Forest of Honey…

…is the literal translation of ‘Madhubani‘. Madhubani is an art form practiced by women in the town of Madhubani in Bihar – a state in India. A traditional skill handed down through generations – the paintings are done on paper or cloth. Also known as Mithila paintings, these exquisite works of folk art have now found their niche in contemporary Indian design sensibilities. Though primarily used as wall decor, these designs are also used by top fashion designers in Indo-western ensembles. These paintings are done using natural colors (plant extracts), and use symbols like sun, women, animals, fishes and birds to represent the human lifecycle. Iconic Indian Gods like Krishna, Ganesha and Shiva are also popular!
Showcasing some beautiful (and colorful!) Madhubani paintings Fish symbolises fertility ‘Ardhnareshwar’ – Man and Woman

Krishna with Gopis (milkmaids)


Getting a bride ready

Fishes again.

Interesting mix of modern with traditional. Women offering prayer at a tree, with a train in the background!

Parrots (disguised as peacocks?)


Peacocks again!

Shows the nine planetary positions

Close up. Colors that will brighten up any room, any day!
Above images from some excellent online resources (you can also buy Madhubani art here) :
I would love to hear your ideas on where you would visualize such art in your home? 🙂


  1. WOW.. such beautiful paintings..
    Have always been very fond of madhubani paintings and want to learn the art.. but have not been able to find anyone in Bangalore who teaches Madhubani 🙁

  2. Wow, everyone seems to love the planetary position painting! 🙂

    Welcome to An Indian Summer, Sarah! I can imagine how exquisite the shawl must be! And, I need to check out your blog – ‘a year in marrakesh’ sounds very interesting!

    Isn’t the painting with the train quirky, Vineeta ?! 🙂

  3. I love the planetary positions one – so detailed (I have a thing for antique paisley shawls, you see).


  4. lovely images. I especially liked the ones with the train & the planetary positions 🙂 I’ve been following your blog for sometime 🙂

  5. Hello Mjey! Good to hear from you again 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by Erinn! Awesome – you have easy access to Madhubani paintings then!

  6. beautiful images! Indigo Arts has an exquisite brick and mortar store in Philadelphia (my home city). It’s one of my favorites!

  7. Thank you Bonwyn, and welcome to An Indian Summer! Do drop by again 🙂

  8. Hey – i think puting these paintings anywhere around the house will look good.The 9planetary – would be nice at the living. I like the women offering prayer at the tree – facing my dining.

  9. great blog, so many interesting things to see.these paintings are magnificent – so intricate.

  10. Nope, not taking a break from blogging, just a break from work Divya! 😉

    Thanks for dropping by Jon! Umm..I like the idea of having one wall full of Madhubani – would look lovely as a feature wall 🙂

  11. jon

    These are lovely! I’ll love to have a wall in the living area full of these.

  12. Anonymous

    Ah! There you are finally. I thought you were taking your vacaiton seriously and nto ven blogging anymore. My mom just got sari made with Madhubani. Cream silk base. Very pretty


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