Masks



The picturesque hill resort of Manali is famed for its exquisite handicrafts that vividly illustrates the consummate skill and expertise of the local craftsmen. One of the highlights of the diverse platter of Manali metal crafts are the excellent Manali masks that bewitch the audience.

The local inhabitants of the valleys of Kullu and Mandi are a very religious lot. This has inspired the skilled craftsmen and metalsmith to create innovative masks bearing the face of the revered Devi and the venerable Lord Shiva in unique and attractive designs. These masks are greatly valued and lovingly kept in the local temples and are worn by the people, charged by a passionate religious fervor during the festive occasions, local fairs and religious ceremonies.

The Mohras or the Manali masks are gracefully beautified by with colorful flowers whose fragrant aroma wafts to far off regions. They masks are then placed on small chariots, locally known as the Raths that are dazzlingly embellished with vibrant pieces of cloth. The pious devotees carry the chariot on their shoulders and cheer heartily while a local band of musicians provide the music necessary to enliven the joyous occasion.

A distinct feature of the masks are the benevolent expressions on the face, the elaborately crowned third eye that accounts for the deity's wisdom and far sight. The masks are designed intricately in the traditional ornate designs, distinct of the bucolic culture. These masks are usually made of brass, copper and an alloy of Brass, Iron, Gold, Silver, Tin, Mercury, Copper, and Zinc.