The Madhubani Railway station, in Bihar just got a make over. One of the oldest rail stations in India near Patna is now attracting tourists after hundreds of local Mithila artists adorned the walls of the station with world-famous Madhubani paintings. The excruciating work was undertaken as a Swachh Bharat mission and has been done free of cost as ‘Shramdaan’ in an attempt to promote the traditional art form. At least 7,000 sqft area at this Bihar station under the East Central Railway (ECR) has been decked up.

The first of its kind in Bihar, the officials of the Samastipur division say that this is the ‘largest’ depiction of Mithila artwork in the world and could even break any previous Guinness World Record. The project started on October 2 with the aim not only as a beautification and cleanliness project but also to highlight the skill of the town’s artists.

According to a report by DNA, as the local artists did not take any money for their work. The traditional Mithila artwork that originated in Nepal, uses the art to depict scenes from mythological texts and folklore.  At the station, one would find scenes from Ramayana, especially Sita as she was born in Mithila, like the marriage of Ram-Sita and Sita Bidai. Others include scenes from Mahabharata and many rituals of popular festivals like Chhat Puja and simple rural and social life and folk dance. There are also plans to carry out similar artworks in nearby Bihar’s railway stations. The colourful Madhubani painting is quite unique with its signature geometrical patterns and motifs. Many young artists also volunteered for the project who have been learning the ancient artwork since childhood. Many of these artists have been in this trade for generations. Local artists paint a wedding ritual on the wall of the station. To complete the entire project artists took more than 20 days. From walls at the stations to sign boards at the platforms, this is no less than a wonderland!

By : Priti Sen, Patna 

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