Mithila and Madhubani Indian Painting: Forest of Honey

Traditionally painted by women, every element in Mithila designs has a deep-rooted symbolism. The central tenet of the Maithilis’ religion is its unique concept of man’s unity with nature. The Maithilis believe in a oneness of life manifested in all things. Their paintings can be broadly divided into two categories, floor drawings or aripana and wall paintings or bhitta chittra.

[ IMAGE REMOVED UPON REQUEST FROM Agence France-Presse Imagery ]

Click here to read an introductory article by Pradyumna P. Karan.


Similar practices with different names exist across India: Kolam in Tamil Nadu; Mandana in Rajasthan; Chowkpurna in Northern India; Alpana in West Bengal; Aripana in Bihar; Chowk pujan in Uttar Pradesh; Muggu in Andhra Pradesh and others.

Some other samples following this link, or follow this link for a selections of samples. Here is a page dedicated to Rangoli, and here is an article on Madhubani.

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