Bihar has a rich cultural heritage. The predominant themes are from the myths and
legends of Hinduism. The Hindu deities, Lord Rama and His consort, Seeta, and Lord
Shiva and His consort, Parvati, form the main theme of folk paintings. Bihar, a
land of many Buddhist Monasteries is also known as 'The Land of Buddha'.
The beautiful stories of the ancient times are depicted in the exquisite handicrafts
One of the art forms of Bihar, the Madhubani School of Painting, has lately received
much attention and poularity. Madhubani, in the
of the Mithila region, had a rich tradition of wall paintings done by the village
women with vegetable dyes. An artist encouraged them to try their wall paintings
on paper and since then Mithila paintings gained ground. These line paintings in
primary colors normally depict village scenes, human and animal forms, gods and
Patna Qalam is a very popular School of Painting of Bihar. This offshoot of the
well-known Mughal Miniature School of Painting flourished in Bihar during early
18th to mid 20th century. With the decline of the Mughals, the Delhi artists migrated
to Murshidabad. Some of them came to Patna and practiced their craft following a
style that gradually came to be known as the Patna Qalam. The style is famous for
its soft colors and the use of hand made paper or mica sheets. Most of these paintings
depict the life of the people of Bihar.
Folk Arts Chhau Dance
The simple tribal people of Bihar express their creative joy through the Chhau dance,
which was originally a war dance, preformed in order to perfect fighting techniques.
It has, over the years, evolved into a narrative ballet.
Jat-Jatin Dance of the Mithila region is performed by the Harijans where one person
performs the role of Jat (the husband) and Jatin (the wife) wearing masks and goes
through the story of their life.
Bidesia is another form of dance drama that is extremely popular in the Bhojpuri-speaking
region of Bihar.
The region of Mithilanchal is famous for the songs of Vidyapati (famous poet of
early medieval age) those can be heard even now in the evenings from several homes
in the region. Bhojpuri folksongs are popular in Bihar and second to none when it
comes to beats and rhythm.
Villages around Bodhgaya create fascinating handicrafts. Fantastic bamboo articles,
leather works, statues made up of white metal, wooden toys and baskets made from
cane and bamboo are available in plenty.
Bhagalpur is famous for its silk industry and is considered to be one of the best
silk producing centres in India, in manufacturing silk yarn and weaving them into
lovely products. This silk is of a distinct and special type. It is known as the
tussah or tusser silk.
Other crafts of Bihar include Sujni embroidery, lac bangle making, and creation
of decorative and utility items of Seenki (a local dried grass).
Bihar is also famous for the cotton dhurries and curtains produced by artisans in
central Bihar, particularly in the Patna and Bihar-Sharif areas.