Patachitra is an art form where stories are painted on scrolls and the artists sing the stories.

The word ‘Pata’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Patta’, meaning cloth and ‘Chitra’ refers to painting. In Patachitra, stories are painted as frames on long scrolls and the Patuas who paint Patas, gradually unfurl them while presenting the story through their songs. The songs are known as Pater Gaan. Patachitra is known for its bold colours, lines and strokes.  One of the fascinating aspects of Patachitra is the use of natural colours derived from local sources like fruits and flowers. The Patuas paint and sing on various themes like mythological tales (Ramayana, Mahabharata, Mangalkabya), historical and contemporary themes (biographies of great personalities, nuclear warfare) and social issues (women empowerment, child right, health, literacy).

The Patachitra tradition practiced in Purulia is known for its simplistic style and compositions, minimalistic background decoration and distinctive themes, which are strikingly different from the scroll paintings of Medinipur, Bankura, Murshidabad.