Wood Crafts of India

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woodcraft
an example of carving and woodcraft.

India is a country with greenery covered most of its parts. Although deforestation is currently taking a toll, from ancient times India has been one of the highest producers of woods and wooden wares. From ancient times India has been rich in wood crafts. The carvings of the temples and other religious places are an example of its existence.

The Indian woodcraft has a big influence on the folk cultures and other art and crafts. Some states of India hold a great deal of carving and woodwork that reflects the Indian craftsmanship. Toys for children, decorative items, utility goods, religious items, etc are the main products of this craft.

Assam, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Karnataka, Manipur, Himachal; these states practice woodcraft from ancient times. The whole of North-East India including Manipur and Assam has very extensive forests, which acts as the main source for these products. In Assam, from children’s toys to utensils, people used to prefer wood and bamboo products, which were relatively less costly. Across the history of Assam, from the tribal rituals to Ahom kingdom’s monuments wood wares were used widely.

wood craft
wooden utensils used for cooking.

Kashmir is one of the regions where woodcraft is celebrated. The houses are lined with woods with ceilings worked with geometrical patterns and lattice-worked windows. Various furniture, screens, boxes, and other decorative items are also found in Kashmir mostly prepared from Walnut wood. The houses in Kashmir are one of the most beautiful woodwork.

Rajasthan is one of the places where wood craftworks are mostly related to worship and other religious aspects. The idols of Hindu God’s prepared from various wood are amongst the most beautiful craftworks found in India. Just like Rajasthan, Karnataka also has a rich tradition of using wood wares for household as well as religious matters. The exclusively beautiful and decorated temples of Karnataka have detailed craftworks. Karnataka is specialized in Sandal wood carving which they use to prepare boxes, idols of deities, utensils, etc that gives an aromatic experience.

Jagannath Temple
Jagannath(Krishna), Subhadra and Balabhadra wooden idols

One special mention should always be there when it comes to wood wares and wood craftsmanship, which are the Idols of Krishna, Subhadra, and Balabhadra of Puri Jagannatha Temple, Odisha. According to the legends; Vishwakarma, the Hindu God of architecture carved these three idols from a floated log on the sea. To this date, the Puri Jagannath Temple is considered to be one amongst the most sacred places of India and also the deities are considered to be Jagrata(alive), who answers to the prayers of the religious followers.