Rajasthan is famous for its paintings, music and folk dances. Its miniature paintings of the many different schools of Rajasthan are now collector's items. The arts and culture has been influenced by the Persian elements during Mughal rule, and can be seen in the graceful Bikaner paintings and frescoes on palace walls.
The major styles of painting are the Kota style, Jaipur, Bikaner and Marwar. Some are as old as 400 years. The Bikaner school of painting gave Rajasthan the paintings based on the famous poet Jayadeva's Geeta Govinda. Devotional in nature, these paintings depict Lord Krishna in play with his cowherd friends, or the gopis of Vrindavan. Kota style paintings, some of which are drawn on the walls of Kota's palaces, depict nature in all her glory. The Kota painters also drew hunting scenes and beautiful women. Jaipur, and surrounding regions of Alwar and Tonk, are famous for the Jaipur style paintings that have a substantial Mughal element. The fine Bikaner paintings also had Mughal influence, but the technique of the painting differed. The paints were painstakingly created using vegetable dyes and minerals, and applied in a manner unique to the Bikaner style. Marwar paintings are themed around Marwar's Rajput warriors, their royal hunts and majestic palaces.
Rajasthan is famed for its jewelry and gem cutting techniques. A strong Mughal influence is visible in the Thewa style of pendants, which are painstakingly handcrafted and inlaid with semi precious stones and gold. The enameled lac bangles of Rajasthan are made by etching designs on the material, filling it with colors and enameling with gold.
The folk dances of Rajasthan are known for its lively, and belles in rich ghaghra and armful of bangles dancing to the tune of the Sarangi, a Rajasthani string instrument. The folk poets of Rajasthan, known as Bhopas, recite ballads as they wander from village to village.
Rajasthan is famous for its mirror work, done on clothes, cushions, even walls. Some old havelis, or mansions, in Rajasthan still have richly frescoed walls with mirror work.
The varied, colorful arts and folk dances lend color to the barren desert of Rajasthan.