Keeping Alive A 5000-YO Art Form, This Village In West Bengal Thrives On The Dokra Tradition

Dariyapur holds a unique treasure, a thriving community of artisans.

by Nikitha Sebastian
Keeping Alive A 5000-YO Art Form, This Village In West Bengal Thrives On The Dokra Tradition

Nestled amidst the verdant plains of West Bengal, a few kilometres from Guskara and roughly 30 kilometres from Burdwan railway station, lies the quaint village of Dariyapur. Unmarked on most tourist maps, Dariyapur holds a unique treasure – a thriving community of artisans dedicated to keeping alive the ancient art of Dokra metal casting.

The Art Of Dokra

Over 5,000 years old, the lost-wax technique of Dokra lets artisans in Dariyapur bring intricate designs to life in clay and beeswax. They pour molten metal into the molds, then break away the clay and wax after cooling to reveal exquisite metal art. This age-old tradition isn’t just on display in museums; it’s the very heartbeat of Dariyapur.

Today, over 130 artisans in Dariyapur call Dokra their primary occupation.  Step into a household here, and you’ll witness the magic firsthand. Skilled hands mould clay, shaping it into figurines of deities, animals, and everyday objects. Delicate details are added with beeswax, and intricate patterns are etched onto the surface. The air hums with the quiet focus of creation, a testament to generations of knowledge passed down.

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The Rural Craft Hub And Museum


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The Dariyapur Dokra Artisan Co-operative Industrial Society Ltd., popularly known as Dokra Village, is a key initiative supporting these artisans. This non-profit complex serves as a bridge between the artists and art enthusiasts. Visitors can not only witness the entire Dokra process but also purchase exquisite pieces directly from the artisans. From charming figurines and jewellery to stunning wall art, the selection showcases the artistry and skill honed over millennia.

Dariyapur’s charm extends beyond its artistic heritage. The village itself offers a serene escape, enveloped by lush greenery and imbued with a sense of timeless tradition.  An annual Dokra fair held in October provides a vibrant opportunity to witness the artistic energy of the community and celebrate this unique craft.

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Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply seeking a glimpse into Bengal’s cultural tapestry, Dariyapur promises an enriching experience. It’s a chance to witness the enduring legacy of Dokra, a testament to the artistry and dedication. It continues to breathe life into this 5,000-year-old tradition.

Cover Image Courtesy : Canva

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