Orissa is a state of diverse and vibrant culture and an unmatched architectural inheritance. A land of temples with beautiful stone carvings, the state holds prime attraction amongst pilgrims from all over the country. Orissa is renowned for its natural heritage. It is the place where Chilka Lake, Asia’s largest lagoon, is situated where you can see millions of migratory birds, including pink flamingos. Other major places of interest in Orissa are Sun Temple of Konark, Bhitarakanika, Udayagiri Caves and Mahendragiri. Besides, the astonishing art ad crafts of Orissa artists are also major source of interest for both domestic and international tourists.
Different categories of Orissa handicrafts
Patta Chitra is one of the most popular forms of handicraft in Orissa. These are painted with bright colors and have a unique charm of their own. These paintings are unique because of their distinct pictorial concept, the technique of painting, line formation, color scheme and so on. Another art form, the palm leaf painting, also belongs to this category of Patta Chitra where the traditional painting is done on palm leaf.
Amongst all handicrafts in Orissa Silver Filigree is the most important and most sought after craft. This craft is locally called as tarakasi and is mostly practiced in Cuttack. The silver filigree holds an important position in the socio-cultural scenario in Orissa. The utensils made out of this craft are used for many social and religious functions. Moreover,
Stone Carving is another craft that holds prime position in the handicraft market of Orissa. The work of this craft can be seen in the many monuments, sculptures and temples in Orissa. Artisans of Orissa use variety of materials for sculpting. The various stones used for sculpture making include white soapstone called 'Khadipathara', which is very soft as well as the hardest black granite called 'mugunipathara'. They also use greenish chlorite or 'Kochilapathara', and pinkish Khandolite.
Woodcarving is another important handicraft of Orissa. This craft creates objects like painted wooden toys, Bargarh masks, idols and chariot decorations. The craft uses light variety of wood and mineral colors. Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri are the places where you get this craft.
In Textile, Ikat is popular. This is a gloriously woven, gem colored design done in silk and cotton fabric. This is an intricate process of Tie and Dye in multi-hued tones with beautiful motif designs.
Other crafts of Orissa include Horn Work, Lacquer Work, Sand Art and Puppet and Mask making.
Manufacturers of Orissa handicrafts
1. Samir Applique is manufacturer of handicrafts like pata chitra, paintings amongst other things.
2. M/s National Coir manufactures handicrafts, antiques, and various coir products.
3. Suncrafts is the manufacturer of handicrafts, sculptures, pata chitra painting, palm leaf etching and so on.
Exporters or export industry of Orissa handicrafts
1. Taj Handicraft are exporters of handicrafts, handlooms, silver filigree jewellery, palm leaf paintings, palm leaf engraving, stone works, metal crafts, wooden crafts, handicrafts, and so on.
2. Shikha Works & Management Pvt. Ltd. Exports handicrafts like stone work, appliqué work and so on.
3. Rajkumari Imports & Exports are exporters of handicrafts, cosmetics, and other goods.
The handicrafts of Orissa cover a wide market ranging from Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines and many other Asian and other countries. The artistic skills of the Orissa craftsmen are genuine and authentic. These are especially popular with international tourists.