Along with pristine natural beauty, Himachal Pradesh has various art and craft forms that reflect its rich culture. Quite vivid and diversified, the art and craft of Himachal Pradesh are impressive which can be best witnessed in paintings, handloom products, woodwork and metal products.
Renowned as Pahari painting, the art has received praise from both domestic as well as international tourist. These paintings strongly depict the lives of Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha. Apart from holding a spiritual significance, the paintings also reflect the unique flora and fauna of the state. The tourism destination in India is strongly influenced Tibetan style when it comes to the handloom products of Himachal Pradesh which includes carpets, bed sheets, blankets, shawls, and other woollen garments. Also, when on a trip to Himachal Pradesh, one cannot miss out on the Himachali caps that are the famous artwork of the people. These products can be best purchased from the Tibetan markets of Manali, Shimla, Dharamshala and McLeodganj. Adding to this, the Chamba rumal (handkerchief) is an interesting part of the craft of Himachal Pradesh. The handkerchiefs are beautifully designed with silk and muslin embroidery and are traditionally used during weddings. Besides this, the timeless thangkas (embroidered and painted silk canvases) is yet another interesting product to buy when holidaying in Himachal Pradesh.
In addition to this, the people of Himachal Pradesh are also involved in woodwork like trays, utensils, sculpture, sticks, toys and other household products. The basket weaving is yet another piece of the beautiful craft by the local people here. On visiting any of the Tibetan Markets of Himachal Pradesh, tourists can find the best Tibetan style woodwork. The metalwork of the state strongly deserves praise which can be best witnessed at the museums of Shimla, Chamba and Dharamshala. These museums of Himachal Pradesh displays a wide variety of ancient metalwork including jewellery, lamps, musical instruments, smoking pipes, teapots, bowls and more. The interesting fact about the metal jewellery of Himachal Pradesh is its high demand worldwide. Other than these, travellers can even take a look at the leather and stonework, the other crafts of Himachal Pradesh. Moving to the culture, Himachal Pradesh let the tourists explore its ethnic diversity.
The folk dance and music have a strong Tibetan influence especially in the Lahaul and Spiti region, where the majority of the people is of the Buddhist faith. These interesting dance and music form of Himachal Pradesh can be best witnessed by being in the state on any fair and religious festival or other special occasions. The popular dance forms of Himachal Pradesh includes Losar Shona Chuksam in Kinnaur; Gee Dance and Burah dance in Sirmour; Naati, Kharait, Ujagjama and Chadhgebrikar in Kullu; Dangi in Chamba; and Shunto in Lahaul & Spiti. Dulshol, Drodi, Dev Naritya, Nati, Rakshas Nritya, Dangi, Dharveshi, Lasa, and Nagas are some other dance forms that are performed all over the region.
The folk music of Himachal Pradesh during the religious festivals and social gatherings with the extensive use of drums, nagara and shehnai, string and wind instruments. Ainchaliyan is one such religious folk song which is played during the wedding at the bride’s house and is sung without any music. There are some ritual folk songs of the state like Dholru, a harvest seasonal song popular among the farmers and Soohadiyan, sung by the women to celebrate childbirth. A trip to Himachal Pradesh will let one discover a complete blend of the modern and traditional art and culture of the state.