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Arts in Uttar Pradesh

Local Arts in Uttar Pradesh

Go beyond the Taj Mahal!

One of the oldest craft in Uttar Pradesh is hand printing. It dates back to 1714 AD when Farrukhabad - the city famous for this craft was established. In this method, traditional patterns like butis (polka dots) are handmade on fabric. With an emphasis on dark colour, patterns drawn against a soft coloured backdrop. Nowadays, wooden blocks are also used to create these patterns.

Another element of Uttar Pradesh arts is stone craft, which flourished under Mughal rule. The prime example of this art form is the Taj Mahal. In this method, thin marble slabs/stones are etched for hours to create intricate and complex designs. Walk through the narrow lanes of Agra and you will spot garden furniture, decorative items and many more similar crafted out of marbles.

Pottery is another art form that is popular throughout the state. Many potters across Meerut. Khurja and Hapur have high levels of proficiency in this art form. In fact, Khurja pottery is more than 600 years old and is extremely popular among both tourists and locals. Despite being hand-made, many of these pottery items are extremely affordable, so make sure you pick up a few for your journey back home.

If you have time, we recommend you also pick up some chinkari work from Lucknow. Based on skillful embroidery, it was instituted by Nur Jahan, the wife of Emperor Jahangir. Also, head to Varanasi, which has some truly stunning Zari embroidery, that is usually done on saris and other dress materials. Since, the traditional method uses a real thread of silver and gold, zari products are very expensive and are usually worn at traditional functions, including weddings.

Additionally, other items that you can find in the state are colourful bangles, jewellery and carpets. On the whole, depending on where you go, a rich history of art awaits you at every corner in this quaint yet impressive city.

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