Hand-Fans from the collection of Artist Jatin Das

Pankha (hand fan) is a dying craft. It is used in all tropical and hot countries in the world, especially Eastern and Oriental countries including India. Since the invention of electricity, the use of this art form has become redundant; still in Indian villages people use it.


Pankha originates from the Hindi word ‘pankh’ which refers to feathers; in Sanskrit, Byajanam.

  • Jatin Das, a contemporary Indian artist with a deep interest in traditional art forms, has been collecting Pankha for over 40 years.

  • The collection was first stored at the residence of Purnima Rai, an architect and Vice-Secretary, Craft Council in Delhi.

  • Later on, the collection was stored at O.P. Jain’s Sanskriti Kendra, in Delhi

  • Pankha Foundation was established many years ago. Its members, among others, are O.P. Jain, Purnima Rai, Jyotindra Jain, Jatin Das.

  • Jatin Das is also a member of Fan Circle International, London.

  • The collection from India consists of fans made from various organic raw materials such as bamboo, cane and date palm.

  • The collection is not only from different parts of India but also from China, Japan, Korea, Burma, South East Asia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Africa and Egypt etc.

  • Most of the collection has been bought and curated by Artist Jatin Das, solely from the sale of his paintings.

  • Some fans, gifted by friends, have been added to the collection.

  • There is a collection of accessories related to Pankha.

  • There are hundreds of original paintings, miniatures, photographs, graphics and prints on the subject of Pankha.

  • The collection includes a series of Hand-pull ceiling fans.

  • A collection of poems has been written in different languages on the subject of Pankha.

  • Documentary films have been made made on Pankha. .

  • Dr Deborah Swallow, former Head of Asian Dept. and Director of Collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London was kind to show the entire Pankha collection at their Museum and allowed photographs and archiving of a small collection of their historic fans.

  • The price of Pankha ranges from Rs. 2 to 2 million. Royal fans usually consist of a silver handle and pure gold and silver thread or zari.

  • More than 300 eminent Indian contemporary artists have done paintings on cardboard fan.