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  • Context (DTE): In West Bengal’s village of patuas (scroll painters), Swarna Chitrakar has emerged as a role model for women.
  • Recently, the Prime Minister, in his show Mann ki Baat, praised Bhagyashree Sahu, a pattachitra artist from Odisha, for her amazing Pattachitra.
  • The patuas are unique artists – they paint scenes from their daily lives and also write songs on the stories that they present with the artwork.

About Pattachitra

  • Pattachitra or Patachitra is generally used for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting. The literal meaning of the word “Patta” iscloth, and “Chitra” means “picture” in Sanskrit.
  • The art form is based in the states of Odisha and West Bengal, believed to have originated as early as the 12th century.
  • This, as an art form in Odisha, is created for ritual use and as souvenirs for pilgrims to temples. It forms are a component of ancient Bengali narrative art.
  • There are two kinds of Pattachitra-
    1. Jodano chitra’ where ‘jodano’ means wrapped.
    2. Chouko chitra’ where ‘chouko’ stands for square. There is one Isolated painting depicting a mythological incident.

Theme of the paintings

  • The paintings are based on Hindu mythology and are highly inspired by Jagannath and Vaishnava sects.
  • The theme of Odia painting is kept around Lord Jagannath and the Vaishnava sect but in West Bengal, Pattachitras are used to depict stories of Goddess Durga.

Pattachitra Art - PMF IAS

  • The individual paintings of gods and goddesses are done.
  • Some of the popular themes represented through this art form are Thia Badhia (temple of Jagannath), Krishna Lila (Jagannath as Lord Krishna), Dasabatara Patti (ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu), Panchamukhi (Lord Ganesh depicted as a five-headed deity).


  • It is known for the intricate details and the mythological narratives and folktales inscribed in it.
  • The colours used in the Paintings are natural, and they are made in an old traditional way.
  • It is a disciplined form of art with a set of rules and restrictions. A floral border is a must around the paintings.
  • The painting is done on canvas, comprising rich, colourful applications, creative motifs, and designs.
  • The paintings are executed primarily in profile with elongated eyes.
  • The paintings use prominent solid shades, depicting stark emotional expressions with great detail.
  • The Pattachitra style of painting mixes folk and classical elements. The dress style in the paintings has Mughal influences.

Pattachitra Art - PMF IAS

Categories of the paintings

  • The pattachitra paintings of Odisha are divided into three categories based on the medium, namely,
    1. Paintings on cloth or ‘Patta Chitra’,
    2. Paintings on walls or ‘Bhitti Chitra’ and
    3. Paintings on the palm leaf or “Tala Patra Chitra’.

GI Tag

  • The GI of Patachitra is registered differently in both states because the style and motif of the paintings in both states are different.
  • Patachitra of Odisha is registered as Orissa Pattachitra, while that of West Bengal is registered as Bengal Patachitra.
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