In Pictures: The Colourful and Magnificent Truck Art of India

‘Horn Please, Blow Horn, India is Great, Use Dipper at Night, Wait for Side…’ – these are some of the many messages we find painted on the rear end of Indian trucks. But if you pay attention to more than just the rear, you will be delighted to see the brilliant art on those magnificent trucks – the slogans, precautionary traffic messages, colourful paintings, attractive calligraphy, beautiful sceneries, pictures of gods, goddesses and Bollywood stars, names of children and family members. Truck exteriors say a lot about their drivers who spend several months on the road, and the vehicle is more like home that they want to decorate. From religious beliefs to humorous punchlines, trucks are turned into magnificent canvases and artists use them to the fullest.

Have a look at some from around the country:

1. Seen in Delhi

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2. In Pondicherry – the text speaks of “advantages in education”

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3. That ubiquitous instruction to blow horn

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4. Why leave any place vacant on this huge canvas!

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5. Even the important details are painted

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6. Seen in Raikhad, Gujarat

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7. Such attractive colours!

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Gujarati text roughly reads "Be Happy"

Gujarati text roughly reads “Be Happy”

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8. And designs:

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9. The best place to advertise business

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10. Ankita and Akshay in this one are the driver’s children

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11. Meet the artists – From Wadi Bunder region in Mumbai

He has been decorating trucks since he was 15

He has been decorating trucks since he was 15

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12. And finally the ornaments – the icing on the cake

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The culture of hand-painted trucks is slowly taking a backseat, and ready-made stickers are replacing the art. But whatever be the source of those colours, the end result is always extraordinary.

All Pictures: Meena Kadri/Flickr

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