The entire trip to Bikaner overwhelmed me. I learnt more about our rulers than I did before!
The traditions, art and architecture and the history of royalties made me feel more knowledgeable and in a way, proud!
When talking about the architecture, one form of art that I kept reading was the Usta Art of Bikaner. I later learnt the significance of this art and the importance of this form of art in Rajasthan. Usta art is a unique form of painting, mastered by the artists of Bikaner. “Usta” is a Persian word, the meaning translates into “master” of a particular art or several arts.
Usta Art of Bikaner | Image Resource : diksoochi.blogspot.com
The name best suited for this type of media is the Naqqashi and Monati art. It involves painting miniature, opaque and translucent forms of floral patterns on wood, walls, floor, ceilings and of course, glass. The medium for this kind is oil painting and watercolour. Most of the palaces and historical architectures of Bikaner had beautiful glass paintings while some of them had intricate designs in gold outlines too.
Usta art involve intricate work and the use of the best materials. During the British era, the importance was more on lightweight materials and as such, Usta art was more evident on pots and other things, made out of camel leather. Presently, this form is art is visible in the form of gold emboss work, popularly referred as Sunehri Munnawwati Nakkashi art. They perform this art on marble, wood, glass and even camel leather.
Sunehri Munnawwati art is intricate and follows a 9-stage completion process. Smoothening the surface, taking the required measurements, putting in the first stage of design, filling in the colour with brush, drying it, embossing using a paste, applying a yellow paint, after drying applying the gold foils and detailed the outlines are the 9 stages of this art. The end work is a product that is not only artistic, but something that is mind blowing and unbelievably intricate.
UTSA Art | Image Resource : manahotels.in
Usta art is visible in monuments, temples and heritage buildings of Bikaner and several places within Rajasthan. Bikaner art and architecture is something that every person must see and experience.