India'scultural heritage is very rich and madhubani is a traditional art which showsits creativity. Madhubani painting is a traditional folk art of region of Bihar. Madhubani means a "Forest of Honey", it is a place near Durbhanga districtin North Bihar. So under this Mithilanchal region these places famous for theirbeautiful traditional folk arts, which are named after this place & calledMadhubani painting. Besides, its adjacent places like Jetwarpur, Ranti,Rasidpur, Bacchi, and Rajangarh are also well know for this unique art. Madhubanipainting, also referred to as Mithila Art (as it flourishes in the Mithilaregion of Bihar), is characterized by line drawings filled in by bright coloursand contrasts or patterns.

The attributescharacterizing nearly all Madhubani paintings are:-

  • Madhubani art is usually done by filling the colours with brush. This process is carried out either by filling or hatching. Hatching refers to the use of line in the paintings. Many paintings use both filling as well as hatching. This style of painting has been traditionally done by women of the region, though today men are also involved to meet the demand.

  • These paintings are popular because of their tribal motifs and use of bright earthy colours.

  • Madhubani paintings are characterized by the vibrant and bold use of colours and traditional geometric patterns that supports the main theme.

  • Some of the main attributes of all the Madhubani paintings double line border, ornate floral patterns, abstract-like figures of deities and bulging eyes and a jolting nose of the faces of the figures.

  • These paintings are done with mineral pigments prepared by the artists. The work is done on freshly plastered or a mud wall.


  • Abstract-like figures, of deities or human. Scenes of royal courts and social events such as celebration of wedding are also beautifully depicted in Madhubani paintings.

  • The main categories in Madhubani paintings are: Traditional, Monochrome, Tattoo, Contemporary, Animals and Birds.

  • You can even find beautiful Madhubani paintings of sun, moon and tulsi or the sacred basil plant revered very much by the Hindus. Scenes of royal courts and social events such as celebration of wedding are also beautifully depicted in Madhubani paintings.

Symbols used in madhubani paintings

The highly symbolic paintings were used "Khobargas" (Bridal Chambora) where couples spent the first few days of the married life. Here there will be divine couples like Shiva-Parvati, Radha-Krishna.

Animal Forms

There are images of birds & animals with natural phenomena. Then sign of fertility & prosperity for good luck like elephant, fishes, tortoise, parrots, pea-cocks etc.

Human Forms

In this paintings include various Gods & Goddesses. The subject matter varies according to the occasion. God Goddess such as Vishnu-Lakshmi, Shiva-Parvathi, Rama-Sita, Krishna-radha etc.

Other Forms

In other forms, the flora, fauna, myth & legend, social customs & expressions giving ritualistic symbols are painted. In these paintings include flower (lotus, tree, bamboo, forest etc).

Materials Used

The raw materials used for this painting are papers, satin cloth, fabric cloth, cotton, cloth etc. Recently, the artists have expanded their work to show works of social criticism, feminist issues, and national and international events. Paints made with natural pigments and vegetable colours are increasingly replaced by ready-made paints and markers. For painting on paper, they use natural colours and natural powders (holi powder), which are locally abstracted. On walls and cloth, they use fabric colours.

Though this folk art has been practised for centuries, it started to gain national recognition only in the last few decades. The modern day Madhubani artist now enjoys a wider audience and increased commerce as designers and interior decorators have used Madhubani style embroidery to adorn apparel and home furnishing products too. Madhubani succeeded in making a place for itself in the international house of fame and is currently recognized world wide. The Government of India is additionally paying its tribute by beginning coaching programs educating folks on Madhubani paintings. In simple words, the Madhubani paintings are the depictions of true India.

The author is a Faculty with Satyam Fashion Institute at Noida.