Wood Carving of Gujarat

One of the richest regions for wood-carving is Gujarat. The cantilevered balconies of palaces in Palanpur and Bhuj have been beautifully carved while the majestic doors of traditional houses or havelis are artistic masterpieces with images of the goddess Lakshmi or the elephant deity Ganesh carved in the central portion of the archway.

The wood-carvers in Gujarat make extensive use of the parrot motif to highlight architectural features and ornament lid handles, door brackets, edges and corners of chests. Large-sized chests called pataras, from Bhavnagar in Saurashtra, is a part of the bridal trousseau, fashioned to hold bed rolls, jewellery, documents, oil and grain. Soothing colours and designs in the tin foil style are used in making furniture in Sankheda which is noted for its low seats, tables, stools and swings.

Junagadh and Doraji in Rajkot district are famous for cradles with stands, cupboards with cubicles and jhula or swing which are typical of Gujarat. The wood-carver community of Gujarat, known as the mewara mistris, work in rural and urban areas.

Wood inlay work of Surat is also famous and involves placing of pieces of ivory, plastic, horn, bone, metal, and fine wires into carved surfaces. The wood on which inlay work is done include teak rose wood, or sandalwood.