Phad art is a style of religious-folk painting made on a piece of cloth that resembles a large scroll. Phad in local dialect means ‘fold’ and this is used as a canvas to depict various episodes from the life of local deities, mainly Pabuji and Devnarayan. Lord Devnarayan is believed to be the incarnation of Hindu god Vishnu and Pabuji, the incarnation of Laxman (brother of lord Rama).
Seven hundred years ago, Chochu Bhat, a profound devotee of Lord Devnarayan commissioned the ‘Bhopa and family’ to illustrate the entire life of the folk-deity on Phad. From then onwards, Bhopa & Joshi families have become the traditional torchbearers of this art form. Making Phad paintings is a long and elaborate process, and artists take a month or more to complete it.