The colorful Pashminas, exquisite Pahari Carpets, Neat Woodwork and exceptional handlooms makes one wonder that the natural beauty of Himachal has trickled to its art as well. From the lower parts of Kangra to the higher regions of Lahaul–  the Himachal life, tradition and culture celebrate the joyous abundance of natural wealth, cultural heritage and unsurpassable talent. Be it the Kangra style of Painting, the Thangka artifacts of even the Pashmina, Himachals creative elegance is exceptional. On your journey through the state, A colorful and soulful mystery is revealed –which highlight the architecture, objects, shops, handicrafts etc that are seasoned with time. In the town of Kangra lies the slim zig zag roads  of KumharGali. Connected to the Bazar towards the Kangra Devi’s Temple, This place is a must visit. There, one can see large courtyards of the two storied buildings that house the families of potters who do the work of their forefathers with extreme dedication and passion.

While women are active in the art of Pottery, carpentry is an art that is reserved for men.

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.

Painting – Can’t stop glaring

It would be an understatement of sorts to call the the Painting tradition of Himachal Pradash exceptional. Himachal’s rich artistic heritage can be experienced in the museums and art galleries. Besides, the females in Himachal have preserved their heritage by magnificently drawing art and illustrative designs. Made on special occasions, these designs are also called as yantras.

Certain towns exhibit the canvas inheritance of Himachal Pradesh through the splendidly dazzling wall paintings. Usually used in the accommodation of honeymoon couples which are specifically organized for them! These are called 'toranagriha'. Depicting the spirit of togetherness after the bond of marriage, these Painting are exceptional in their design.
With an extreme admiration for floor paintings, Himachal also houses several schools of Art including the Kangra school of Art. These styles of Painting are often together called as Pahari Art. These arts have been deeply influenced by the Rajputana and Mughal aesthetics.

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.

Garments & Accessories – Be a Pahari

The Himachali garments are bright in color and echo their passion for dressing up. One often feels everyday to be a festival there.

The Gujjars in the Himachal adorn a brightKurtas . They are finely embroidered with round and linear pattern.
Chamba and its people are extremely fond of jewellery. Apart from the classical Himachali Jewelery, The Women their love to carry and flaunt their embroidered Rumals, Bangles and even the shoes are creatively designed.

In Lahaul, people wear a special pair of socks as a part of their traditional footwear. These Socks are perhaps one of its kinds in the world.

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 otherstuff.

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 comfy to put on. They are both embroidered and plain.

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 choosebetween 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.

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 artisticallywelded 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 TheMarsur 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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