Orissa News

With the passage of time when the chitrakar family increased and Puri town could not generate enough employment, the Chitrakars moved out of Puri to nearby villages where they did various types of paintings on the walls of theirpattons on festive occasions. Gradually patta paintings on wooden and bamboo boxes, mask, pots etc developed.

Patta Chitra representation of Lord KrishnaIn today’s context, the Patta chitra has made a slow sojourn from the temple to the drawing rooms, lounges of big hotels and guest houses. The subject of the paintings has also evolved and taken new dimensions. In addition to the stories from Ramayan, Mahabharat and Vesas of Jagannath, new themes on the life and philosophy of Lord Buddha, pictures on Jainism, Jesus Christ and important historical events are also found in patta paintings. The traditional pattis are replaced with tassar silk cloth and the the chitrakaras have adopted to the brushes sold in the market. Instead of simple rendering, the paintings are now decorated with more ornamentation in order to attract the modern art connoisseur. Even people from other castes are breaking the traditional hereditary rule in getting involved in this art form.

Today people who have adopted this art form as a profession have dwindled though it is still practiced in certain places. The major concentration of the artists and the art form is in Raghurajpur Dandasahi of Puri Sadar Block and Balisahi Chitrakarasahi,Dolamandap sahi, Markendeswar sahi in Puri Municipality, Paralakhemundi, Digapahandi,Chikiti, Berhampur, Dharakot, Bargarh, Sonpurand Keonjhar. From among these sites, Raghurajpur, a village about 12 km. from Puri on Puri-Bhubaneswar road near Chandanpur has attracted the attention of the world as a Heritage village. It has been declared as a Rural Tourism Centre. All the house-holds in the village are artists. The village holds the unique distinction of having maximum concentration of Patta Chitra artists. As per a local survey at least 22 households are pursuing this art form but in practice almost all house-holds in the village are linked with the patta chitra business, they act as artists or promoters.