Kalamkari or pen work refers to textiles that are printed or painted using a particular technique. It is a traditional textile painting technique, where the lines are drawn with kalam (pen), made from a stick with a wad of cotton at the tip. Often kalamkari is combined with block-printing. Modern kalamkari can be traced to 17th century Andhra Pradesh. Like most other Indian arts, it owes its birth to temple rituals. Kalamkari textiles were used as aids to storytelling in temples. The themes were drawn from Hindu mythology. The two major centers of Kalamkari are Masulipatnam and Shrikalahasti. Such wall hangings were used to decorate chariots and temple walls on festive occasions.
This kalamkari depicts Ganesha, the God wisdom. He is being worshipped by devotees and celestial nymphs. He is seated on his vahana (vehicle) rat.