Raghurajpur – The Crafts Village

Situated on the southern bank of river Bhargavi and surrounded by coconut, palm, mango, jackfruit groves and other tropical trees, Raghurajpur, a small village in Puri district of Orissa, occupies a unique place in the cultural map of India. The village is inhabited by artisans producing sheer poetry on pieces of treated cloth, dried palm leaf or paper.

Besides producing these unique works of art, this village has a living tradition of performing art known as Gotipua, the earlier form of Odissi. Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra, an exponent of Odissi dance, was born in this village and had his early trainings in Gotipua tradition here. Now a Gotipua Gurukul Dance School has been established here under the guidance of Guru Maguni Charan Das. The trainees of this school present their performances in different cultural events, in India and abroad.

The government of India has selected Raghurajpur village for the promotion or rural tourism in the country as a part of a program to highlight tourism potential of villages. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) takes an active part in this initiative as  part of it’s Endogenous Tourism Project (ETP).
all images © Sephi Bergerson / UNDP India

Daily life in the artists village of Raghurajpur in Puri district Orissa. Raghurajpur is a heritage craft village and is a part of the Endogenous Tourism Project (ETP) in Orissa.

A man walks past a temple in the middle of the artists village of Raghurajpur in Puri district Orissa. The village runs from east to west with houses arranged in two neat rows, facing each other. At the centre, runs a line of small temples and the lone Bhagabat Tungi, the community meeting place of the villagers. The temples are dedicated to the lords, Radha Mohan, Gopinath, Raghunath, Laxminarayan, Gouranga, and to the village goddess, Bhuasuni.

Drawings on a house wall in the artists village of Raghurajpur in Puri district Orissa. Raghurajpur was selected to revive the ancient wall paintings of Orissa. The work has already been completed and now the village looks like a living museum of paintings.

Drawings on a house wall in the artists village of Raghurajpur in Puri district Orissa. Raghurajpur was selected to revive the ancient wall paintings of Orissa. The work has already been completed and now the village looks like a living museum of paintings.

A practice performance of the junior level Gotipua dancers at Gotipua Gurukul, a part of UNDP's ETP in village Raghurajpur, Orissa.

A practice performance of the junior level Gotipua dancers at Gotipua Gurukul, a part of UNDP’s ETP in village Raghurajpur, Orissa.

Guruji Maguni Das (99) winner of the Padmashree award 2004 is the Gotipua Gurukul's Orissi dance Guru.

Guruji Maguni Das (99) winner of the Padmashree award 2004 is the Gotipua Gurukul’s Orissi dance Guru.

Brushes and dyes at an artist studio, Raghurajpur, Orissa.

Dyes on the floor of an artist studio, Raghurajpur, Orissa.

An artist at work. Raghurajpur village, Orissa.

An artist at work. Raghurajpur village, Orissa. each family is engaged in one craft or another. There are 103 households having 311 artisans in the village. Some of them are winners of National Awards. One comes across the best tradition of Orissan paintings and some of the finest pieces of work in this village.

Daily life in the artists village of Raghurajpur in Puri district Orissa.

Daily life in the artists village of Raghurajpur in Puri district Orissa.

An artist showcasing his creation. Raghurajpur village, Orissa.

An artist showcasing his creation. Raghurajpur village, Orissa.

  • zeeble

    excellent. reminds me of the many times i’ve been there to get patta chitra paintings for use as decoration at home when i stayed in bhubaneswar 🙂

  • zeeble

    excellent. reminds me of the many times i’ve been there to get patta chitra paintings for use as decoration at home when i stayed in bhubaneswar 🙂

  • Rajalaxmi

    Hallo Sir,really feel to see all these pattachitra,now realise that really we are having incredible Orissa for which I feel very proud myself as a oriya.

  • Rajalaxmi

    Hallo Sir,really feel to see all these pattachitra,now realise that really we are having incredible Orissa for which I feel very proud myself as a oriya.

  • Basudeva

    Oh yes these are wonderful to see at website,my grand parents are very fond of this art & I came to know this from them,really very beautiful.

  • Basudeva

    Oh yes these are wonderful to see at website,my grand parents are very fond of this art & I came to know this from them,really very beautiful.

  • Another traditionnal Gotipua dance gurukul exists in Raghurajpur Village : Abhinna Sundar Gotipua Nrutya Parishad.
    The young Guru Basanta Kumar Moharana teaches this unique dance to young boys in a religious tradition dedicated to Lord jagannath.

  • Another traditionnal Gotipua dance gurukul exists in Raghurajpur Village : Abhinna Sundar Gotipua Nrutya Parishad.
    The young Guru Basanta Kumar Moharana teaches this unique dance to young boys in a religious tradition dedicated to Lord jagannath.

  • SHARMILA CHANDRA

    Yes, these pictures are very familiar to me since I visit Raghurajpur regularly and am in love with the place. Please try to promote these excellent pieces of art by circulating the photographs as far as possible. I am a research scholar and one of my fields of research is Raghurajpur. I have found the people of this village extremely hospitable and cooperating. The village has a wonderful ambience.

  • SHARMILA CHANDRA

    Yes, these pictures are very familiar to me since I visit Raghurajpur regularly and am in love with the place. Please try to promote these excellent pieces of art by circulating the photographs as far as possible. I am a research scholar and one of my fields of research is Raghurajpur. I have found the people of this village extremely hospitable and cooperating. The village has a wonderful ambience.