme of Krishna Raas Lila. The centre of this painting depicts Krishna and Radha sitting under the Kadamba tree, being attended to by gopis. Around the main image are two circular registers occupied by figures of Krishna and the gopis dancing. The… Read more »

Krishna Leela

This Odisha Pattachitra by Akshaya Kumar Bariki illustrates Krishna Leela. The middle panel features Krishna and Radha in an embrace. As Odisha Pattachitras were traditionally used as personal home shrines, the central icons are always larger and primary. This is followed by supporting stories and images around them, which are smaller in size to symbolise… Read more »

A Shared Canvas

Pattachitras helped solidify relationships within the villages—they brought about a kind of unity and oneness