Treasure Trove (Of India)


India, as I have shared earlier is a land of many surprises and mysteries.

Among the various treasures that it is home to, the arts and crafts of India hold many awe-inducing gems. These arts are many centuries old and have been passed on from generation to generation. Infact, that’s the only way some of these techniques have been kept alive.

On my recent visit to National Crafts Museum, located in Delhi I discovered some of these arts. There are various such art and art forms which have not been mentioned as part of this post, and that’s because they are either very well-known and information for those is commonly available; or because they were not displayed prominently at the Museum.

  • Sanjhi


The intricate and delicate designs on paper are from making cuts using a scissors. The deft fingers of the artist I met maneuvered the paper expertly, making small, deliberate cuts. It takes him anywhere from a few hours to a few days, sometimes more than a month to make one complete painting. The one pictured below (centre) took 40 days, he told me.


  • Phad Painting

One unique characteristic of this style of painting is that the colours are mixed and lifted from open sea shells. This is to protect the tip of the soft brush and also the colours from hardening.


Seashells used to mix and pick up colours in the brush.

  • Madhubani Painting










It takes anywhere between 15 – 45 days to complete one such painting. It is made using a fine pen, and has intricate detailing which is flawless when observed closely.

This lady sits 8 hours at a stretch, to complete a significant portion of the painting in one sitting. Her husband assists her in marketing and selling these beautiful art-works and humbly and cheerfully displays the various paintings. Often, he displays a minimum of 10-15 paintings to the same customer, sometimes with no assurance of closing the sale.


The wife laboriously works at filling in the detailing in her painting


Husband showing the various completed paintings to customers











  • Wall Murals


These paintings are special and unique not just because of the sheer size and the difficulty in working on such a canvas, but also because of the intricate detailing and the intense work it involves. Often, these paintings are made by one or two people, over a number of days, to ensure consistency in design and color coordination.

Some of these paintings, especially Madhubani/Mithila style of painting have a rich history associated with them.

There are many other styles of paintings and art forms, some even more delicate and intricate than others. Apart from this, India is very rich in culture and dance forms. But, that’s probably best left for another time. 🙂

Do visit the National Crafts Museum, on your next trip to Delhi.

All photographs displayed in this post have been clicked by the Author and usage and reproduction of same without prior permission is prohibited.

No Comments
  • Gradmama2011
    Posted at 13:15h, 29 November Reply

    This is a great post! The art work is spectacular, intricate and exacting. I would never have the patience required to do this type of work. Thanks for presenting this… 🙂

  • Gradmama2011
    Posted at 13:28h, 29 November Reply

    Reblogged this on SOMETIMES and commented:
    This post has been re-blogged from the wonderful site Treasure Trove of India, one of my favorite sites. The intricate and fascinating art work is beautiful, and I envy the patience and ability of the artist. Thanks WanderingSoul for this!

  • Vibrant
    Posted at 17:01h, 29 November Reply

    Reblogged this on blabberwockying! and commented:
    This post has some beautiful artworks ! Thanks for sharing Piyusha!

  • Vibrant
    Posted at 17:02h, 29 November Reply

    I loved reading this post and it has such stunning art. I will find you first if I visit Delhi and then we will go to the museum together 😀

    Love and light <3

    Anand 🙂

  • beingmepresently
    Posted at 21:02h, 29 November Reply

    What beautiful artwork with such beautiful detail. Thank you for sharing. X

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 21:03h, 29 November Reply

      Thank You for reading, liking and commenting 🙂

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  • Dawn Marie
    Posted at 16:37h, 30 November Reply

    WoW! The colors are simply stunning!!! Thank you for sharing!!

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  • oneta hayes
    Posted at 23:29h, 30 November Reply

    Such beautiful pieces of art. And so much new information for me. Expanding my horizons!

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 03:40h, 01 December Reply

      Thank you. Glad you like it. Once I saw it for myself, just had to talk to the artists to know their backgrounds and story. Their dedication, skills etc., the intricate detailing on those paintings are just amazing. Planning to do a longer post featuring the artists, later sometime.

  • Pranjal
    Posted at 18:28h, 07 December Reply

    Great post!
    I live in Delhi but haven’t visited the crafts museum. Will do so now in the near future. 🙂

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 18:32h, 07 December Reply

      Hi, Thanks. 🙂 there’s so much about Delhi and India, that remains unexplored 🙂 thanks for visiting:) there are other Delhi and India related posts. I hope you’ll like those too.:)

  • Sharada Gopalan
    Posted at 05:57h, 08 December Reply

    Enjoyed the post! I have a soft corner for Madhubani’s 🙂 India has such beautiful art forms, at times its mind boggling!

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 06:25h, 08 December Reply

      True! And that’s why i didn’t even venture into the other art forms – dances, handicrafts etc 🙂 that is another world of its own.

  • Megha Agrawal
    Posted at 08:17h, 08 December Reply

    I can relate to this post as I’m myself very found of Madhubani Paintings and like painting Madhubani. You are right in India we have so many art forms only few come to peoples notice. You have a nice layout of your blog.Have a look at me Madhubani paintings

  • ukgardenfiend
    Posted at 11:35h, 10 December Reply

    Hi there. I went to the India exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum last week and was blown away by the fabrics and also the videos of how some of the jewellery especially using gold leaf and tiny jewels were made painstakingly by hand. I love India and have been several times and it always thrills me to see to the creativity of their craftsmakers.

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 11:40h, 10 December Reply

      Yes, even we Indians get blown away at times 😀 there’s so much to India that is mind-boggling! for my own article on Reasons to Travel to India, I already knew so much and yet had to do research about the arts and cultures of different regions. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting

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