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Bankura Horses

Bankura Horses, Kolkata
A pair of terracotta horses is a corner of a room adds class to any Bengali living room.

Bankura Horses are clay horses used more often for religious purposes than as a decorative item. But not a decorative items also display the skill and craftsmanship of Bengal. This art originated in Bankura District of West Bengal.

The clay pottery of Bengal can be divided into two parts, one is Bankura Clay Pottery and other is Krishnanagar Clay Pottery. But the Bankura's Clay Pottery is the modern form of arts rather than the art form of Krishnanagar. Bankura is situated 16 miles away form Vishnupur, who started to make the popular art of Bankura hourses. It you look it very closely, you will find that this have more erect neck and ears and look more dynamic.

Making of the Horses
The four legs of the horse, the neck consisting of two parts and the face consisting of seven different pieces are made separately. These parts are then joined together manually and then smoothened up. Small parts of the body like ears and tails are molded separately and attached to the grooves of the horse's body.

Horses are then allowed to dry partially. Holes are then made on appropriate portions of the body to facilitate uniform drying of the inner and outer surfaces. It is then left to dry in a closed room for about six to seven days. Later on, they are dried in sunlight. Once the drying process is complete, the horses are then painted with colors prepared from various clays. They are then baked in the kiln. These horses are of different sizes ranging from 6 inches to 4 feet.

Horses used for Puja
Horses made in Sendra are worshiped. These horses are not hollow but solid. Bankura's local God Dharmaraj is another form of Sun God and mythologically it is known that Sun God is the rider of horses. Thus horses form an important part of all rituals while performing puja. Besides terracota these artistic horses have been casted in dokra and wood because of the growing demand.

Biboda, Kamardiha, Bishnupur, Jaikrishnapur, Nakaijuri, Keyaboti are some of the places were terracota horses are made regularly.

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