News - Mithila Paintings Adorn Madhubani Railway Station in Bihar

Once frowned upon, the Madhubani in Bihar is rated as one of the dingiest railway stations in the country. Not anymore. Thanks to the traditional Mithila artists who have lent a completely different make-over with world-famous Mithila paintings adorning its walls.

The artistically and culturally rich legacy of Madhubani has transformed the station to one of the cleanest railway stations in India. Artists, who have been into this art form for several generations, make use of twigs, fingers, nib-pens, brushes and match-sticks to create Mithila paintings. They also use natural pigments and dies to develop geometrical patterns.

Brand ambassador of the Rail Swacch Mission of the Indian Railway, Bindeshwar Pathak, who is also the founder of Sulabh International described Madhubani as ‘the cleanest station in India’. About 7000 sq.ft. area that comes under the East Central Railway (ECR) has been decked out in the process.

Considered to be first of its kind in the state, the Samastipur railways division officials describe it to be the largest display of Mithila artwork in the world that can knock down any previous held Guinness World Record.

The project, which took more than 20 days to complete, is just not aimed at changing the appalling condition of the place, but also to showcase the skill of the local artists. According to reliable sources, the artists did not accept any monetary favour for their effort save for the refreshments that were offered by railway authorities. They were duly felicitated after the completion of the paintings.

The paintings covered scenes from Ramayana, particularly Sita —as her birthplace was Mithila —like the marriage ceremony of Ram-Sita and Sita Bidai; scenes from Mahabharata and Chhat Puja, a popular festival. Other scenes include rural life, social life, wedding rituals and local folk dances. The vibrant Madhubani paintings feature distinct signature geometrical patterns and motifs.

A lot of young artists, all of whom have been trained in the timeless artwork since childhood, stepped up to volunteer the work. From platform signboards to walls at the railway stations, everything is magical at Madhubani.