RAGHURAJPUR

Raghurajpur, about 16 kilometers from the city of Puri is famous for its paintings patta chitra. Today, it is a village that turns out to be a living heritage preserving the valuable know-how of India, with its many artists.

The chitra patta is a meticulous work of art. The artists prepare the cotton support, which they coat with a mixture of gum, tamarind seed paste and chalk before painting it with natural colors. These are mainly scenes from the great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. , which are painted.

It is impressive to see artists throughout the village producing pure poetry on pieces of cloth, dried palm leaves or even paper.

The situation of Raghurajpur is heavenly. The city lies on the south bank of the Bhargavi River, surrounded by coconut palms, mango trees and jackfruits.

The village has well-ordered rows of houses facing each other. Remarkable colorful murals adorn each house, which becomes a real pleasure for the eyes.

All the families in the village are involved in some form of crafts. Recently, there were 103 households and 311 artisans in the village, all of them providing the most delicate work. The art of patta painting goes back centuries with the chitrakars (painters) also involved in the ritual performed in the temple of Lord Jagannath.

Raghurajpur has the distinction of being the birthplace of one of the largest
dance representatives and teachers Odissi Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. He was first trained as a gotipua (one of the first forms of Odissi). Today, a Gotipua Gurukul (Training Center) exists here and trains young boys to this kind of dance. Students perform in the village and all over India and around the world.

Deepti BHAGAT
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