Tuesday 24 May 2022

Solapith - Craft of Odisha

Solapith is an intricate and beautiful heritage craft of Odisha. 

It is one of the 50 approved crafts of the Government of Odisha. 

Solapith is linked with Odisha's Shree Jagannatha culture and traditions for centuries.

How wonderful deities look when they use their special Solapith head-dress that gracefully sways as they reach their Rathas!


The beautiful Tahia is made and used every year at Puri as the Gods dress up for their annual procession. 

The deities wear Tahia during the Ratha Jatra.

During Bahuda Jatra, they wear fresh Tahia. The previous one (worn during Ratha Jatra) is not used after having served its purpose.

The deities also wear crown etc made using Solapith during different Besha -i.e. attire.

Apart from that, Solapith craft can also be seen during the Jhulana Jatra.

The boats used for Boita Bandana and Bali Jatra,, during traditional Kartika Purnima celebration of Odisha, also use sola.

Also, Odissi dancers use Solapith Tahia on their head as a head-dress as a part of their costume and look so lovely.

Sola mukuta (headwear/crown) has been used in Odia weddings for long. 

It should be further popularised & used by all in weddings. Photographs will look great! 

Idols of Gods, decorative pieces, garlands etc are also made using Sola.

There is scope for lots more.

Solapith of Odisha deserves the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Application needs to be correctly filed with details about the geographical area, artisans, history, culture, production process etc. 

Why is this necessary? 

To ensure documentation and others do not copy or make unfair claims.

Plus, to ensure that Odisha earns due credit for this craft.

Saw this news in yesterday's Bangalore Times, The Times of India edition dated- 23 May, 2022.

Recently, “Sholapith” flowers were used as wedding decor for the wedding of 2 movie-stars from south film industry- Aadhi Pinisetty & Nikki Galrani on May 18 2022.

As per the report published in the Times of India newspaper:

“It’s actually a dying art form, practised by artisans from Bengal. The flowers are completely recyclable; they degrade as well and don’t spoil the environment.”

Sad that Odisha’s name is not even mentioned in news-reports.

How will readers or viewers know when information is not shared? 

Those who know and want to, can share the correct information.

Our artisans have to showcase in fairs and exhibitions and more media reports need to be published and shown.

Now Solapith craft is being showcased in national exhibitions (like a recent one in Bengaluru) in which Bengali craftsmen are selling it. In the absence of Odisha Solapith artisans in the same exhibitions, information about Odisha's craft is not known.

There should be Solapith craft demonstrations and workshops. 

Training is needed. More artists must learn and craft must get interest & promotion. 

Creations need to be available in shops. 

"Jo Dikhta Hai Wo Bikta Hai" - What is seen, sells.

Did you know about Solapith? Have you seen Solapith crafts before? 

Please share in the comments below.


  1. I learned something new today. Thanks for the detailed description.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
      My pleasure to share. A lot more can be written on Solapith, and hope to share more.

  2. I like to see that swaying effect.

    1. That swaying effect looks so wonderful! You can watch during the live telecast of the Ratha Jatra and the Bahuda Jatra. We also witness during the Snana Jatra.
      You can also see the swaying Tahias of the Gods in the videos uploaded online.

  3. Its great to see that our festival's have always supported our traditional craftsmanship and arts.
    I've only seen solapith as a traditional craft of Bengal because there is no documentation of this craft in relation with Odisha.
    Every artisan deserves to get credit.
    I'm a craft communication student, and your blog post has inspired me to do research on solapith craft and tahia making.
    My sincere appreciation.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts, Muskan.
      It's great to learn that my blog post inspired you to research about Tahia & Solapitha.
      Were you aware of Solapitha crafts & Tahia before reading this blog?
      While researching for Odisha products, you found Bengal's!

      Our craft is centuries-old as it is a part of Ratha Jatra (Rath Yatra).
      Shree Jagannatha wears during this annual journey.
      There are designated Sebakas who perform this (Tahia) work.
      Apart from that, others create different art-works using Solapitha.

      Many are not aware and Odisha is yet to earn her due credit
      Thanks for reaching out and for your interest for documentation.


Your words mean a lot to me.

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