A diverse land of creativity, innovation, tradition, art, culture & colors connecting it holistically to design.
Bihar - The land of rich arts crafts and culture
“Bihar-sources of inspiration for fashion designers” There is much more to know about the Indian state Bihar rather than its unique dialect and the famous politician Lalu Prasad Yadav. The word Bihar is originally derived from the Sanskrit and Pali word Bihar meaning abode denoting the home of Buddhist Monks. It is the 3rd largest by population. It lies in the North East part of India, where plane split by river Ganga flowing from west to east. The 3 main regions converging the state are Magadh, Mithila, and Bhojpur, while Patna being its capital known as Patliputra, the historical capital of Indian subcontinent.
On 22nd March every year Bihar Diwas (Bihar Day) is observed meaning the formation of this state, observed as a public holiday. On this very occasion let me enlighten you with some interesting facts of the state which also amazingly connect us with Design and sources of inspiration for fashion designers.
Who doesn’t know Ashok Stambh-The National Emblem of India?
Ashok Stambh is a huge source of inspiration which in itself is inspired by four Asiatic Lions standing back to back representing power, courage, confidence, and pride accompanied with a horse, a bull, and an elephant. The horse represents Buddha’s horse which he rode at the time of leaving the palace to discover the meaning of Life. The bull represents Buddha’s zodiac sign Taurus. The elephant signifies the Buddha’s conception (at the time of Buddha’s conception his mother dreamt that a white elephant has entered into her womb). The lion signifies the achievement of enlightenment. Designed with Sandstone, constructed as a pillar Ashok Stambh carries a chakra which probably was then seen as a Wheel of Law. And in the modern world, the chakra serves as the centerpiece of the Indian national flag depicting consistent growth and development.
A university designed in approx 14 hectares of land, a storehouse of knowledge and UNESCO’s world heritage that took 3 full months to burn into ashes is a brawny example of Bihar’s architectural design. The architecture of one of the first universities in the world, ‘Nalanda University’ had one of the biggest libraries in the world. University had 10 temples, many classrooms, and a meditation center. The excavation revealed a row of monasteries of traditional Indian design – oblong brick structures with cells opening onto 4 sides of a courtyard with the main entrance on one side of a shrine facing the entrance across the courtyard. A beautifully curated architecture used red bricks generating a royal aesthetic appeal not in itself but the atmosphere and surroundings. It was a perfect amalgamation of all the design elements that even today stand in advocacy of the zeitgeist of ancient India. The management and research methodologies then followed are the best examples of modern day Design Thinking process which sources of inspiration for fashion designers.
The oldest temple of Hindus ‘Mundeshwari Devi’ dedicating Lord Shiva of his wife Shakti is also in Bihar. It gave a brand new style to the Architectural Design Industry that is Nagara style. This style of the temple was the earliest specimen of Bihar. It consists of pyramid-shaped towers constructed of sandstone, seaplane or granite.
The state also holds significance because of its ancient monuments and Mughal emperor Sher Shah Suri, the Maner Sharif, Mahabodhi temple, Bodhgaya etc have magnificent architecture. India’s highest stupa ‘Kesaria Stup’ with a height of 32 m is also a contribution towards the architecture world.
The world famous Madhubani or Mithila painting is also a wonderful work of design that implies the depiction of natural motifs and themes of Hindu deities like Krishna, Rama, Shiva Durga etc has been originated in Bihar. Products designed with using Madhubani paintings have been ruling the international markets with their originality and aesthetic aura.
The creative Tikuli Art is also a great example of Design. Pieces of handwork are cut in various shapes to create brilliant art pieces and several other functional products for daily use.
The most important festival of Bihar, Chhat puja serves as a great exhibition of culture, traditional design and a classic example of Culinary Design. A festival devoted to Lord Surya (Sun) and Chhati Maiya is a peaceful trademark of religion with cognitive connections. The dressing, the accessories (puja samagri) and the decoration gives a new of power to boost the design. On the day of puja women wear saree along with a unique deep shrek of vermilion from nose to the and of hair split and men wear kurta of dhoti both in saffron color avoiding leather in any form. The pooja samagris are very comfortable and distinctive. Apart from the traditional Design, Bihar’s women have also given a new form of dressing on the design fashion industry that is `seedha aanchal saree”. The traditional styling and looks have been used in making up several models for national and international fashion shows.
Modern Museum of Bihar uses design in a comprehensive manner which is seen as the grand sweep of history in the building. The values have been enhanced by manicured gardens and strategically placed elements serving as an interior design which advocates modern facilities such as climate control systems and security for the valuable artifacts inside. The spatial design has been dramatically used delivering asymmetrical structure developed using steel and large glass walls allowing to play natural lights and shade inside. The museum also has an amphitheater a state-of-the-art auditorium, a cafeteria called pot Belly that serves Bihar cuisine and several souvenir shops. There is also a children’s museum with interactive screens that take children on a trip to the wildlife sanctuaries of Bihar and inform them about other interesting nuggets of history from the state. It has transformed the concepts of communication design into physical reality.
Bihar state is a diverse land of creativity, innovation, tradition, art, culture & colors connecting it holistically to design and good sources of inspiration for fashion designers.
Khushi Sharma and Shweta Kumari
Design Aspirants 2019, Student Design Researchers,