5 Distinctive Styles of Madhubani Painting


Madhubani painting is one of the most famous Indian art forms. It was traditionally created by women. Women were from the Mithila region of Bihar and that’s why it is known as Mithila painting or Madhubani painting. The colors used in Madhubani paintings are mainly made from plants and other natural sources. This painting can be drawn on canvas, cloth, and handmade paper. Following are five styles of Madhubani painting.

Bharni Style

Bharni means filling. This is one of the most famous styles of Madhubani painting. In Madhubani painting, vibrant colors are mostly used on canvas. It was practiced mainly by upper caste people which depicted mythological characters in epics, especially the Ramayana and Mahabharata which the womenfolk knew from the continued recital. Mostly the enclosed areas are filled with vibrant colors like blue, yellow, pink, green, orange colors etc. and the subject is outlined in black.

Tantrik Style

Tantrik painting is distinguished from other style of Madhubani painting. It solely depicts religious texts and characters related to them. Tantrik subjects include manifestations of  Maha Kali, Maha Durga, Maha Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Ganesh along with other tantrik symbols.

Katchni Style

In this style of painting only one or two colours are used. Finest details are created and the fine pattern is made with hatching and stippling. This painting is still practiced by Kayasthas of the society. As Katchni means lines, they optimize muted hues, mostly the figures.

Godna Style

This is a simple style of Madhubani painting. Godna is commonly known as tattoo in today’s life and it was first done by Chano Devi. It was done on arms and legs. At the first initiative, pointed bamboo pen with lampblack ink was used. This style has concentric circles of flowers, field, animals, figures and spirit.


The painting which is painted on the wall of a kohbar is known as “Kohbar”. The Kohbar painting is filled with rich details, each contributing significance to the meaning of the whole. This is practiced by the lower class of the society. They wash the paper with cow dung and paintings are done using earth colours.

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