The Aravali hills in the Indian state of Rajasthan have been a witness to many civilizations that rose and fell with the times. The village of Molela is in the Rajsmand district of Rajasthan near the temple town of Nathdwara. Surrounded by the mighty Aravallis, Molela village is a part of the historical ‘Haldi Ghati’ area where a battle was fought between the armies of Maharana Pratap, the Rana of Mewar and Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1576.
Molela seems like an ordinary Indian village, at first glance. But a closer examination reveals that the very tapestry of its life is woven with the rich craft traditions of India.
This humble village is home to the fine pottery tradition of Molela Terracotta Craft. Located on the banks of river Banas, Molela village boasts of this specialized terracotta craft tradition that dates back more than 800 years.
There is an interesting story behind the genesis of this unique sustainable craft of India. Legend has it that God Dharamraja appeared in the dream of a blind potter who was poor and finding it difficult to make both ends meet. The Lord then gave him a blessing that if he created idols from a certain kind of clay, his eyesight would be cured and all his financial troubles will be gone. The next morning, his sight got restored as he created the lord’s idol to fulfill his promise.
Molela terracotta plaques are made as a flat surface, which distinguishes these from the usual idols made in different parts of India. The plaques are made of Molela clay which is supple and sticky, and is dug from the banks of river Banas and from a village lake.
The process of making Molela Terracotta Plaques is quite complex and involves a great deal of physical labour in which the whole family is involved.
The Molela Terracotta Plaques mostly feature idols of local Gods. In fact, these plaques are traditionally purchased by various tribals who travel from as far as Madhya Pradesh to buy these. This is an auspicious ritual to appease the Gods and prevent misfortune.
Nowadays, keeping in mind the contemporary buyer, the traditional potters are innovating their designs. Plaques depicting various scenes from a village life and wedding processions are also being sold.
We at Prosperity bring to you an exquisitely handcrafted collection of Molela Terracotta panels. Each panel is a labour of love and tells some story of the local folklore and myths of the Molela region.
As an urban buyer, these earthy craft products can add an ethnic feel to your space. These panels could be framed or studded directly on the wall.