(Last Updated on : 16/10/2012)
Terracotta Art in India has been flourishing since the times of Indus Valley Civilisation
. Terracotta Art in India is another form of clay art of the country generally brownish orange in colour. Various excavations at Mohenjodaro
have unearthed several terracotta items in the form of various figures and figurines. Terracotta figures also have a ritualistic aspect associated with it. This becomes evident from the fact that many terracotta figures of deities are used in a number of auspicious occasions.
In fact terracotta art in India is considered mystical because it incorporates within the five vital elements like air, fire, earth, water and ether.
In a number of states in India, the terracotta figures have a lot of prominence. For instance the impressive Ayanaar horse from Tamil Nadu
represents the largest terracotta sculpture ever made and is constructed from coiling and beating, the same techniques used for making vessels. Although votive terracotta is made by members of the Hindu potter caste, the customer is often a member of the Tribal community. The relief plaques depicting images of Tribal deities are made in Rajasthan
and the varied styles of horses and tigers recorded in Gujarat
are also made for Tribal clientele. Madhya Pradesh
is represented by the highly embellished elephants offered in forest shrines and also by women`s wall decoration. This involves using clay pigments and decorating techniques similar to pottery creation and modelling processes. In West Bengal
the snake goddess Manasa is worshipped through a terracotta tree shrine constructed from multiple thrown and modelled parts. Another major form of West Bengal terracotta finds its artistic channel in the horses. They are famous almost all over the country for their handsome looks.
In Gujarat and Rajasthan terracotta panels and storage jars painted in white are famous. In Orissa
and Madhya Pradesh the roof tops with profuse terracotta works are also a part of the terracotta work.
Besides, the terracotta pottery of Madhya Pradesh is well known for their artistic excellence.
Terracotta Jewellery also is an important component of terracotta art in India. In the present age, terracotta jewellery has gained a lot of prominence even among the urban population of the country. It can be said that India has been the home land of terracotta and today because of the versatility of the art it has cut across all kinds of barriers it has become a part of almost of every Indian household in various forms.