Votive Terracottas of Molela, Rajasthan

Votive Terracottas of Molela, Rajasthan

Murtikala, the art of making terracotta votive murtis or religious idols is practised in Molela, a small town 40 km north of Udaipur, in Rajasthan. While, originally, the murtis were standing representations of local deities, the Mother Goddess, Nagdeva and various other forms, today they are often mounted on tiles or plaques to be hung on the walls of temples and homes. They can either have a natural terracotta hue, or can be multi-coloured, depending on the demand of the customer, and both varieties can be seen in various shrines and temples in Rajasthan and Gujarat. While the potters of Molela are known for - and draw their livelihood from - votive murtis and depiction(s) of heroes and heroines from traditional local legends, they also depict scenes that express what the artisan sees around him. Khemraj Kumhar, a master craftsman, once created a 6 feet by 4 feet panel, consisting of 24 tiles, depicting all the stages in a woman's life.

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