Tikuli: A Small Wonder


Last Updated on December 25, 2017 by Swadesi

It’s tiny but probably has the most powerful symbolic meaning for Indian women. It symbolizes the love between two souls in Hindu culture.

Tikuli art of bihar

Tikuli means ‘Bindi’ which symbolizes womanhood. It’s a tiny colored dot placed between the brows which signify true love and prosperity. For a Bihari, it serves as a symbol of empowerment for women.

The tikuli art is 800 years old which is on decline. It used to have paintings that had some local context. It grew popular during Mughals reign. They liked this form of art and were supportive of it. They had always appreciated the idea and the concept behind this.

But, with the advent of British empire and decline of Mughals, this art faced the tough time to grow. But with the efforts of craftsmen trying to popularise it internationally by portraying it in different art festivals.

This form of art is exclusive to the Northern regions surrounding Bihar. The core regions where it is being made is Varanasi, Patna, and Kolkata. The art involves very fine artworks that are difficult to be noticed in first look but a detailed look will leave you amazed at the kind of refined work done here.

This is a very tedious process that involves a lot of patience. Hardboards are used to draw designs and cut into shapes. It is then applied with four to five coating of enamel. Every layer of coating is followed by sandpaper rubbing that gives it a polished look.

The brushes that are used to paint are made with squirrel’s or sable’s  hair. The best season for their production is spring and summer due to the optimum temperature for drying the enamel.

The revival of this art is of huge importance to this region. It portrays the cultural importance of the region in the international market. It is getting popular in the international market and its export is slowly increasing. It also has a style statement in its own. It just needs our attention to revive again.


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