Sohrai and Khovar are the two traditional tribal art forms which originated in Hazaribagh.

They are commonly seen on mud houses of  various tribes in Hazaribagh such as Munda, Santhal, Agaria, Ganju, Kurmi and Jarwadhi.

All the processes to become Geographical Indication(GI) Tag is completed for Sohrai and Khovar Art. 


  • Sohrai is a winter harvest festival and one of the most important festivals of santhals in Jharkhand.
  • It is mainly celebrated at the beginning of winter harvest, in the month of October-November.
  • In some regions, celebrations take place at the end of  the winter harvesting mid January.

Sohrai Art:

  • According to an ancient Santhal mythology, Marang Buru(God of mountain), Jaher ayo(Goddess of forest) and the elder sister of the santhals, would descend on earth from heaven to pay a visit to their brothers.
  • To commemorate this event, the harvest festival is celebrated at this time and women decorate their walls with murals of Sohrai arts.
  • These paintings are believed to bring good luck.
  • It’s from here that Sohrai art originated, adding to the culture and traditions of India.
  • The women of the community repair their mud walls, floors Decorate the walls with their stunning traditional art.
  • This art form is monochromatic & extremely colourful.
  • Monochromatic colors are all the colors (tones, tints and shades) of a single hue.
  • It is a matriarchal tradition.
  • These colourful paintings are done totally by using natural  pigments mixed in mud — Kali matti, Charak matti, Dudhi matti, Lal matti (Geru) and Pila matti.
  • Artists use datoon (teeth cleaning twig) or cloth swabs daubed in different earth colours to paint on the walls — Bulls, horses with riders, wild animals, trees, lotuses,  peacocks, and horned deities.

Khovar Art:

  • Khovar art was traditionally for decorating the marriage chamber of the bride and groom.
  • It usually depicts the animals and plants of neighbouring forests and valleys.
  • The name Khovar is derived from two words - Kho or koh (meaning: a cave) and var (meaning:  husband).
  • Symbolizing fertility, the mural-making takes place each spring during the marriage season.
  • The marriage season runs from January until the onset of the monsoons in June.
  • Khovar designs are painted where the marriage rites are  performed and the newly-wed couple will sleep.