Handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh

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Handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh

Among handicrafts that come out of Himachal Pradesh state in India are carpets, leather works, shawls, paintings, metal ware, woodwork and paintings. Pashmina  shawl is the product which is highly in demand not only in Himachal but all over the country. Colourful Himachali caps are also famous art work of the people. One tribe, Dom, is expert in manufacturing bamboo items like boxes, sofas, chairs, baskets and racks. Metal ware of the state include utensils, ritualistic vessels, idols, gold and silver jewelleries.

Weaving, carving, painting, or chiseling is considered to be the part of the life of Himachalis. Himachal is well known for designing shawls especially in Kullu. The architecture, objects, shops, museums, galleries and craftsmen charm with a variety perfected over time.

Women take an active part in pottery and men in carpentry. For ages, wood has been used in Himachal in the construction of temples, homes, idols etc.

Various Famous handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh are:-

  1. Wood Carving
  2. Rugs and Carpets
  3. Embroidery
  4. Leather work
  5. Jewellery
  6. Metal Craft
  7. Stone Craft

Wood Carving –Amazing Beauty on Woods

Although largely unpopular, Himachal Pradesh still has a vivid tradition of wood Carving. Complex jalis, and other things are mastered by the Pahari artist who use them in the buildings and houses which advocate privacy while allowing light to enter and create different patterns and different hours. In towns and villages, Carpenter work day and night to craft out fine and useful products like cradles, bedsteads, low settees, rolling pins,  boxes, ladles, churners, wooden utensils etc. Their indigenous variety of fruit bowls, wooden jewellery, decorative boxes and carved images are some of the things that are famous nationally. The Willow and Bamboo are also creatively stripped and made trays.


Rugs & Carpets–Beautifully Designed

Himachal and its furnishing can never be complete without carpets and blankets. Their colorful motifs and traditional pahari design can even challenge the established Persian aesthetic. Garudas (Vishnu’s mount, the eagle) balanced on blossoming trees, Swastikas, dragons are some of the themes that they depict in the carpet and in the blanket making them look fabulous.

Made from the wool of Giangi Sheep, This wool is used to weave bags and Blankets which usually sport a natural color and come with red and black borders.  Known as ‘Gudma’, The Blankets are specially woven in the Kullu valley due to the presence of a particular kind of clay which craftsmen use to perfect the same. The furnishing range includes thobis (floor coverings), karcha (mattresses), which are made from goat hair, pattoo cloth (like shawls), carpets and yarn crafted from ultra soft wool.

Embroidery – Fabulous Craft

For the Pahari Women, Embroidery is perhaps the favorite past time. Every household has at least a woman who spends her day with threads and embroidery needles. Every house in Himachal is overflowing with rumals (scarves), coverlets, hand fans, caps, cholis (bodices), gaumukhi (prayer gloves) and other stuff.

There, people insist on creating a life with these beautiful pieces as they believe it to be an essential element in the pahari lifestyle.

Chamba is also famous for its richly embroidered Silk Rumals. Usually in the base color of Red and Orange, The tradition of these rumals date back to over a thousand years. Unlike Handkerchiefs, the use of the rumal is to cover the head like a small shawl.

Leather craft – Most fascinating One

Conventional Chamba slippers (Chappals) are remarkably relaxed and comfortable to put on. They are both embroidered and plain.Handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh

The embroidery on them is done with several colors and glitter is added through the imitation zari (gold thread). The tourists’ love for these products has inspired the artisans to strive harder.

Other than that, one can also choose between a variety of shoes, sandals, socks and belts.

Jewellery –Himalayan Jewels

Chubby jewellery laden with beads and metals are the traditional jewellery of the Himachali people and is in huge demand. Echoing the other communities of the tribal people, the traditional dress is filled with jewellery almost for every part of the body.

Gold and silver are made to design finer jewelleries. During the rule of the Rajput Kingdom over Himachal, the jewelers of Kangra, Kullu, Chamba and Manali were extremely famous.

They mostly designed with silver and were fractional to blue and green enameling. They shaped superb jewels like oval anklets, firmand strong bangles, ornaments for the hair, Necklaces, and pendants having motifs of the goddess.

An erstwhile Kangra prototype for silver anklets featured a series of birds which were connected by links made purely out of silver. Sadly, these jewellery could not stand the test of time and are no longer made. They now grace the shelves of museums like the Kangra Art Museum in Dharamsala, the State Museum in Shimla and the Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba.

Metalwork – Magic Minas

Worship in Himachal is an elaborate process; much of it is because of religion’s interference and influence in the day to day life of Himachalis. Temples too are filled with necessities of prayer. Made out of metal, these items are fine works of artisanship.Handicrafts of Himachal Pradesh

Brass, copper, iron, tin and bell metals are the most famous metals used by the people and the blacksmiths of Himachal. Even if we keep aside the shining statues spread across Himachal, Its metallic craft can be understood through its artistically welded handles, lamps, incense burners and musical instruments. Naming them is just one of the many wonders of metallurgy in Himachal.

Another mazing example of Metal and its use in Himachal is with Lota. The most common way of storing water in the hills, the Lots is found with different shapes and designs across Himachal.

A number of the extra prosperous houses have wonderfully fashioned pots for teas, pipes for smoking, engraved panel and several other artifacts. Over the time, the workers of metals haven’t lost the Midas touch and still work their magic into their products.

Stonework – Old but Famous

Himachal has explored the art of stone carving to its fullest. The credit of this also goes to the wondrous types of stone that this state has .Variousshikhara (spired) sand stone temple speckle the land. In Chamba, the Laxminarayan Temple and In Kangra The Marsur and Baijnath Temple are a few grand specimens of the work done in Himachal since ages.

Temples and fountains are also surrounded with several stone memorials that add to the grace of the place.

In the Himachal Pradesh region, Stone carvers till today hold the old world charm and are busy using their apparatus to create out of dead stones lively products of use.  Classical stoves (angithi), spherical storing pots (kundi) and chakki are some of the innumerable things of use made out of stones in Himachal. Shimla, Kinnaur, mandi and Chamba are the main centers of Stonework.

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