Worldview of Viswakarmas

Initiated in the year 2013, The IGNCA project “Worldview of Viswakarmas” covers the five groups of artisan communities in India – ironsmiths, carpenters, coppersmiths, sculptors and goldsmiths who trace their lineage to the divine architect, Lord Viswakarma. While the role of artisans in shaping the art and craft heritage of India is enormous, holistic studies linking the community, cosmology, social structure, and arts and crafts production in both traditional and modern contexts are rare. The project aims to conduct comprehensive study of the Viswakarma worldview through multi-disciplinary and holistic methodologies.
Objective :

  • Study of origin myths and Viswakarma cosmology
  • Oral traditions
  • Traditional conception of work, tools and workshops
  • Metallurgy
  • Physical habitat and environment
  • Life Cycle Events
  • Rituals and festivals
  • Arts and crafts
  • Iconography
  • Lexicon of terms used in the occupational, ritualistic and every-day life specific to the Viswakarmas


The project presently focuses on the Viswakarmas in South India. Literature survey and preparation of an annotated bibliography is under process. A collaborative study of the Vanishing Heritage of the Viswakarma and Kammalar: Techno-cultural Trail of the Metalworkers in Southern India’ is on in collaboration with National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. In the second stage, the project could be extended to other regions and collaborations could be worked out accordingly.