Kathputli is a string puppet performance and is an ancient and well-known form of folk entertainment. A Kathputli basically means a puppet made of wood. Kathputli dance and performance is one of the major tourist attractions of Rajasthan. The string puppets of Rajasthan are famous as kathputhlis in the local language and the main centers where they are prepared are Jaipur and Jodhpur. The Bhatt community makes these puppets as well as performs with them.
The puppets are usually two feet in height having a wooden head with a huge nose and large eyes. The rest of the body is prepared of colorful and bright pieces of cloth and stuffed clothes which also allow for free movement. Unless they are horse riders, the puppets have no legs but are covered with a long pleated skirt. The puppet has a long thread for the head which reaches the manipulator and then joins the middle";" the threads from the two hands of the puppet are tied to the hands of the manipulator.
The costumes are regional and traditional while the themes that are performed turn around Rajasthani historical tales or local traditions. A few characters and items like the court dancer, stunt horse rider, and snake charmer, are a necessary. The puppeteers who make these puppets and perform with them belong to the traveling Bhatt communities who have been performing for thousands of years.
The puppets in Rajasthan are one of the well-known sources of amusement in the state. The art of puppetry is practiced by a society of agricultural laborers of Rajasthan. Known as the Bhats, these people have been connected with Rajasthani string puppetry to carry forward their traditional profession. Originally they belong, to the Nagaur area in the Marwar region; they travel all over the country to show their talent. Also known by the name of the "kathputliwalas", they usually perform the puppet shows during the late evenings.