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Wood Craft (An Art Heritage of Kullu Valley)

Woodcraft is the primitive art of Kullu. The exquisite temples , rural houses and castles display highly perfect carved images of gods and goddesses, episodes from epics and local flora- fauna. The craft thrives in two forms: the first one is highly classical, and the second one is the rural tradition of aborigines. Woodcraft is an antique art, traditionally valued.

The woodcarvings in temples have excellent classical perfection. Manali and Prashar are full of beautiful temples carved out of wood. The eminent German scholar Hermann Goetz has described these temples in his book on the early temples of Chamba, as outstandingly stunning works of fine art.

In Malana village a pillar portrays a typical carving of human figures in the act of lovemaking. Tripura Sundri Temple at Naggar , Hadimba Temple at Manali , Prashar Rishi Temple at Kamand and Adi Brahma Temple at Khokhan are some fine examples of woodcarvings. They portray episodes from the epics and images of various Indian gods as Ganesha, Shiva, Vishnu, Narsingha, and others.

Old houses, especially of the prosperous ones display intricate wooden carvings at the entrance, edges of the roofs, rooftops, verandahs and pillars. These are found in evidence throughout Kullu Valley. Often the doorway has a carved statue of Lord Ganesha adorning it, flanked on either side by animal and bird figures. Carvings upon the pillars usually depict flowering vines, kings setting out on expeditions and families deities.

The rural traditional craft of woodcarving is of less technical perfection but alive with the rural spirit. It primarily depicts local flora and fauna. People decorate their exteriors and interiors mainly with these carvings.

These days, carvings are also done for interior decoration of the houses. The contemporary woodcraft exhibits the sophistication of the old carvings. The mesmerizing articles of woodcraft are made on both tender and legendary basis.

Besides carvings, some other forms of woodcraft are also thriving in the valley. The carpenters produce good quality furniture. They make all kinds of chairs, tables, couches etc. The main furniture shops are in Kullu town and Mohal.

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