Shola also referred to as Indian cork is a milky-white spongy plant botanically known as Aeschynomene aspera, Shola grows in the water logged marshy areas of Bengal.
Brown sticks of Shola are procured and peeled to get the white pith, which is used to make exquisite crafts. There is a continued relevance of Shola in Bengali lifestyle and culture. The symbolic abstraction of emotions using Shola is imbibed in the day to day life of the Bengalis. The product ranges are varied. Ritualistic products, Shola Flowers, Replica Models and Puppets are the most important of the lot. Shola craft is associated with Bengali's greatest Festival Durga Puja. The idols are decorated with Sholapith ornaments which are done by most of the Shola craftsperson. Topor (wedding headdress) and Sheethi Mukut are important parts of Bengali wedding which are also commonly found in every region. The tradition of Shola craft stretches throughout Bengal, covering the districts of Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Nadia, Burdwan, South 24 Parganas and Howrah with prominent diversities in each region.