Pattachitra Sarees of Odisha: A Revered Art Form with Vibrant Stories

Pattachitra Saree
Nartaki Odisha Pattachitra Saree

Odisha Pattachitra is one of the most ancient and revered handicrafts practiced in the region. It involves the creation of exquisite handloom sarees adorned with intricate details that depict mythological narratives and enchanting folktales. This traditional art form has stood the test of time and continues to captivate people with its vibrant colors, mesmerizing motifs, and timeless beauty.

A Cultural Heritage:

Pattachitra sarees are truly distinctive and stand out amongst the myriad of handloom crafts due to their unique style and artistic heritage. The artistry lies not only in the skilled craftsmanship but also in the beautiful narratives that come to life on these sarees. Each saree is a canvas of stories, depicting tales of gods, goddesses, and folklore that have been passed down through generations.

Linkage to Temple Paintings:

The origin of Pattachitra sarees can be traced back to the rich tradition of temple paintings in Odisha. These sarees bear a strong connection to the art forms used in temples, where they were used to adorn the walls with depictions of divine tales. The artisans mastered this art and skillfully translated it onto sarees, adding to their cultural significance.

Revival and Renaissance:

With the passage of time, the exquisite art of Pattachitra sarees faced the risk of fading away due to various reasons. However, thanks to the dedicated efforts of skilled artisans and cultural enthusiasts, this ancient craft has been revived with renewed vibrancy and royalty. The revival not only preserved the tradition but also brought Pattachitra sarees into the mainstream, appealing to a broader audience.

Pattachitra Sarees in Contemporary Fashion:

The themes and motifs of Pattachitra sarees have become an inspiration for modern fashion designers. The intricate patterns and vibrant colors have found their way into contemporary fashion, not just limited to sarees but also adorning kurtis, lehengas, and other fabrics like dupattas. The fusion of traditional art with modern styles has created a niche for Pattachitra in the fashion world.

Exquisite Beauty and Craftsmanship:

One outstanding example of Pattachitra saree craftsmanship is the traditional Sambalpuri saree with Cambodian ikat. The saree boasts a classy gray base adorned with delicate white flowers of Cambodian ikat, adding finesse and intricate detailing. The beautiful green aanchal (pallu) showcases a fusion of rudraksha and floral motifs, presented in a vibrant array of colors that catches every eye.

Captivating Spread of Motifs:

The beauty of Pattachitra sarees lies in the intricate details, especially seen in the borders. The orange and white borders, coupled with traditional pink and white wrap and weft Cambodian work, enhance the overall appeal of these sarees. The motifs on the saree borders narrate tales of the past, and their cultural significance adds a sense of depth and allure.

Preserving Tradition and Cultural Heritage:

As the tradition of Pattachitra sarees continues to thrive, it serves as a means of preserving the cultural heritage of Odisha. It also provides sustainable livelihoods for skilled artisans who have been carrying on this legacy for generations. The revival of Pattachitra sarees has not only brought recognition to the art form but also economic empowerment to the artists.


1. What are Pattachitra sarees?

Originating from the culturally opulent state of Odisha, Pattachitra sarees stand as a testament to one of the most ancient and cherished handicrafts. This traditional art form is celebrated for its mesmerizing details, enchanting mythological narratives, and captivating folktales elegantly depicted on the canvas of these exquisite sarees.

2. How can I identify a Pattachitra painting?

“Pattachitra” finds its roots in the amalgamation of the Sanskrit words “patta,” signifying canvas, and “chitra,” denoting picture. As a result, Pattachitra paintings come to life on canvas, adorned with a delightful array of rich and vibrant colors, artistic motifs, and designs. These captivating artworks predominantly focus on simple yet enthralling themes, drawing inspiration from the fascinating world of mythological tales.

3. What makes Pattachitra art special?

Pattachitra art’s distinctiveness lies in its thematic dedication to the Jagannath and Vaishnava sect, embellished with captivating portrayals of various avatars of Lord Krishna. With exquisite finesse, these paintings eloquently recount the enchanting tales of Lord Krishna and his divine incarnations, while also skillfully interweaving elements from nature, such as delicate flowers and lush foliage.

4. Is Pattachitra considered a handicraft?

Absolutely, Pattachitra holds the esteemed status of a traditional handicraft. Artisans adeptly engage in this intricate art form, delicately painting on prepared cloth or ‘patta,’ skillfully exhibiting their mastery in the art of fine detailing and artistic expression.

5. How are Pattachitra colors made?

The resplendent hues adorning Pattachitra art originate from time-honored techniques and a diverse range of raw materials like vegetables, stones, and minerals. A prime example is the color white, meticulously created from conch shells that undergo a meticulous process of powdering, boiling, and filtering before they grace the canvas with their radiant presence.

6. What are the common themes of Pattachitra art?

Religious subjects take center stage in Pattachitra paintings, forming the crux of their thematic allure. These enchanting artworks serve as visual narrations of captivating scenes from Hindu mythology, drawing profound inspiration from timeless epic tales like the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

7. What is the process of making Pattachitra art?

Pattachitra art’s inception involves a meticulous journey. Beginning with artisans using pencils to draft the outlines of figures, they then delicately apply body colors, followed by intricate detailing of the attires. Once the masterpiece takes shape, a final touch is added by outlining the figures in black, further enhancing the allure of this captivating artwork.

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Odisha Pattachitra sarees are a true testament to the rich cultural heritage and artistic brilliance of the region. These handloom sarees, with their intricate details and captivating narratives, continue to charm people with their vibrant colors and timeless motifs. As they find their way into contemporary fashion, Pattachitra sarees bridge the gap between tradition and modernity, showcasing the enduring allure of this ancient art form. Embrace the enchanting beauty of Pattachitra sarees and be a part of this remarkable journey, where heritage meets elegance and creativity.

PS: I do not Sale Odisha Pattachitra saree.

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