Raghurajpur

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"RAGHURAJPUR" ,To reach Raghurajpur one has to get down at Chandanpur, which is 10K.M from Puri and 50 K.M from Bhubaneswar on NH-203, connecting Puri and Bhubaneswar. From Chandanpur, one has to take cycle-rickshaw or walk on 1.8 K.M zigzag scenic village road to reach the village. There is a small Railway station (Passenger halt) at Janakadeipur (Chandanpur). One may also hire a taxi either from Puri or From Bhubaneswar to reach the village. The coconut, Palm-shaded village is quite different from other village of the state. The village has a community of artisans who product different varieties of handicrafts items such as Patta Paintings, Palm leaf engravings, Stone carvings, Paper made toys and masks, Wood carvings, Wooden toys, Cow-dung toys and Tasser Paintings etc. Perhaps nowhere else in India one finds such a congregation of so many art works at one place. One comes across the best tradition of Odisha paintings and some of the finest pieces of art work of this village. The artistic overtures of Raghurajpur is also complemented by a living tradition of performing art known as Gotipua, the earlier form of Odishi dance. A worthy son of Odisha Late Padmabibhusan Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, the doyen of Odishi dance was born in this village and had his early trainings in Gotipua tradition here. The tradition of teaching and performing the dance was again further enriched by Late Padmashree Guru Maguni Das in his Gurukula. New Gotipua Gurukula is continuing the practice performing art of this village which is a another attraction. So the Department of Tourism, Govt. of India has declared “Raghurajpur” is a Heritage Village. Now Raghurajpur a famous tourist destination of the State.

Raghurajpur, the heritage Crafts village

Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village in Puri district, Odisha, known for its master Pattachitra painters, an art form which dates back to 5 BC. in the region [1] and Gotipua dance troupes, the precursor to the Indian classical dance form of Odissi; it also known as the birthplace of one of finest Odissi exponents and Guru, Kelucharan Mohapatra. Apart from that the village is also home to crafts like Tussar paintings, palm leaf engravings, stone and wood carvings, wooden, cowdung and papier mache toys, and masks.[2][3][4]

In 2000, after a two-year research and documentation project by INTACH, starting 1998, the village was chosen to be developed as state's first heritage village and developed as a Crafts village, soon the village had an interpretation centre, commissioned artwork on the walls of the artists’ homes and a rest house.[3][5]

It also has the distinction of the only place where the traditional decoration called Patas, used under the throne of Lord Jagannath and on the three chariots during the annual Rath Yatra festival, that takes place at pilgrimage town of Puri, some 14 km away, known for the Jagannath Temple.[6][7]

Overview[edit]

Paintings of Jagannath on betel nuts in Raghurajpur
A artist Raghurajpur demonstrates palm leaf etching

Situated amidst groves of coconut, palm, mango and jack fruit, the main village has two streets with over 120 houses, most decorated with mural paintings, where the painters reside and practice their pattachitra craft, besides many other that practices throughout the village, including traditional masks, stone idols, papier mache, sculptures, wooden toys.[2][8] The village also a series of temples dedicated not only to Bhuasuni, the local deity but also to various Hindu gods including, Radha Mohan, Gopinath, Raghunath, Laxminarayan and Gouranga.

Around, 2000 it was developed as a heritage village by INTACH, and soon became a major rural tourist destination of the state, drawing tourist, both domestic and foreign to the village.[9] Villagers were also trained to provide heritage walks to the visitors by the organisation, and has since become a template for heritage tourism in the region [10]

Today it is also the venue of the annual Basant Utsav - Parampara Raghurajpur (Spring Festival), which was first organized in 1993 under the aegis of State Tourism Department and eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata, held in February 4 and 5 and is an important tourist draw.

“PARAMPARA” is in Puri District and Odisha based Non- Profitable Voluntary Cultural Organization in a Craft Heritage Village Raghurajpur, Puri working with rural skilled and unskilled poor folk artists and crafts persons since long years. It provides capacity building service to Social Economically disadvantage artisan groups living in isolation and area mostly cut of from the general man of civilization. Under the impact of modernization and imposition of development programme as well due to several other socio-cultural economic factors the rural traditional artisans & Artists have lost their interest making indigenous significant, meaningful and unique arts and crafts, which are having linkage with their rich Heritage of Culture, ecology an society.

A lot of their beautiful items manifested with aesthetics and associated with socio cultural values disappeared several cultural objects last its identity and many more culturally significant beautiful objects have missing from the heart and mind of the artisans. In course of time the rural artisans and crafts persons got frustrated and preservation of their valuable material culture was theated, Parampara is a prominetent culture institution in Puri District which aims at promotion and preservation of tradition and folk culture arts & crafts. It is functioning since 1990. Besides encouraging the artists & artisans it works for development of classical and folk song dance and other forms of performing art. Also organized mega festivals workshop seminar, training on culture and handicrafts. The activities under taken during the year 2008-09.[11]

Pattachitra[edit]

Patta Chitra painting

The pattachitra paintings are made over a piece of cloth known as Patta or a dried palm leaf, which is first painted with a mixture of chalk and gum. Over the prepared surface, colorful and intricate pictures of various Gods, Goddesses, and mythological scenes with ornamentation of flowers, trees and animals are then painted. The paintings on Tussar saris, especially the Sambalpuri Saree depicting Mathura Vijay, Raslila and Ayodhya Vijay owe their origin to ‘Raghurajpur Pattachitra paintings’.[12]

Location[edit]

It is situated 14 km away from Hindu pilgrimage town of Puri, on the southern banks of river Bhargabi (Bhargavi). Visitors from Puri take the Bhubaneswar road, near Chandanpur, on NH 203, and upon reaching the Chandanpur Bazaar, they can take a right turn to reach Raghurajpur. The village is then around 1.5 km from Chandanpur.[2][13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ pattachira
  2. ^ a b c Bindloss, p. 648
  3. ^ a b "A visitors' delight". Frontline (magazine). Volume 19 - Issue 24, November 23 - December 06 2002. 
  4. ^ #Bu, Bundgaard. p. 65
  5. ^ "HERITAGE: Mural village". Frontline (magazine). Volume 25 - Issue 16 :: Aug. 02-15, 2008. 
  6. ^ Rajhurajpur - pattachitra
  7. ^ "Behind-the-scene action before the Rath Yatra". CNN-IBN. Jul 15, 2007. 
  8. ^ Rajhurajpur mapsofindia.
  9. ^ INTACH to develop village in Ganjam district The Hindu, October 11, 2007.
  10. ^ Heritage Guide training UNESCO, Bangkok.Feb, 2007. p. 6-5
  11. ^ "Raghurajpur gears up for Vasant Utsav". The Hindu. Mar 10, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Where every villager is an artist". The Tribune. April 14, 2002. 
  13. ^ Raghurajpur wikimapia.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 19°32′13″N 85°29′37″E / 19.537°N 85.4936°E / 19.537; 85.4936