Share This Post

Art and Craft

Indian Art and Craft – Pattachitra Painting

Indian Art and Craft – Pattachitra Painting

Pattachitra Painting is one of the oldest and popular art forms of Odisha. Patta means Canvas in Sanskrit. Chitra means Painting. Thus Pattachitra is a painting done on a canvas.


Pattachitra Paintings are of simple themes of mythological depictions with creative motifs and designs using rich colours. The Thia Badhia, which shows the temple of Jagannath and Krishna Leela showing acts of Lord Krishna are important. Panchamukhi, depicting five-headed Ganesha, Dashavatara Patti – ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are also popular Pattachitra Paintings.


The first in the process is to create the Canvas. Tamarind paste is prepared by soaking the tamarind seeds in water for three days. The seeds are then pounded with a crusher, mixed with water and heated to make it in a paste form. Two pieces of cloth are held together with this paste. It is then coated with soft clay powder to make it firm. Once this becomes dry, the canvas is polished with rough and smooth stones (or wood) to get the surface smooth and lathery. The canvas is ready now for painting.

Naturally available raw materials are used to prepare the paint. The main ingredient is the gum of Kaitha tree. It is the base and used for making other pigments. Powdered conch shells are used for making white colour. Lamp soot is used for making black pigment. The root of the Keya plant is used for making brush. Mouse hair is used for making finer brushes.

As with anything else, the Pattachitra paintings have also undergone a transition. Paintings are done on Tussar Silk and Palm Leaves also.

Picture used for illustration only – Credit: Mike Prince

Share This Post

Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


Thank you for visiting this page. As you may notice there are some links on this page that redirects you to another website. These links are affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and purchase/sign up for that item/service I will receive a small commission from that purchase at no added cost to you. I have only shared links to those products that I would use personally. The money that I earn through this method is just a small income to help me continue my blog through which I want to help enlighten you all on various topics. I am extremely grateful to you if you choose to purchase any of the items through the affiliate links on this page.

Leave a Reply