India is the land of heritage and rich culture. Various forms of art and craft are an integral part of this culture. There are several historical monuments which bear witness to the fact that the tradition of wood carving existed in India since the ancient time. In north Indian states like Himachal Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh, there exist several wood carved temples which are still survived. In modern India, the wood carving craft has flourished astoundingly.
The whole of North India has a tradition of carved wooden doors with intricate designs, brass inlay and trellis work for the windows. On my journeys I found several doors, posts, tables and chairs that represent the hand carving of India. The different states of India represent different styles of carvings:
Assam, which has extensive forests, has a rich tradition of wood works. Their places of worship included large carvings of mythical figures like half-man, garuda, hanuman, lion, etc. Also the carvers create a Simhasana wherein they place the deity to be worshipped.
In Bengal, the clay houses have large wooden pillars and beams with intricate carvings.
In Kashmir, the houses are lined with wood, with ceilings worked in geometrical patterns and lattice- worked windows made up of pieces of wood locally known as Pinjara. The state also produces many wood carved items like furniture, screens, boxes, bowls, etc. These are mostly prepared from walnut wood, which is in abundance here. Decorative wood panels used for ceilings and pillars is a special craft in Kashmir and it is called Khatamband.
In Rajasthan, wooden figures of Ghangore, a form of Parvathi is worshipped. These stylized forms are manufactured in a village called Bassi in Chittogarh district.
The village also specializes in making a wooden temple like structure, which can be folded into a book form called Kavadh.
In Odisha, the main deity of the famed Puri temple, Lord Jagannath is reproduced in wood. A number of wooden masks are also made for the traditional Sahi Jatra. Nagaland has a tradition of manufacturing statues as well as Commemorative pillars in wood.