Traditions & Practices

Traditions & Practices
Page 1 of 1 1

Palm Leaf Paintings

Palm leaf paintings are very ancient in Odisha. The Palm Leaf illustrations are mainly of two types, simple engravings or illustrations in pure line on palm leaf and engraving with colour fillings. In these engravings, colours are muted and play a very minor part. Where colours are at all applied, they are just painted either to emphasize the inscriptions, or to fill up blank space.

Learn More

Pandu Purnima

Pandu Purnima is observed on the full moon day in the month of 'Margashira' (November – December). The day is of great significance in Odisha and especially in Lord Jagannath Temples. Lord Jagannath is believed to be performing 'Shradh' to his parents during his incarnations of Lord Krishna and Lord Ram. Thousands of devotees gather to have this rare sight of Lord Jagannath with white silk cloth in the special occasion.

Pandavani Folk Ballads of Chhattisgarh

Pandavani (literally meaning 'songs of the Pandavas'), is a lyrical folk ballad form that narrates the story of the Pandavas. Pandavani theatre usually has a lead artist and some supporting singers and musicians. There are two styles of narration in Pandavani - Vedamati and Kapalik. In the Vedamati style, the lead artist narrates the story in a simple manner, sitting on the floor throughout the performance. The Kapalik style is livelier, with the narrator enacting the incidents and characters.

Learn More


Parisakali, an art form of the Mappilas (Muslims) of Malabar area of Kerala, is a mock fight by boys. Short sticks and straw board shields are the weapons used in this mock fight. The performers used to learn this art form the gurukkal of kalaris (Kalaris are the training places where many subjects like medicine, astronomy, philosophy, yoga and martial arts are taught; the term is very commonly associated with the teaching of martial arts like kalaripayattu now) set up for this purpose. This tradition is similar to the learning of kalaripayattu, the martial art form of Kerala.

This art form is almost extinct now.


Contributed by: Neethu, CEE Kannur Field Office

Pata Chitra

"Patta" literally means "cloth" and "Chitra" means "picture" in Sanskrit. The Pattachitra painting tradition is closely linked with the worship of Lord Jagannath in Odisha. The subject matter of Patta chitra is limited to religious themes.

Learn More

Papier Mache of Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu waste paper pulp is hand beaten into a soft substance mixed with local clay to be rolled out into thin malleable sheets. Life sized dolls, scenes from the epics, icons of gods and goddesses, masks and animal forms are among the many colourful papier-mache toys handcrafted in Tamil Nadu. After fashioning the form of the article out of papier-mache pulp, the articles are dipped into a thin solution of paper pulp and white clay and then painted in oil or water colour.


Contributed by: Vanitha and Team, CEE South

Patola Silk Textiles of Patan

Double Ikat Silk Textiles of Patan, Gujarat are famous as 'Patola'. They are produced in the cities of Patany and Vadodara, situated in Patan and Vadodara districts respectively, in the state of Gujarat. There are only four existing Patola-making families striving to save the craft in the face of many threats - huge investment of time and money, low returns, and lack of interest for continuing the craft among the younger generations. Historically, Patola was a prestigious item of Indian export to Indonesia and Malaysia where it was used as a symbol of power and authority and even attributed protective, curative and magical powers. Patola silk textiles are produced by resist dyeing of warp and weft threads before weaving, a complex process known as double ikat which is also practised in other parts of India and abroad. However, Patola of Patan (Gujarat) is unique in its geometric floral and figurative patterns executed with precision of design planning, and meticulously accurate weaving alignment which results in precise outline of the patterns. This requires immense visualisation and coordination skill. Watch Video

Source IGNCA Inventory of ICH, Janapada Sampada Division, IGNCA

Contributed by Aditya, CEE Ahmedabad

Pattamadai Mats

Pattamaadai mats are silk mats also called Pattu paai that originated in a small village in Thirunalveli district of Tamil Nadu. The art and craft of weaving and blending intricate designs of Pattamadai mats are considered unique to this region. Made of a special kind of grass called "Korai/Gorai"- it is also called is also called Korai or Gorai paai. The conventional method of mat making is a lengthy processes of drying, soaking, splitting and dyeing the grass.

Learn More


Patayani, which literally means 'rows of army/soldiers', is a weeklong ritual dance, held in many of the Bhadrakali temples on the banks of the Pamba river (chiefly Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts) during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Medam (March-April). The theme for the performance is the slaying of the demon Daarika by the goddess Kali.

Learn More

Pest Management

Pest Management

Community in central and northern Odisha believes that hanging dead animals help in avoiding paddy field to be raided by animals. It is believed this creates a psychological fear among the particular species. To avoid crow to raid the dried paddy, the dead crow or the wings of a dead crow is being hanged in nearby area so that it creates a threat to the encroached crow. Similarly, they install skull of a cattle in the middle of the agricultural field to get rid of the raiding by the cattle.

Contributed by CEE East

Phad Scroll Paintings and Their Narration

Traditional phads from Rajasthan are large paintings on cloth portraying the epic lives of village gods, usually protectors of cattle. Vegetable colours are used on cloth and paper. Vibrant colours and bold lines, two dimensional treatment of figures, and the entire composition arranged in sections, are characteristic of these paintings. Shahpura in Bhilwara and Udaipur are the main centres.

Learn More


Phulkari is an embroidery form of Punjab. Phulkari meaning flower work is a spectacular style of embroidery peculiar to this region and has become an essential part of celebrations. Almost every ceremony in which women participate, there will be colours of Phulkari Work.

Learn More

Pottery Works of Vellore

Vellore in north Arcot district of Tamil Nadu is famous for black and red earthenwares. Usilampatti in madurai district has black pottery painted over with a special yellow substance which has an old tradition. Panruti in south Arcot is famous for a large variety of clay work that include small and large figures of deities, toys, etc. Karigiri in south Arcot is most famous for its unique style of pottery.

Learn More


Pragya seeks to tap the traditional knowledge and preserve the culture of indigenous communities. With this broad objective, Pragya is helping in the revival and strengthening of traditional medicine system, one such system being the Amchi system. Pragya conducts workshops for promotion of the Amchi system in the Ladakh region. The organisation also encourages local traditional healers to hold regular healthcare camps in the region for the benefit of the communities and the migrant workers.

Learn More

Poush Mela

Every year in December, Santiniketan celebrates the Poush Mela to commemorate
Rabindranath Tagore and his contribution to literature and higher learning at Santiniketan.

Learn More

Pushkar Mela

The Pushkar Mela is held in the town of Pushkar in Rajasthan. In this annual five day camel and livestock fair, over 25,000 camels are traded each year. The fair draws thousands of tourists, camels, camel traders, camel racers and locals, besides religious leaders who come to bathe in the sanctified Lake Pushkar on the final auspicious day which falls on Kartik Poornima, or the full moon day of the month of Kartik or krittika. The camels are decorated with jewellery to fetch a better price. Camel races are organised to showcase the camels' prowess in darting across the desert plains. The cattle fair at Pushkar has a long history, believed to date back to the time of Emperor Jehangir. Traditionally a camel trading event, the Pushkar Mela has now become an international tourist attraction.


Contributed by: Prarthana, CEE Ahmedabad


Pulikali or Kaduvakali (play of the tiger) is a folk art that forms part of the celebrations of the Onam festival in Kerala. This art form is mainly practiced in Thrissur district. Trained artistes prepare for the performance the day before by painting their bodies a bright yellow with red and black stripes, to resemble the tiger. They don a tiger mask to round off the costume.

Learn More

Payyannur Pavithra Mothiram

Payyannur Pavithra Mothiram (Payyannur Sacred Ring) is a beautifully crafted ring made in gold or silver and shaped like a knot. It is considered a sacred ornament and is usually worn when performing vedic rituals or pithrubali (rituals performed for forefathers or departed souls). Traditionally the pavithram for such rituals was made of dharbha grass and the current ring evolved to avoid the inconvenience of making it anew for every ritual or puja. It is to be worn on the right ring finger and the wearer (as well as the goldsmith who makes it) is expected to follow certain disciplines in food and behavior.

Learn More

Pulluvan Paattu

On 14th January 2011, women from 70 villages where the Deccan Development Society (DDS) works, vowed to guard their traditional wealth of biodiversity farming. This was at the 13th Annual Biodiversity Festival organised by DDS - a festival organised to celebrate the return of local seeds into active farming systems and a time for the farmers of the Deccan dryland region to celebrate their food systems, seed sovereignty and rich biodiversity. The Festival not only symbolises the celebration of the agri-biodiversity of the region but also the way the poor and the women have retrieved their dignity and autonomy.

Learn More