The traditional paintings of Assam serve as a source of inspiration to thousands of art lovers around the globe. Renowned for their unmatched quality and outstanding strokes of mastery, they have become an integral part of Assam’s rich heritage. With origins traced back to the seventh century AD, Assamese paintings were illustrations inspired by the epic mythological tales like the Mahabarata. Many original ancient manuscripts have been collected from all over the state and published complete with their original illustrations. They were executed on bark and a fine lint-like surface known as tulapat.
Some of the original manuscripts are on display at the Assam State Museum in Guwahati while others are in the hands of private collectors. In addition the Assam Fine Arts and Crafts Society in Guwahati and the Jorhat Fine Arts Society in Jorhat are also playing significant roles in preserving the rich cultural heritage of the state.
This form of art was not restricted to just manuscript, however, and although limited, evidence does exist of paintings on woodwork, muga silk and other surfaces.