Madhubani Paintings

State Bihar
district Madhubani


A 2500-year-old folk art, the history of Madhubani paintings is said to date back to the time of Ramayana when King Janaka asked an artist to capture his daughter Sita's wedding to Prince Rama. These paintings were usually created by women on walls and floors of homes during festivals, ceremonies, or special occasions. Having originated in the Mithila region, this form of painting is also known as Mithila art.

Theme & Symbols

Though Mithila paintings are done by artists all over Mithilanchal and even in the far-off regions of Bihar, villages in district Madhubani like Jitwarpur, Ranti, Raseedpur are more famous for being home to a maximum number of world-famed Mithila Paintings artists. These paintings mainly depict mythological events which mainly revolve around the themes of Hindu deities like Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Kali, etc. Madhubani paintings are drawn in accordance with a fixed theme and accordingly, symbols, lines, patterns are drawn. For instance, the symbol fish stands for fertility, good luck, and procreation whereas peacocks usually indicate love, religion, and romance, serpents stand for divine protectors, and so on.

Design & Motifs

It also depicts natural objects like fish, parrots, elephants, turtles, sun, moon, bamboo tree, lotus, tulsi plant, and social events like weddings. Madhubani paintings are characterized by figures that have bulging fish-like eyes, pointed noses, and prominently outlined.


In this painting natural color plays an important role. Artists make colors from various natural elements. Black color is obtained from soot (kajal), yellow from turmeric (haldi), green from plant leaves, etc.

Tourist Attractions

Kapileswarsthan is a village situated nine kilometers from Madhubani District Head Quarter. The village is noted for its Shiva Temple, also known as Kapileswarsthan. A large fair is also held on the occasion of Maha Shiva Ratri.

Uchaitha is a village in Benipatti block and is noted for its temple of Bhagwati on the western bank of river Thumne. According to a legend, the renowned Sanskrit poet and dramatist Kalidas was blessed by Bhagwati at this place.