Maharashtra is a state that boasts of rich cultural heritage and legacy. Its culture represents an amalgamation of different communities, religions, castes, and the like. Apart from that, there is another thing that reflects the vivacious spirit of the state and that is nothing but, its exquisite arts and crafts. Be it the cave paintings of Ajanta and Ellora or the beautiful jewelry of Kolhapur, the handicrafts of Maharashtra truly reflect the rich past of the state. So, if you want to know about the historical legacy of the sate, start by exploring its arts and crafts. To help you with this, we have provided information about the major handicrafts of Maharashtra below:
Kolhapur is a growing city situated in the southernmost part of Maharashtra. Apart from being renowned as the ‘seat’ of Goddess Mahalaxmi, the city is known for being home to artisans that make excellent jewelry. It has an entirely different style of jewelry making, known as Kolhapur jewelry.
Kolhapur is one of the few cities in Maharashtra that are renowned for being home to rich arts and crafts. Amongst its most popular crafts are its beautiful jewelry and extremely comfortable chappals (slippers). The chappals and sandals produced in the city are handmade.
Maharashtra is home to a large number of tribes, most of which are found residing around the Deccan region. Apart from their distinct culture and lifestyle, the tribal people of the state are also known for making some handicrafts. Amongst the popular folk crafts of the tribes are the Warli paintings.
Mashru and Himroo
Amongst the main districts of Maharashtra that are known for exquisite handicrafts is Aurangabad. The most famous crafts of the city comprise of Bidriware, Mashru and Himroo crafts. Talking about the Mashru and Himroo crafts, both of them are fabrics that are made of cotton and silk.
Sawantwadi is the name of a small taluka in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. The taluka is mainly known for being associated with the craft of lacquerware, popularly known as the Sawantwadi craft. The craft was introduced in the Sawantwadi somewhere around the end of the 17th century.
Paithani is a variety of sari, manufactured in the Paithan region of Maharashtra. Paithani saris are handmade, from the finest quality of silk, and are considered to be one of the richest saris in the state. The art of making these sarees goes back to more than 2000 years ago.
Narayan Peth saris are the traditional sarees of Maharashtra. They are made in the Sholapur region of the state and are popular throughout the country. The fabric used for making this sari is silk. Narayan Peth saris have a zari border, usually with ‘rudraksha’ motifs, and are woven exquisitely.
Ajanta caves, situated near the Aurangabad city of Maharashtra, are known for their beautiful paintings across the world. The paintings are seen there have been found to belong to the fused art style of China and Japan. They were painted by Buddhist monks who used to dwell inside the caves and revolve around the Buddhist themes only.
Bidriware or the Birdri craft is one of the most popular handicrafts of Maharashtra. It has been in existence for ages and found patrons amongst the Mughal rulers. Initially used for embellishing royal swords and other weapons, the craft later spread to domestic items like cigars and cigarette boxes. The typical items adorned with bidriware are plates, bowls, vases, ashtrays, trinket boxes, chukka bases, jewelry, glass, and studded bangles, etc.