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Handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh has the legacy of being one of the cultural centres of the country, and the state is rich in its arts, music and dance, cuisines and of course handicrafts. The handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh include woodenware, earthenware, textiles, stone work, jewellery and sculptures.

In clothing, the art of Zardosi, which is the embroidering of cloth with silver and gold, was brought to the state by Delhi's Turko-Afghan Sultans in the 12th century. There are several families today in Varanasi, Agra, Lucknow, Rampur and elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh, who are carrying forward the exquisite art of Zardosi and supplying dazzling bridal outfits and also salwar-kameezes with embroidered zaris. They have their clientele spread not only across India, but throughout the globe. Although such crafts are also available in other states, they are considerably cheaper in Uttar Pradesh.

Another fine style of embroidery is Chikankari, whose seat is the state capital Lucknow. Here fine embroidery is done on fabrics like chiffon, organza, doruya, organdie, muslin, and silk to produce beautiful sarees and salwar kameez. The chikan sarees and salwar kameez are not only fascinating to look at, but are comfortable to wear during the summer months.

Painting in the region reached its peak during the reign of Akbar, and also during the rule of Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Most paintings of those times were in the form of miniatures; others were portraits, court scenes, hunting events and battle. During the rule of Akbar, paintings of scenes from Hindu epics, animal fables and portraits flourished in the region. Another important handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh is the jewellery designing. Here the jewellers specialize in creating lightweight jewellery, with focus on filigree and open work.

Emperor Ashok provided a great boost to the art of stone carving, and this tradition is still continuing in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The stupas and cave temples of that period are well known. The Taj Mahal is perhaps the most famous marble construction of the world. The state is still a hub for stone carvings made on sandstone. There are also many stone statues and temples of Hindu gods found in the state, and they contribute to the tradition of handicrafts in Uttar Pradesh.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/16