One of India's largest states, located south of New Delhi in the center of the country, Madhya Pradesh is home to many artisans who create beautiful crafts famous with both locals and visitors from around the world. The stunning heritage of the arts is visible in the various art forms, fabrics, rugs and more that are created here. When you’re in Madhya Pradesh, book an Indore taxi to explore the city and its bazaars, soaking in some of the art and craft the city has to offer. Some of the famous arts and handicrafts of the largest state in India include:
This handwoven, silk/cotton blend is used to create exquisite designs of saris scarves, salwar kameez and more. The art originated in the town of Chanderi and is still kept alive by local artisans who still weave the fabric on handlooms. Chanderi saris have classy and subtle designs with pleasant colors. The borders of the saris have rich gold designs which add character to the sari. It is said that in the initial days of the origination of the craft, the weavers only used natural color from saffron herbs to hue the saris. The worth of the Chanderi saris is quoted based on how delicate the weave is and the ratio of the silk and cotton used.
A fabric that originated in the region of Maheshwar, 90 kilometers from the city of Surat. Since Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar who is said to have brought these weavers from Surat, commanded the weavers to create geometric patterns, the designs were based on inspiration from the architecture of the Maheshwar Fort.
Rug dolls (top) have been famous in Madhya Pradesh for centuries, especially in the city of Sironj. Today they are being created even in the places like Shahdol and Jabalpur. These durries are made of thick cotton fabric using a technique called punja.
Batto Bai Dolls
These dolls are named after their creator who used rags and paper to create mesmerizing dolls and dressed them in bright traditional clothing to capture the essence of the cultures of the country. These dolls can be up to five feet tall.
A craft loved by millions, this is a metallic thread used to make stunning embroidery on clothing and decorative cloths- intricate and requiring a lot of skill and experience. These delicate designs are created on clothes, shoes and even purses and can be found in the famous Chowk market in Bhopal, capital of the state. If you’re looking to go on a handicrafts trail, rent a car in Bhopal to explore some of the city’s bazaars.
Popular throughout the state, and practised for centuries, this craft uses a technique called lost-wax casting, in which a duplicate wax statue is created from an original design with a wax mold. You can find beautiful lamps, figurines, toys and vessels. The craft originated in the city of Tikamgarh, where it is still practiced by a few local artisans.
They're popularly known as block prints, but these different from the block prints that are popular in Rajasthan. The artisans here use hand blocks made of teakwood to create these stunning geometrical prints using organic dyes. The art originated in a village called Bagh in Dhar district. You can identify authentic prints by the distinct smell of the organic dyes.