What is the Main Art & Craft of Bihar?

The history of Bihar's arts and handicrafts dates back to ancient times, weaving a narrative that speaks to the ingenuity of its people. From the intricate sculptures of the Mauryan period to the mesmerizing artefacts of the Gupta dynasty, the artistic heritage of Bihar has left an indelible mark on the canvas of Indian history. Nestled in the heart of India, the state of Bihar boasts a treasure collection of art and handicrafts that spans the ages. From intricate artworks to mesmerizing textiles, Bihar's artistic heritage is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.

Madhubani Painting

One must mention the remarkable resurgence of Madhubani painting to speak of Bihar's art—this ancient art form, which has adorned the walls of homes for generations. Madhubani painting, also known as Mithila art, is undoubtedly one of Bihar's most celebrated art forms.

Madhubani Painting

Originating in the Mithila region of the state, these paintings are characterized by their vivid colors and intricate designs. Traditionally created by women, Madhubani art depicts mythological themes, nature, and social events. The unique feature of this art form lies in its distinctive style, where the paintings are filled with geometric patterns, intricate detailing, and a sense of symmetry.

Did you know; Why Madhubani Art is so Famous? The vivid colors, intricate patterns, and distinctive storytelling of Madhubani art have captured the imagination of art lovers worldwide. As the world embraces handmade and cultural expressions, Bihar's Madhubani paintings have taken center stage, bridging the gap between the past and the present.

Sujani Embroidery

Sujani embroidery, a form of quilting, is another captivating craft that has its roots deeply embedded in Bihar's culture. This traditional art form involves stitching layers of old sarees or cloth pieces together to create intricate patterns. Originally used to make wedding quilts, Sujani embroidery has evolved into an artistic expression, with motifs representing nature, rituals, and daily life. The artistry lies in the skillful stitching and storytelling aspect, as each piece of Sujani embroidery carries a piece of Bihar's history. 

Over time, this craft journeyed beyond its origin and found its way to the southern parts of Rajasthan.

Manjusha Art

Manjusha Art

Manjusha art is a unique form of storytelling through painted boxes, originating from the Bhagalpur region of Bihar. These vibrant, rectangular boxes are adorned with depictions of mythological narratives, particularly the story of Bihula and Manjusha. The intricate paintings on these boxes are filled with characters, symbols, and scenes. The name of this art form also holds an interesting story. The Sanskrit word Mnajusa means 'box'. These boxes were made from bamboo, jute straw, and paper, inside which the devotees kept their ceremonial materials. Manjusha's painting uses three colours: pink, green, and yellow.

Patna Kalam Painting

In Indian art, Patna Kalam stands out as a unique and captivating painting style. What makes it truly remarkable is its fusion of influences from three distinct schools of painting - the Persian school, Mughal art, and the British style. The main characteristic of Patna Kalam, which makes it unique, is that instead of royal paintings, in this art form, paintings are mainly done on daily life, which includes paintings on common man, women, children, farmers, carpenters, iron-smith and so on. The delicate brushwork and attention to detail make these paintings a visual treat, offering a glimpse into Bihar's rich historical and artistic past.

Its main characteristic lies in its focus on ordinary people's everyday lives. This art form captures the essence of daily existence - the farmer toiling in the fields, the carpenter crafting wood, the iron smith shaping metal, and the myriad roles people play. This emphasis on the mundane transforms it into the extraordinary.

Bihar's Wood Carving Art

With skilled hands and intricate designs, Bihar's wood carvers have transformed simple wood blocks into complicated masterpieces that tell stories, evoke emotions, and preserve the essence of this ancient craft.

Wood Carving Art

Bihar's wood carvings have graced both sacred spaces and domestic ones. In temples, intricate carvings adorn pillars, ceilings, and facades, adding an air of spirituality and devotion. These carvings often depict deities, celestial beings, and scenes from epics, creating an ambience that transports worshippers to a realm of divinity. Similarly, in homes, wood carvings embellish furniture, door frames, and other decor pieces, infusing living spaces with the charm of Bihar's artistic heritage.

Bihar's Bamboo & Cane Craft

In the heart of Bihar's artistic heritage lies a craft that seamlessly blends nature's bounty with human creativity – the intricate bamboo and cane craft. Through skilful hands and imaginative designs, artisans in Bihar have transformed these humble materials into stunning art pieces, showcasing the state's deep connection with nature and its remarkable artistic prowess.

Bamboo and Cane Craft

The craft involves weaving, bending, and shaping these materials into various forms – from furniture and decor items to baskets and accessories.

Pottery Art

Pottery in Bihar is more than just aesthetic expression; it's deeply intertwined with tradition and rituals. Earthen lamps and diyas play a vital role in festivals, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness. These clay vessels carry not only oil and flames but also the essence of cultural beliefs and celebrations. The art form captures the ethos of Bihar's communities, becoming a testament to their customs and festivities.

Through skilful hands and creative vision, artisans in Bihar have transformed humble lumps of clay into exquisite pieces that reflect the state's history, traditions, and artistic creativity.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the art and craft of Bihar?

In Bihar, there are many special arts and crafts. People in Bihar make colorful paintings called Madhubani paintings that show nature and stories. They also do Sujani embroidery to make pretty designs on blankets and fabric. Manjusha art is about painting stories on long pieces of cloth or paper. Khatwa appliqué is when they decorate fabric by sewing on different pieces of colorful cloth. For useful things like baskets and mats, they use bamboo and jute craft. Terracotta craft is about making pots and things from special clay. Stone carving is about making beautiful designs on stones, often seen in temples.

Q: What is Patna art?

Patna Kalam art is a special kind of small painting that started in Patna, a city in India. These paintings show stories from old Indian tales, pictures of important people, and historical events. They use bright colors, tiny details, and sometimes even gold to make the paintings look pretty. Patna Kalam art is very old and was famous a long time ago, and today, some artists still make these special paintings to keep the tradition alive.

Q: Who invented Madhubani art?

Madhubani art, also called Mithila painting, is a very old style of painting from a place called Mithila, which is in India and Nepal. Many people, especially women, have been doing these special paintings for a long time. They paint pretty pictures on walls and paper with bright colors, showing stories, nature, and things in their daily life. It doesn't have one single inventor; it's something that families and communities have been doing together for generations, making it a special part of their culture.



In conclusion, Bihar's art and craft heritage is a testament to its people's creativity, skill, and cultural depth. From the intricate Madhubani paintings to the storytelling of Manjusha art, every form reflects this land's history, mythology, and daily life.

Incorporating Bihar's crafts into your home decor is more than a design choice; it's a way of honouring the region's rich cultural legacy. Whether you opt for the mesmerizing strokes of Madhubani paintings, the delicate threads of Sujani embroidery, the historical aura of Patna Kalam paintings, or the enchanting narratives of Manjusha art, you're embracing an elegance that transcends time.