Rai Travels    
Unforgettable Peek in the heart of India
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Arts & Craft
In the heartland of India lies its largest State, Madhya Pradesh. Filled with lush forests, magnificent monuments, exuberant festivity and blissful solitude. In this land of wonderful and contrasting variety, handicrafts lend a touch of mystique - a charm unique to Madhya Pradesh. They radiate an aura, exhibit hereditary skills, whisper painstaking craftsmanship and evoke an urgent desire to learn more about the land and its colourful people. 

A deftly woven silk or a cotton blended saree. Block printed fabrics, stuffed leather toys or floor coverings. Folk paintings, bamboo, cane or jute. Woodcraft, stonecraft, ironcraft. metalcraft, terra-cotta, papier mache. Zari work (gold thread embroidery), ornaments, dolls...each hand-crafted product of Madhya Pradesh is charming enough to sweep you off your feet.
Bamboo & Cane
Bamboo & Cane occupy an important place in rural life: utility articles such as agricultural implements, fishing traps, hunting tools and baskets are made of bamboo. Here the artisans have skillfully harmonized their age old knowledge and techniques with new designs, to meet modern market demands. The Gond, Baiga and Korku tribal communities are highly skilled in the craft of bamboo  
Cute little dolls made out of small cloth pieces are produced in Gwalior, Bhopal and Jhabua. The work of Battobai, a craftswoman from Gwalior has achieved international fame. The dolls made here are interesting pieces of work, influenced by different cultures and traditions of India mirroring the diversity and uniqueness of the country 
Floor coverings
The floor coverings of Madhya Pradesh consist mainly of durries and carpets in a rich variety of designs. A durrie, essentially a thick cotton woven fabric, is meant for spreading on the floor, and is made all over Madhya Pradesh, especially near Sironj.

The carpet weavers of Madhya Pradesh are undisputed masters of not only weaving carpets but dyeing also. Pattern is an integral part of knotted carpets and traditional patterns have continued with varying combinations since the last 200 years. Woollen carpets are available in vibrant colours with both floral and geometric designs.
Folk Paintings
Folk paintings of Madhya Pradesh, specially the wall paintings of Bundelkhand, Chhattisgarh, Gondwana, Nimar and Malwa are living expressions of people, intrinsically linked with the socio-cultural ambiance of the area. They are usually done by women using simple home made colours. There are tattoo patterns that are complex & beautiful and have immense potential of being further modified and incorporated into designer prints. Horses, elephants, tigers, birds, gods, men and objects of daily life are painted in bright multicoloured hues. The Mandana wall and floor painting traditions use Red clay and cow dung mixture is used as base material to plaster the surface against which white drawings stand out in contrast. Peacocks, cats, lions, goojari, bawari, swastik and chowk are some motifs of this style. 
Iron Craft
The tradition of iron craft in Madhya Pradesh has been passed down from generation to generation and stands unmatched in skill and creativity. Keeping pace with changing times and tastes of buyers, today craftsperson's produce various objects : birds, carved deeyas, candle stands, lattice, furniture, lamps and decorative items, each piece an object 'd' art enabling the craft to reach its zenith. Tribal statues have come to occupy a very special place in modern day interior decoration and tribal artisans have won the recognition they so rightly deserve.
Next to cotton, jute is the cheapest and most important of all textile fibers. It is used extensively in manufacturing different types of packaging material for agricultural and industrial products. Its coarse character has a unique charm while natural colour, heavy texture and twilly kind of body typify its earthiness. Jute handicrafts are available at Bhopal, Raipur, Indore and Gwalior. The items include hanging lamps, baskets, flower vases, swings, hammocks, purses, table mats and footwear etc
Emerging from the fogs of time, steadfast with centuries of changeless tradition, yet keeping tune with contemporary styles, the Metal Craft of Madhya Pradesh stands apart, in concept and workmanship alike. Metal ornaments boxes of Bundelkhand, lamps of Sarguja, rice measure bowls animal figurines of Raigarh, sculptures of Bastar are a few examples of the ingenuity of craftspersons of Madhya Pradesh. These metal images invested with peculiar indigenous socio- religous history are considered auspicious. 
The folk jewellery of Madhya Pradesh is most distinctive, highly artistic, elaborate and varied. The various cultural regions have their own distinct styles. Jewellery from Chhattisgarh is available in a variety of gold, silver, bronze and mixed metal. Other major centres for folk ornaments are Tikamgarh, Jhabua and Sheopur-Kalan. Ornaments made of beads, cowries and feathers are part of tribal costumes.
Papier Mache
Papier Mache, a craft practiced since time immemorial, finds expression in varied forms. The traditional expression of this craft was creation of ornate articles like vases, figurines and icons. Today, craftspersons in Bhopal and Gwalior make statues, birds, animals and decorative panels. Presently, the craftspersons are also experimenting with ways of creating decorative pottery and furniture in papier mache.  
Stone Carving
India's stone carving tradition is perhaps one of the richest in the world. Guilds of masons and stone carvers have existed since the 7th century B.C. The famous rock cut temples of Vidisha, the sculptured stone temples of Khajuraho, the monuments of Orchha and Gwalior, all stand testimony to the excellence and originality of the stone carvers of Madhya Pradesh.
Stuffed Leather Toys

Delightful looking in various forms, skillfully crafted and gaily painted, the stuffed leather toys of Madhya Pradesh are a very attractive. Leather work has been practiced since a number of years in Madhya Pradesh.

Pottery has been called the lyric of handicrafts. It symbolises man's first attempt at craftmanship. The colours of terracotta articles and figures vary from pink, red, brown to light and dark grey. The terra-cotta products of each region in Madhya Pradesh have their own identity and distinctiveness. The life-size images of human forms are among the finest examples of Bundelkhand terra-cotta.  
The art of wood carving has flourished in many parts of Madhya Pradesh, and the beautifully embellished wooden ceilings, doors and lintels with finely carved designs are silent testimonials of its glory. Madhya Pradesh also offers a variety of painted and lacquered woodcraft items such as toys, boxes, bedposts, cradle posts and flower vases.
Zari Work
The craft of Zari work is concentrated in Bhopal, which is famous for its exquisite craftsmanship. Also practiced in Gwalior and Indore, its origin can be traced back to 300 years. Today traditional articles have been replaced by modern purses, bags, tea cozies, and "jutties" or slippers.