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Madhubani - garden of honey

Literally meaning forests of honey, Madhubani is located 146 km way from the capital city of Patna, and much famous for the Madhubani Paintings or the Mithila Paintings. This unique style of Indian painting is extensively practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar. Though Madhubani Paintings have not been very pivotal in boosting cultural tourism of the area on the national level so far, things seem to be improving on this field somewhat and one hopes pretty soon Madhubani would become a leading cultural destination, at least in this part of the world.

The key subjects of the Madhubani paintings are usually the Hindu spiritual motifs, and they usually cover Hindu gods and goddesses, including Ram, Krishna, Shiva, Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati. Natural objects such as the sun, the moon, and religious plants including tulsi are also widely covered, and so are the many interesting scenes from the royal court and important social events such as weddings.

Generally, the entire space is covered and no space is left empty. The gaps are thoroughly taken care of with the paintings of flowers, birds, animals and even some attractive geometric designs.

The roots of Madhubani Paintings are somewhat masked in antiquity. It is said that this inimitable style of painting came to light for the first time during the time of the Ramayana, when King Janak asked some artists to paint pictures at the time of the wedding of his daughter, Shri Sita Maa, to Lord Ram.

Madhubani paintings have remained restricted to a particular geographical region and the skills have been transferred on via centuries. So, overall there has not been any drastic change in content and style, which, by and large, have almost remained the same.

Shri Bua Devi Jha, Shri Jagdamba Devi, Shri Sita Devi and Shri Mahasundari Devi are some of the leading exponents of Madhubani Paintings which shot into limelight in 1970 when the President of India awarded Mrs Jagdamba Devi for her excellent works in the field.

Nearby Attraction

Darbhanga : Situated at a distance of 32.1 miles from Madhubani, Darbhanga is one of the well-known destinations of South Bihar and regarded as the cultural capital of the state -- thanks to its incredible and rich musical, folk-art, not to mention rich literary traditions. Songs penned by the eminent Maithili Poet Vidyapati is still sung with much fervor at the many religious and social occasions across this area.

The Great Sage Kapil Muni - who put forward the Sankhya philosophy -- was also associated with this area. Darbhanga is also related with the mythological heroes, the Great Pandavas. It is said that they lived here for some time when they were serving their period of banishment. Darbhanga is also linked to the famed Royal Family of Darbhanga which once owned and managed the largest Zamindari in the whole of India.

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