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10 Folk Art Forms of India you must know about

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

Our country may be famous for its heritage, culture, history, and its traditional practices, but something else that it should be widely known for is its amazing and strikingly beautiful art forms! Come, let us get to know these 10 Indian art forms which will mesmerize you all over!

10 Indian Artists, you need to know about. something you'd like to know more about!


We have all heard the tale of Ramayana and have fallen in love with the wonders of Mithila, the kingdom of Janak. This is the reason why it is also referred to as Mithila art. It is included in one of the most prominent handicrafts of India.

It is done with naturally made, pigmented paints. A plastered wall, and in some cases, even a mud wall is used as a canvas. The main characteristic of the art form is that it depicts the old mythological tales and stories of gods, goddesses, and deities in the form of beautiful illustrations in bright and colorful figures.

It was usually done by the women of Mithila, present-day in Bihar, so as to feel connected to the supernatural and express their love and devotion through the art form. Initially, it was done on walls but now, since its beauty is adored all over, it has also been brought into modern art and cloth designs as well.

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This is one of the oldest art forms of India known for its significance in the past and its unique style of creation, practiced in various parts of Odisha. The word Pattachitra is derived from Sanskrit. When split up, the word 'patta' means canvas, and the word 'chitra' means picture or illustration.

The uniqueness in the art form is that the canvas is made traditionally, from cloth, stones, clay, and the process of constant heating. The colors too, are made from natural pigments. Even the brushes are made from natural, nonsynthetic substances.

The art form depicts the illustrations of gods, like Krishna Leelas, and the ten forms of Lord Vishnu, all painted on the canvas and considered the true expression for the devotion one has for the Almighty.

Exploring Traditional Indian Folk Art Styles. something that you should know!


Kalamkari art can be categorized under fabric painting and one of the oldest traditional art forms of India. The word Kalamkari, when split up, gives rise to two new words meaning pen and craftsmanship.

It is done with natural dyes and brushes on canvas, depicting stories, traditional folk tales, and scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The art of storytelling goes alongside this art form, which is mainly practiced in the parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Block painting is one of the main features of Kalamkari art, done to make traditional scrolls and panels. It is also used to make designs of sarees and other cultural dresses of India.


This is not so common but quite a significant art form of India. It is found mainly in Kerala and other parts of South India. It is done on floors mainly, by using powdered colors, representing the historical scenes and situations from the folk tales of South India.

Depictions of gods in the artwork combined with the traditional dance and classical music reciting and displaying the scenes of the same story together make an entire performance, which is quite famous in various temples of South India.

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Also known as Thanjavur painting widely, this art form traces its origin back to the Maratha court of Thanjavur. They consist of bright hues of colors and the extensive use of gold and silver glittering to enhance their beauty. Even decorative items like beads, glass pieces, and more items are used for the decoration process.

These paintings can be done on canvases made of wood or wooden planks which are later framed. They are also used as gifts to be given on festivals and occasions. They are often used in the decoration of walls at home and in temples as well.


Warli paintings have originated from the grounds of Maharashtra and are still evident in most parts of the state. It is a form of tribal art practiced by the people of the Warli tribe, one of the largest tribes in India.

The art form is said to be from the time of 10th century AD. The art mainly focuses on the concepts and beliefs of nature, the five natural elements, and their characteristics. It also centers around the wildlife, depictions of flora and fauna.

It consists of the main use of geometric shapes and figures drawn and joined in a way that looks like an existing object or a person. The reason for using different geometric shapes is also closely related to the elemental forms, for example, the triangles may represent hills and trees, whereas the circle may stand for the sun, moon or to depict the entirety of the universe.

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Gond art, just as the name suggests, is derived from and practiced by the Gond tribe of India. The tribe is mainly from Madhya Pradesh but can also be found in traces in many other places of India like Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

Their art is deeply related to their culture and is often used as a way of a visual representation of their folk tales. Their paintings are a depiction of the connection of nature and spirit, humans and the supernatural being.

Various combinations of shapes, geometrical figures, or irregular patterns give it an abstract finish, whereas, in some paintings, the use of carefully measured lines are drawn to make a design or an artwork.


Also called Rajput painting, it was brought to India in the 16th Century by the Mughal emperors. It originally is inspired by the painting style in Persia, but it was turned around in many ways which gave rise to a unique style of our own.

It is an intricate style of painting where, as the name suggests, miniature art is created. It is extremely important to pay attention to every minute detailing and every tiny stroke that gives it the finishing touch. It is done on canvasses, wooden panels, walls, cloth and many other mediums for decoration and designing purposes too.


Kalighat is a place in Calcutta, India. A temple is named by this, in the devotion to goddess Kali. The art form has marked its origin from the same place and with the same reference in the 19th Century.

Kalighat paintings are immensely significant in West Bengal and are famous for their depictions of historical themes, characters, and stories. Representation of mythological tales is of the main aspects of the style of painting. The paintings are printed and were even displayed in museums.


This form of art is mainly seen in Telangana, Hyderabad, India. It is one of the most unique styles of painting done on scrolls and cloth, made on the canvas by using natural materials and gum from the trees. The brushes too are finely made so as to preserve the intricacies needed in the paintings.

It is made into scrolls with divisions and columns just like it is done in comic strips. Stories from historic texts and manuscripts are given a visual display and folktales are narrated in such a way. Vivid colors are used, especially the color red plays a major role in the background of almost every painting.

So, this was an amazing trip down the road of art in different parts of India. Learning about our own culture and being awestruck by the wonders of it as an addition to the miracles art does!


Wishing you a 'Creative Escape' Ahead!

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Great job ,u done your work very honesty,

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Krupali Sanghvi
Krupali Sanghvi
Jan 15, 2023

very well written superb work

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