What is Tikuli Art?

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Tikuli is another term for Bindia dot worn on the forehead by Indian women.. Historically, the Bindi has been used as a symbol of intellectual devotion and women’s modesty preservation.

The devotion of artist Ashok Kumar Biswas, not only brought back the magnificent Tikuli art, which is thought to be 800 years old, but also turned it into a source of income for more than 300 women he educated in the art, it would have been lost over time. However, in modern Bihar, it’s become a sign of women’s empowerment.

Making these artworks is a time-consuming and difficult procedure. The method requires fifteen steps, from cutting the board in various sizes to painting strong black lines in 1 stroke for perfection and smoothness. The paintings are created with fine brushes and vibrant colors.

What is Tikuli Art

Revival of Tikuli Artwork:

Upendra Maharathi, a well-known artist, attempted to restore the art in (1950), but it remained inactive. The project was carried out after his death in (1981) by artist Ashok Kumar Biswas. However, the artwork recovered popularity in 1982 whenever the then prime minister Indira Gandhi gave tikuli pieces to each of the 5k athletes competing in the Asiad events as a gift.

History of Tikuli Art:

Tikuli is a well-known art style that originated in (Patna) 800 decades ago. Tikuli relates to the Bindi that Indian ladies wear between their eyebrows. It is a one-of-a-kind art style known for its intricate processes. Originally, the glass was melted in a bubble shape in the furnace. By the use of special equipment, it was shaped as per the requirements once it had cooled down.

Then it was covered in gold work. Images of flowers, foliage, goddesses and gods, were painted with various colors using sharp pencils before being coated using wood glue. As a result, the method of developing this artwork was previously extremely hard and timeconsuming

Ancient Artwork of Patna:

Tikuli art is currently being revitalized in Bihar after virtually disappearing. The Bindi that ladies wear as part of their ornamentation is referred to as a “tikuli.” According to Biswas, “there is historical proof that the tikulis was a simply a part of the decorations used by ladies in the Mauryan era, notably royal and aristocratic ladies.”

The Mughals greatly helped the arts by supporting the almost 5k artists who practiced this style of art. However, the artist claimed that Tikuli art also fell out of favor with the decline of the Mughals. He explained how the decorative tikuli were created: “At first, molten glass sheets were used to create the tikuli.

He explained the steps taken to create the decorative tikuli: “Initially, melting glass sheets were used to create the tikuli. Muslim craftsmen cut the glass sheet into circular pieces of various sizes, which were then gave to Hindu painters who coated the tikulis with gold paint.”

The women eventually took control and used pointed bamboo tools to trace designs on the tikulis and filled them using natural colors. Even before tikuli was ready for usage, a layer of gum was then placed as the finishing touch. However, according to Biswas, the demand for handcrafted tikuli has decreased due to the growing price of raw materials and gold.

Innovate Tikuli Artwork:

Nowadays, the art style is utilized to decorate wall murals, coasters, table covers, trays, pen holders, as well as saris, in place of the tikulis that were used as bindis. Typically, the paintings’ subjects are taken from Indian folklore, particularly from tales about Lord Krishna.

Tikuli Art on Hardboard:

Hardboard plates with glass surfaces serve as the frame for this painting. These paintings are created through an extremely laborious and drawn-out procedure. There are 15 steps in the process, starting with the hard board being cut into various sizes and ending with the single-stroke painting of crisp black lines for fineness and smoothness. These paintings are created using delicate brushes and acrylic paints. These paintings come in a variety of sizes and forms, are heat- and water-resistant, and are used to decorate interior spaces.

Tikuli art is currently mostly done on a form of wood called a hardboard. Each hardboard is sliced into a variety of forms before being coated with brush enamel. Every layer of paint is rubbed with sandpaper to give it additional shine and perfection. After that, the painting is done on the boards using a (000) size brush. The design part of this artwork is challenging because it is done on a hardboard, but the result is amazing. The impact of Mithila paintings on Tikuli art may clearly be shown.

Tikuli Art on Hardboard

Used by Queens:

Tikuli was mostly utilized by queens and aristocratic women in the past. The Mughals admired and appreciated this art form. Beautiful handcrafted Tikuli was once considered a prized treasure of women. This art is now combined with Madhubani paintings to create ornamental wall paintings, table mats, coasters, trays, and a variety of other items.

This has extended the range of this artwork and the artists’ creative capabilities. The combination has given the product a new appeal and increased economic worth, making this uncommon Bihar artwork skill in high demand.

It requires melting glass, drying it into a thin sheet, creating and adding a pattern in distinctive hues, and then embellishing it with gold wire and pearls. Queens and aristocratic ladies of the past primarily favored Tikulis. Gems were placed on gold leaves according to the social position of the ladies, and these lovely Bindis were a happy possession of Indian ladies.

Best Skill of Bihar Village People:

But the specialization became a victim of industrial growth, with “Bindis” made with machines hitting the business sector. After years of obscurity, the skill of tikuli creation is showing indications of rebirth as an art form and a viable economic opportunity for poor people in Bihar towns. The main difference nowadays is that rather than gracing the foreheads of Indian women, tikulis are already decorating walls and furniture not just in India but around the world.

Best Skill of Bihar Village People

Common Symbols in Bhojpuri and Nepali Folk Music:

Tikuli is also a common symbol in Bhojpuri and Nepali folk music. It has been adopted as a symbol of joyful married life and the identification of a married woman in several Hindi literary works. The (Santhal tribe) of Bihar still wears Tikuli as part of their tribal jewelry. Village festivals occasionally have glass tikuli used as bindis. It is a historical Royal craft that is still quite attractive today.

Tikuli Art in Trend:

Biswas deserves praise for inspiring enthusiasm among artisans and educating them, which contributed to the resurgence. “The famed Madhubani art styles have a shadow in Tikuli. The majority of the artwork features goddesses and gods. According to Biswas, the topics are primarily based on myths, festivals, customs, and villages.

Bright crimson, cobalt blue, deep green, and yellow, are the primary enamel paint colors used in the craft, which helps the motifs pop against the dark fiberglass. In order to serve the needs of the clients, he stated, “We have started producing pen stands, mobile holders, and similar items.”

Woman Artist Sumitra Devi

The technique, according to Sumitra Devi of the Nargadda village in Bihar’s Bhojpur district, raised her family’s standard of living. Their four girls’ education had not been covered by her husband’s salary as an auto driver. The family was housed in a thatched-roof mud cabin. “But after we learned the Tikuli art some twenty years ago, the situation changed.

Our mud cottage has been replaced with a cemented two-storey house, and my daughters attended reputable schools, added Devi. She has three daughters. She continued, “But they keep making Tikuli because they can make a respectable living working from home. Everyone agrees that the revival was made possible by the fact that it doesn’t require outdoor work and has flexible work hours.

Why is it necessary to revive Tikuli Artwork?

Tikuli art is a well-liked export product due to its complexity. These forms demonstrate the rest of the world the variety and beauty of Indian artwork. The themes mostly depict Krishna life tales, Indian weddings and various occasions scenes, and Bihar celebration scenes, in some ways creating a visual text for the Indian culture. It is very important to revive Tikuli artwork.

These artistic disciplines have a rich cultural history and are very valuable. As women are primarily represented in these paintings, it can also be seen as a way to empower female artists. Of course, it is past time to take the essential steps to prevent this painting from exiting.


The unique design of tikuli artwork makes it a very attractive selling item. The themes mostly include stories from (Krishna’s life), as well as weddings or other Bihar traditions. As a result, it is critical to maintain and revive these shapes from India’s cultural history.

Some works of art have a huge amount of cultural significance and a strong tradition. It could also be seen as a way of empowering female artists because these artworks are predominantly made by women. It suffices to say that it is the best time to take the essential precautions to prevent this painting from being a lost art.

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