Wood carving is an old art form practiced in different parts of Orissa. Puri is famous for its colourful and painted wood carving where the local skilled artists prepare the finished goods using vegetable colors as well as chemical colours. Craftsmen use woods like neem, teak, ceader and sheesham. However demand for the craft has declined over the recent years.
The wooden figures have sought inspiration from the Lord Jagannath Temple and the culure of Puri which governs the themes, motifs and forms of the articles. The three chariots of the Puri car festival are extravagantly decorated with wooden images potraying various deities as Parswa-Devatas. Image of the Sarathi or the charioteer and the horses attached in front are also crafted by wood carvers of Puri. Stylized version of animals and birds like bull, elephant, horse, lion and peacock are also used. Hindu gods like Krishna, Laddu Gopal and Ganesha are also made and if required are polished with wax to obtain a glossy and smooth texture.
Utility articles are also carved such as walking sticks and ashtrays. Wooden toys are carved in birds and camel form. The patachitra style of the region echoes forms of the painted in the figurines of birds and animal painted. Tools used are kholom/u-shaped chisel, batali/ flat chisel, barasi/ hammer, khot kas/ used to draw lines, tai/ iron base, karata/ saw and sandpaper. Souvenirs made by craftsmen are easily available for tourists visiting Puri temple.