(काष्ठ), Daaru (दारु) Lakadi (लकड़ी), wood has many names in
Indian culture which tell us about wood’s significance for the country and its
tradition from the ancient times. Trees and plants such as Aama (mango),
Peepal, Neem, Tulsi, and Shami are considered holy and abode of the divine
element in the Hindu religion. Textual authorities
on the art and science of icon-making list wood as one of the purest materials
useful in making the idol of the Hindu
gods and goddesses. The sculptor is advised to look for the best
quality wood from auspicious trees, that grow in a sacred ambiance, have an attractive
surface, and result in durable woodwork. The concern of the Indian artist is to
sculpt a murti that is aesthetically alluring and durable, fitting the potency
of the god or goddess it is supposed to house.
are several kinds of wood used by Indian wood crafters for carving their
stunning icons. These woods are chosen keeping in mind the rules laid down by
ancient Shilpashastra and the requirement of Hindu Puja, in which the divine
idol is treated regularly with Snana (ritual bathing), rubbing fragrant pastes such as Sandalwood paste and
heat and light from the ritual lamp or Diya. Let us have a look at a few of
these timeless woods here.
wood is devotedly called “Devadaru” (Deva- god, Daru-wood) and grows in the
hilly regions of north India. Devadaru or Deodar (Cedar Wood) is softwood with
insect-repellent qualities, rich colors, and durability that makes it suitable
for carving god idols. The surface of the wood is easy to cut allowing the
artist to sculpt finer patterns and give a seamless finish to the woodwork.
Cedar wood is a light wood that enables you to move and clean artwork fashioned
out of it.
or teakwood is obtained from
trees that sprawl across the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the most rigid
and durable woods, trusted by the sailors in medieval times for the
construction of their ships and boats! Teakwood quite literally can survive for
a lifetime while braving weather and pest without much maintenance, which makes
it one of the best base materials for a durable and beautiful wood icon. Its
natural color and texture on an old idol give it an amazing lacquered
appearance which adds to the artistic quality of the woodwork.
41" Large Superfine Shri Rama Darbar with Prabhavali | Teakwood Statue
(Sanskrit) or Kapoora, this wood has multiple uses in the Hindu
ritual. A white-colored substance obtained from the wood and bark of Camphor is used in a Hindu Puja to perform the Aarti
of the Lord. Its wood has a distinctive aroma associated with purity and
spirituality, one that also emanates from the woodwork carved from Camphor
wood. Durable and pest-resistance, Camphor wood is used by artists to sculpt
various religious idols with an aesthetic quality that comes from the whitish
hue of the wood.
favorite of the Hindu blue-skinned god Sri Krishna, Kadamba wood and tree are deeply rooted in India’s
religion and history. Its wood is used
majorly by the woodworkers of Karnataka, a state whose royal dynasty, the
Kadambas also got their name from this divine tree. The
"Mahishasuramardini Stotram" describes that the Jagadamba Parvati is delighted while living
in the grooves of Kadamba. Besides its cultural connections, the wood of the
Kadamba tree is more affordable and easy to work with in comparison to other
varieties of wood. It offers exquisite wood icons that are moderately
Tree” in Tamil Nadu, also known as “Merbau” and “Kwila” in Karnataka, the
Vengai tree is another holy tree that is famed the world over for its
durability, resistance to insects and lustrous texture upon finishing. Vengai wood is extremely sturdy
which makes it a good choice for idols as well as other elements in the Hindu
shrine such as pillars, aureole, and Manai (chowki or seat). The
surface of Vengai wood is easy to paint, allowing the artist to add vibrant
colors to the idols, giving them an excellent form that persists.
mastery of Indian woodworkers is in no way limited to making religious icons.
From wooden Puja temples that are miniature
versions of ancient Hindu shrines to wooden cabinets and boxes that enhance your home décor with a touch of
Indian-ness. Enchanting icons of Apsaras (celestial nymphs)
and wooden Yalis that bring vigor to
space, the skills of Hindu craftsmen create magnificent woodwork for every room
and corner of your house.
Looking to add the
outstanding durability of Indian woodwork to your home? Exotic India Art is
your gateway to the awe-inspiring wood statues and much more, that will forever
be in your home, with the essence of India.
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