Madhubani art has five distinctive styles - Bharni, Katchni, Tantrik, Nepali and Gobar. In the 1960s Bharni, Kachni and Tantrik style were mainly done Brahman & Kayashth women, who are upper caste women in India and Nepal. Their themes were mainly religious, and they depicted Gods and Goddesses in their paintings. People of lower castes and classes included aspects of their daily life and symbols of Gods and Goddesses much more, in their paintings.
The Godna and Gobar style is done by the Dalit and Dushadh communities. Of course, nowadays Madhubani has become a globalized art form, and difference in styles of various castes are distinct in the same way they may have been before Madhubani received international and national attention.
Madhubani painting received official recognition in 1975, when the President of India gave away the Padma Shri award to one of the practicing women. In subsequent years other women also received similar awards.