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Art & Culture of Bihar
Manjusha Art

Manjushas are an Indian art form. They are temple-shaped boxes comprising eight pillars. They are made of bamboo, jute and paper. They also contain paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses and other characters. These boxes are used in Bishahari puja, a festival dedicated to the Snake God that is celebrated in Bhagalpur and nearby regions, India. Not less in importance or expressiveness is the ancient and historically significant Manjusha Art, or Manjusha Kala, or Angika Art, an art form of the Anga region of Bihar, originating in the old Anga kingdom, which encompassed present-day Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and the Terai area of Nepal.

Manjushas - temple-shaped boxes, with eight pillars; made of bamboo, jute-straw and paper; and containing, or decorated with (again, see video), paintings of gods, goddesses, snakes and other characters (dubbed "snake paintings" by foreigners) - are used in the Bihula-Bishahari Puja, celebrated in Bhagalpur, usually in August, in remembrance of Bihula’s tale of love and sacrifice, and to appease the snake goddess (Manasa or Bishahari) and gods. A notable Manjusha artist is Jahar Dasgupta, born in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand (formerly Bihar).

 

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