Chittara Art

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Chittara Art is a kind of artwork in which the floors and walls of home entrances are decorated with geometric designs made of clay paste. Ancient cave paintings served as the inspiration for this kind of art, which eventually made its way onto the walls and floors of rural dwellings.

Chittara, a word from Kannada, denotes an image or pattern. Women from the Deewaru group in the Sagar area of Karnataka have traditionally practiced this form of art, where all these pictures were painted on the exteriors and interiors of the house on special events. In the past, ladies of the Deewaru group in the Sagar area of Karnataka have practiced chittara. 

On special occasions, chittara art patterns are painted on village dwellings to honor the Gods. Only the lady of the house creates these patterns, which are a part of family and community rituals connected to holidays. Chittara is a dying art today, reportedly being practiced by only five families in the district of Karnataka.

Training with artisans differ according to the project and are based on the level of literacy of the craftswomen and their exposure to trying out new designs with their skill. Although we had to teach the principles of design style to Radha Sullur and discuss how this unique artwork can be turned into character, it was simpler for her to appreciate the subtleties of character shapes because she is literate in English.

Chittara Art and Craft

Ancient Art

The heritage of Chittara artwork is rich. The first picture on earth is credited to the creator and caretaker of the world. He made a portrait of himself because he was known for his creative ability. He then created a large number of other images and blessed them. Unknown is the precise history of the Chittara Murals. Although it is thought that cave paintings from 9k years ago are when the art style first emerged. Later, it was modified to fit the flooring and walls of hamlet homes. 

Chittara, a term from Kannada, refers to an image or pattern. In the past, women from the Deevaru group in the Karnataka region of Sagar have practiced this old skill. On important occasions, Chittrrakars painted these pictures on the house’s inside and outside. Chittara art has also been practiced for more than five-hundred years in Karnataka. Considered as one of South India’s most well-liked art forms.

Chittara Art’s Colors and Symbols

White, red, and black are the main, organic hues utilized in Chittara murals. Turmeric has been crushed into the rice paste and combined with it until it is a dark reddish-brown color. This mixture is then combined with water to make a fine paste. A brush one per hue is used by the artist to paint the combination on the wall (red, black and white). Then, water is added to the colored powder to create a thick paste-like paint.

In the Mahabharata and Ramayana, Ravana is killed by having his head severed with a golden arrow in the crimson Chittara art paintings. In this picture, Rama is depicted fighting against Ravana’s army while toting Sita on his back. The usage of these hues by the artists is due to the ease with which they may obtain the materials close to their houses.

The traditional Indian culture is represented in every one of the stories, people, and themes in the Chittara Murals. Chittara means “straight line” in Sanskrit. Female who can paint straight, beautiful lines with an awareness of ratios and dimensions create Chittara art paintings. Chitrakars, who practice Chittara, are women. They are primarily found in Indian villages, cities, and locales where Chittara art has a long history. This genre of art involves a certain kind of drawing that solely uses straight lines—no curves, no angles.

Chittara Art's Colors and Symbols
Chittara Art’s Colors and Symbols

Chittara Tradition

The Deevaru tribe is greatly benefiting from the increased popularity of the Chittara Wall paintings. andThe women are currently actively taking part in shows and workshops organized by various groups, and many retail locations Chennai in Bengaluru have displayed the women’s crafts. Mrinalini Kulkarni, has taken on specific licensing tasks for Chittara art on bridal sarees and other clothing. Additionally, there are many commissioned pieces available, such as silk home furnishings items with Chittara paintings on them that are well-known in France. Chittara Mural is one of the few art works that attempts to keep our past splendour alive in the age of digital art.

Revival of Chittara

Chittara paintings are complex designs that depict the life’s important ceremonies and rites as geometric designs. The ladies in the community have been employing geometry, proportions, and ratios with amazing skill, which is necessary for this. The paintings are typically two to three feet in scale, beautifully designed, and composed of symbols that depict their natural surroundings. The brushes are constructed of Areca nut fiber, and they use environmentally beneficial natural resources including powdered rice paste for the white color, roasted rice for the black color, yellow seeds, and red earth. 

Chittara paintings are a form of tremendous joy, elegance, and creativity for the ladies of the Deevaru Community. They take pride in their tradition and the way it has culturally and socially linked them through their special traditions and rituals. Without a doubt, the abundance of artistic creations is priceless. Gems of handicrafts (Chittara) will undoubtedly brighten our daily lives despite the urban environment.


The elaborate paintings used in Karnataka’s folk art depict the life’s rituals and momentous ceremonies through geometric patterns. The ladies in the community have been using ratios and proportions with great dexterity, which is necessary for this. Their daily lives included and still do include this folk art. It was never a career, just a way of life. The paintings are typically 2-3 feet in size, artistically pleasing, and made of symbols that depict the subjects’ real surroundings. 

They utilize environmentally friendly natural materials including powdered rice paste for the white color, roasted rice for the black hue, yellow seeds (Gurige red earth), and Pundi Naaru for the brushes. Chittara paintings are a source of tremendous joy, beauty, and creativity for the ladies of the Deevaru village. Due to their distinctive customs and ritualistic practices, they are proud of their tradition and have become socially and culturally integrated.

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