Textiles of Odisha

Man at loom weaving ikat, India

Weaving pre-dyed ikat threads at a village in Odisha.

Sensational ikat weaving, ancient Hindu temples, and sixty-two distinct groups of traditional peoples make the Indian state of Odisha an exceptionally interesting place to visit.  Some claim that the ‘architectural legacy of the period is its greatest attraction.’ But for our small group of travelers, the local people and the intricate single and double ikat handwoven cloth will be equally important to the stunning architecture. Silk and cotton saris from this state are sought after within the Indian diaspora, and treasured among knowledgeable textile aficionados world-wide.

Intricate carvings on a stone wheel in the ancient Surya Hindu Temple at Konark, Orissa, India. 13th Century AD

Intricately carved base of the Konark Sun Temple.

  Tour highlights:

  • City tour to see the best of Kolkata  (Calcutta).
  • A visit to Kala Bhoomi – Textile and Crafts Museum
  • Excursion to Gopalpur to meet local weavers
  • Visit to Pipli appliqué center to see artisans at work.
  • Explore Raghurajpur – A heritage crafts village
  • Explore Nuapatna textile village; see Siali crafts.
  • Meet the weavers of Sambalpur village, renowned for their ikat saris.
  • Visit to the unique Yogini temple of Ranipur Jharial
  • Explore Kotpad weaving village to see their exceptional fabrics
  • Drive to Rayagada to visit Chatikona on Wednesday’s traditional market
  • Visit the Padmasambhava Mahavihara Monastery in Chandragiri
  • Explore Saora tribes people – who also find mention in the epic Ramayana
  • Excursion to the village of Padmanvapur famous for its cotton weaving.
  • Explore Berhampur – oldest city of Ganjam District in the State of Orissa = what to see?
Market scene of ikat cloth.

Ikat vendor in Odisha.

Trip Details

We’ll arrive in Kolkata (new name for Calcutta) a bustling and fascinating city. The second day we’ll explore the city with its colorful markets and historical architecture. Then we’ll fly to the capital, Bubaneshwar, dubbed “The Temple City” of India. It’s home to hundreds of temples, most notably the intricately-carved Mukteshvara Temple and the Konark Sun Temple, above.

A tour through the Kala Bhoomi Museum in Kolkata will offer us a preview of the many kinds of textiles and handicrafts that we’ll be seeing in Odisha. The museum has display galleries, and also many craft workshops where we can watch artisans creating their particular regional specialties.

Orissa has 62 distinct tribal groups, the most of any single state in the country.


Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village in the district of Puri in the state of Odisha. This village is recognized for its folk art called Pattachitra, an art form which dates back to 5th Century B.C. it’s also the home of Gotipua dance ….look up? Are we seeing?

Cotton ikat sari cloth from Sambalpuri.

Handwoven cotton ikat sari cloth from Sambalpuri.

Odisha Craft Centers to visit

Situated amidst coconut palm groves, the main village has two streets with over 120 houses, most decorated with mural paintings. Therein the painters reside and practice their pattachitra craft. Also many other artisans work here, creating traditional masks, papier maché, sculptures, and wooden toys. The village also has a series of temples dedicated not only to Bhuasuni, the local deity but also to various Hindu gods

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)


START with more general descriptions–move pattachitra info down, The pattachitra paintings are made over a piece of cloth known as Patta or on a dried palm leaf. The artists paint colorful and intricate pictures of various Gods, Goddesses, n mythological scenes with flowers, trees and animals.

It is situated 14 km away from the Hindu pilgrimage town of Puri, on the southern banks of river Bhargabi (Bhargavi).

The tradition of decorating the homes with murals has made the village a living museum,

The Lingaraj Temple complex, dating to the 11th century, is set around sacred Bindusagar Lake. The Odisha State Museum is focused on the area’s history and environment.

Pipli is the center of applique and where the Indian version of the craft of originated. Today many artisans and workshops continue to practice the technique, creating both traditional and contemporary items.

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