The patachitra are generally located as the earliest indigenous paintings in the Indian state of Orissa. Word patachitra is derived from Sanskrit language, pata means cloth and chitra means picture. It is a term given to traditional, cloth-based scroll painting, of eastern state Orissa, in India. Patachitra is a traditional painting of Orissa. This old tradition still survives in the places like Puri, Raghurajpur, Paralakhemundi, Chikiti and Sonepur. These paintings are based on Hindu mythology and specially inspired by Jaganath and Vaishnava sect. Earlier it was done only on cloth canvas and known to depict Hindu mythology.
Since beginning of Patachitra culture, lord Jagannath who was an incarnation of lord Krishna has been the major source of inspiration. The subject matter of patachitra is mostly mythological, religious stories and folklore. Themes are chiefly on Lord Jagannath and Radha-Krishna , temple activities, the ten incarnations of Vishnu basing on the 'Gita Govinda' of Jayadev, Kama Kujara Navagunjara, Ramayana, Mahabharata.
Patachitra paintings are the pictogram of the most popular living traditions in the art world of Orissa. Patachitra paintings exhibit the strong line and brilliant color that are the two principal aspects of Orissa folk painting. In this region many castes exists like maharana, mahapatra, sumar, swain, sahoo, godia, pandit, naik, and pradhan. Castes, which master in patachitra and palm leaf paintings, are maharana, mahapatras, sahoo, and swain. Other castes indulge in making crafts like cow-dung toys, wooden toys, stone carving, papier-mache, and coconut shell painting. The main occupation of the people here are the crafts they indulge in.
Benudhar mahapatra is born on 1935 is a master craft man of patachitra. He won national award for his skills in patachitra painting. He says that it is their family business and they are involved in this work from many generations. He has been interested in art from very young age and started his career in this from the age of 15 years. In puri he is the one who began to work patachithra painting.