Every autumn the leaves turn from their luscious green to all shades of orange, brown and yellow. They shed their leaves to stand bare and look to start anew with the breath of spring. Now imagine a leaf that you can touch with your palm. It is a leaf that has been used for hundreds of years for writing, well before the advent of paper. This leaf is used as a medium to tell stories by India's artisans. Come and take a look.
Welcome to Raghurajpur, a village in the Puri district of Odisha. This is no ordinary village. It not just has a story but it tells countless ones.
India's first heritage village, Raghurajpur was chosen by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) to be a village of crafts in the year 2000. It helped not only protect the art of palm leaf Pattachitra but also promote it. Pattachitra in Sanskrit means to write on cloth. It is an ancient art form that dates back to 5 B.C.
We present to you Tala-Pattachitra. A branch of pattachitra art that uses palm leaf instead of cloth to create paintings by etching and colouring using natural sources.
The artisans, better known as 'Chitrakars' live near the Jagannath temple in Puri and share their home with artists specialising in other arts and crafts. Tala-Pattachitra traditionally tells stories of epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata however, they also tell stories of daily life and is a novel and fascinating way for storytelling to physically manifest itself.