Content and Conceptualization by Sakshi Jain

As echelons of zillion lights adorn

With fragrance of flowers & array of colors

Effusing joys to abound with Pearls of gleams in these autumn nights

Let us thank the heavenly might,
In this festive season of lights

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Deepawali is a remarkably popular festival of India. Predominantly celebrated by the people of the Hindu community. Diwali is celebrated on Amavasya the 15th day of the fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashwin. It falls either in October or November month every year. It symbolizes the culture of India which teaches to conquer ignorance that subdues humanity and to dislodge the darkness that engulfs the light of knowledge. The festival of Diwali is celebrated to summon love and prosperity in the house. 

Deepawali celebrates the triumph of the good over the evil as on this day the people of Ayodhya welcomed Lord Ram who had returned from 14 years of exile. The Hindu Lord Ram returned to his palace along with his brother Laxman and Sita ( his wife ). During the exile, Sita was abducted by evil Ravana. Later, The almighty lord ram defeated Ravana and rescued his wife. The whole Ayodhya was lit with diyas and burned crackers to celebrate their victory. Since the day every Indian family celebrates this festival with same enthusiasm and joy.

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It’s a customary practice in the Hindu community to light Diyas in their homes at evening as it signifies the surrender of one’s soul to the almighty Diwali.  A Diya is also a personification of the self as Diya is made up of Clay, which represents our body and it also constitutes a cotton wick and oil. The wick in the Diya depicts our ego. Oil or ghee in lamp depicts our vasanas or negative thoughts. As the lamp burns to emit light for all, the oil (vasanas) slowly starts to deplete, the wick(ego) also burns out.The flame of the Diya always burns upwards – inspiring us towards higher ideals Likewise, when we lit ourselves by enlighten of spiritual knowledge  (flame), the “vasanas” get slowly exhausted with ego and fade out completely. The peerless lamp is Sun as it only gives and asks for nothing. That is why it is called a devata – the one who gives.

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The Festival of Diwali welcomes a change of season and a change of mood with the bells of festivity and holy rituals around every corner. The farmer thanks the “ The Almighty” for the harvests and pray for a prosperous harvesting season in the forthcoming year as it marks the end of the harvest season and the onset of winters. The traders after offering prayers to Lord Ganesha open a new book of accounts as it marks the beginning of the new financial year. India a country of unity in diversity is even diversified in beliefs when it comes to the celebration of Diwali each religion and state celebrates this festival with different notions and customs.

· Hindus – All Hindus celebrate Diwali as Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and victory over Ravan.

· Jains – They celebrate this festival as on this day Lord Mahavira attained Moksha (the liberation of the soul from karma and the cycle of life and death). The next day of Diwali is celebrated as New Year in Jainism.

·Sikhs – The festival of Diwali is celebrated by Sikhs since 1577 as the foundation stone of Golden Temple is placed on this day and also, the 6th of 10 gurus of Sikhism’s “Guru Hargobind” is released on this day along with 52 others who were detained in Gwalior Fort by Mughal emperor Jahangir.

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It even amazes me sometimes that a simple festival could hold so different meaning for so many people and how some stories are still unrevealed. The tag of Incredible India couldn’t be better suited to any country other than India. But, the series of stories still have few more stories to amaze you. Likewise different states hold different tradition to celebrate Diwali; however, the purpose of peace and happiness remain same for all.

Eastern India ( West Bengal, Kolkata, Odisha, Tripura, And Assam )

Most Indians worship goddess Lakshmi on Diwali. Here, Diwali is celebrated as Kali Puja and the night of Diwali is considered as Night of Pitripurush(ancestors). They believe their ancestors descend on the day of Diwali from Heaven and to invite them they burn jute sticks and reiterate.

.“Badabadua ho Gandhara e as a aluaa e jaao baaisi pahacha e gadagadau thaao”(Meaning: oh!! our ancestors, seers and gods you came on the dark night of mahalaya, and now it is time for you to depart for heaven, so we are showing light, may you attain peace in abode of Jagannatha!)

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Southern India ( Chennai, Banglore, and Hyderabad)

Diwali comes on Tamil month of Aipasi in south India. It starts from Dhanatrayodashi and extends till Yama Dwitiya. Dhanatroypdashi is just the other name of Dhanteras which is same as other places and the second day is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi which can be also called as Choti Diwali The third day is celebrated as Diwali also known as Kali chadus on this day they worship “ Kul Devi to cast off evil spirits but unlike other states they have different significance as the day before on “Naraka Chaturdashi” Lord Krishna killed the asura ( demon ) Naraksura and took the oil bath to get rid of Naraksura blood. To solemnize people start doing the same as they believe that on this day goddess Ganga consecrate the water and goddess Lakshmi will consecrate the oil. On Naraka Chaturdashi in some states, people create a paper-made effigy of Narakasura and filled it with the firecracker and burn it in the morning. The fourth-day Padwa also known as Bali Padyami and fifth-day Bhaiduj is also known as Yama Dwitiya is celebrated similarly to northern states.

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Western India ( Gujarat, Maharastra, and Rajasthan )

The celebration of Diwali commences a day before comparing to other states of India. Here, The first day is known as Vasubaras which they celebrate by worshipping cow and its calf – as it’s a symbol of mother and child love. The next day is Dhan Trayadashi or Dhanteras followed by Naraka Chaturdashi and a day after Lakshmi puja or Diwali Then Bali pratipada and Lastly, Bhai Bij which is also known as Bhai Doj in which sisters pray for the prosperity and happiness of their brothers.

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Northern India ( Delhi, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh )

The bells of the festive season start ringing for them with the sounds of crackers Dusshera which comes few weeks before Diwali. From where everyone started preparing for Diwali by painting and cleaning their homes, buying gifts and decorating their houses with lights for Diwali. But, the main chores start with Dhanteras in which people worship Lord Kubera (The God of wealth ) and also buy gold and silver ornaments or utensils in order to bring luck and prosperity in their homes. Followed by Choti Diwali where people decorate their houses with diyas and rangoli and offer prayers to their God. The next day is celebrated as Diwali in which people in invite friends and family to exchange presents and sweets and also to pray along with everyone for happiness peace and prosperity. The fourth day people do Goverdhan Puja and next day celebrate Bhai-duj.

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Whatever may be the eccentric philosophies or customs associated with the celebration of Diwali. The ideology to welcome positive vibes, worship God for blessing and to start the beginning of the new season with happiness and joy remain the same for all. The twinkling colorful lights illuminate every household with brightness and positivity and the fragrance of sandalwood and agarbatis , color of rangoli and recitations of prayer in every temple and household make you realize the prominence and exclusivity of Indian festivals and tradition.


 


India is a country with very rich history and much richer heritage. Various art forms are part of the Indian heritage. The Arabic Calligraphy forms an integral part of this heritage. Some art forms were brought and developed in India and some of them were born in India.

The early Arabic traders introduced the Arabic Calligraphy art in India around the 7th century. Spirituality was the core purpose of the existence of this art. This art was initiated to preserve the scripts of the Holy Quran. It is a simple yet an artistic illustration of Arabic fonts from the Holy Quran.

The Arabic Calligraphy designs were developed during the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate in India. Hence, this art emerged as a mainstream art. Qutubuddin Aibak, who ruled Delhi, decorated and covered Qutub Minar with intricate carvings, designs, and verses of Quran. The Humayun’s tomb in Delhi and the Mughal coins showcase this monumental heritage. The Arabic Calligraphy art form majorly flourished in the Mughals reign. This is also the Mughal art form.

Hence, the Muslim rule in India established a diverse culture along with the fresh ink of Arabic Calligraphy styles or designs or paintings to last persistently. The Arabic Calligraphy history is the virtue of the religious and spiritual aspects of life.

In conclusion, the calligraphy design is a precious art since the artists practicing this art are rare. These artists are losing their demand and respect in the society. Therefore, Nazariya has joined hands with these artists and has taken a pledge to give them the true value for their talent.

Finally, this Eid, admire their work by getting one of their masterpieces home. Get a customized manuscript for yourself by these wonderful artisans and wish your loved ones Eid in the most artistic way. Let us explore more about the Arabic Calligraphy paintings in the Images given below.

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This article was originally created for, and published on www.gounesco.com, a UNESCO supported umbrella of initiatives that makes heritage fun, written by Arundhati Bhande.

We belong to a society that is forgetting to appreciate the metal craft in Pune’s copper alley. Let us talk about the forgotten copper artisans of Pune, Tambit Ali workers. This Indian metal craft work has been passed down to us over generations. Moreover, we are forgetting to appreciate the artists who keep the fire burning.  One such community of artists is the copper artisans from Pune, Maharashtra the Tambat Ali workers.

This community settled in Pune around 400 years ago. The Peshwas were their first patrons. The community was once the talk of the town. These copper artisans are sidelined with the advent of stainless steel and plastic utensils.

They are aware of the fact that the pots they make can earn a few hundred rupees only. These pots are being sold for thousands in the market. They have no option but to continue with their metal craft hoping that none of the future generations have to suffer.

Meet the workers of Tambat Ali and get to know their everyday struggles.

1. “When I was younger, my foot and thighs would hurt a lot while hammering the design on the piece and using the foot for support. Now I have become used to it. I can keep my foot still for half an hour while I am finishing a piece, this ensures that the consistency is maintained.” Ganesh Karde was 18 when he started working with copper, it has been 25 years since.

 

2. “I have a degree in Bachelors of Commerce, the constant sound of hammering has affected my hearing, but this is the only job I can do the best. I wear gloves while working because I have clammy hands and the moisture may leave black marks on the copper.” Ajit Pimpale is from the third and the last generation of copper workers from his family.

 

3. “I don’t work after 5 PM because the light isn’t good enough, the bulb is of little help. Some of us still work after sundown but I can’t.”

 

This photo story has been created by Arundhati Bhande. She is among the 20 students a.k.a heritage enthusiasts from The Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication who participated in the Make Heritage Fun! event held on 26th March 2017, in Pune, India.


If you love stories then read along. Let us take you to the vivid world of scroll paintings! Here you will find paintings that would have you falling in love with the art that tells you the story as much as the story itself. Welcome to the world of Cheriyal Art!

 

 Cheriyal scroll painting depicting Indian Myth

               Cheriyal scroll painting depicting Indian Myth

 

 Types of Cheriyal art scrolls depicting different types of stories.

   Types of Cheriyal art scrolls depicting different types of stories.

Originated from the village of Cheriyal, 85 km from Warangal district of Telangana, Cheriyal scroll painting is a Indian folk art and is a version of Nakashi art rich in Indian mythology motifs. The cheriyal paintings represent the Telangana folk art. Painted in a narrative format like that of a comic strip, Cheriyal painting is an art depicts stories from the Puranas and Epics. While they bear some resemblance to Madhubani paintings, they are intensely infused with local flavour that creates the uniqueness in Cheriyal art of storytelling.

Each Cheriyal Scroll painting is drawn on a khadi cloth opening with a piece of Lord Ganesha, followed by Goddess Saraswati. It’s way adopted by the artists to pay respect to the deities and seeking their blessings and richly representing the art and crafts of telangana.

The technique of cheriyal scroll painting would tell you about the sophistication level as firstly they begin with applying a paste of tamarind seed along with tree gum and white clay. After applying three coats of this paste and allowing it to dry for a day or two, the scroll is finally ready for the further procedures. Now the artist draws the outline using a squirrel haired brush. Next is the turn for the predetermined colouring system. The red colour fills the background and blue and yellow colours are used for Gods and Goddesses respectively. While brown and darker shades are used for demons and pink skin tones are used for depicting humans.

Earlier natural dyes were used which were obtained from grounded sea shells, turmeric, vegetables etc. While today natural dyes are largely replaced by organic watercolors which are mixed with tree gum before applying on the scrolls. These paints are said to last over 300 years provided they don’t come in contact with water.

 D.Vaikuntham working on Cheriyal Art

        D.Vaikuntham working on Cheriyal Art

Today D.Vaikuntham’s family is only to practice the cheriyal art form, they have continued the Cheriyal tradition since the 15th century. They are the true masters of art form in this era. Apart from making the scroll paintings, the art has got a modified version of making masks in the same colour pattern and same themes of depicting the Indian mythologies as well. Due to the trouble of fitting in the modern world, the artists are forced to modify the art form.

The modified version of Cheriyal art as a mask

    The modified version of Cheriyal art as a                                                mask

Adapting the modern global changes is a major challenge for ancient art forms. It makes it difficult for them to breathe in with so many alternatives and replacements around but Cheriyal Art continues to survive. Ergo, an ancient tradition has been preserved with passion and zeal overflowing to keep it alive today and for coming generation!

Want to shop for cheriyal paintings online Check out the ‘ Store’ section to buy scroll paintings of India at Nazariya.

Happy Shopping!


You can always find the books of your choice in a library but seldom can you find both the writer and the book at one place. One such place in India is Jaipur Literature Festival. It is the world’s largest free event of its kind. In its 10 years, it has hosted 1300 speakers and 1.2 million book lovers. Man Booker Prize winners to debut authors, this place welcomes them all. In a society like ours, debate and discussion are integral since ages which JLF fulfills.

Source: instagram.com/jaipurlitfest

Not only writers but critics, historians, musicians, journalists, poets, activists, politicians and orators from all across the globe come together at one place for five days of readings, debates, and discussions. The festival takes place in the month of January in Diggi Palace in Jaipur and is a place of open expression.

Source: instagram.com/jaipurlitfest

Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, Sashi Tharoor and William Dalrymple are few names from the list of literary geniuses of the world who graced the festival. The venues were flooding with young, euphoric crowd dressed in chic and boho outfits. All five days of the festival started the Front Lawn venue beginning with Shillong Chamber Choir. The keynote address by Gulzar and Anne Waldman was the first session that officially marked JLF 2017’s beginning.

Source: instagram.com/jaipurlitfest

Of all the six venues of Diggi Palace, Cox and Kings Charbagh and Mughal Tent remained the most crowded on all five days. There were several book launches and readings by eminent literary figures. The discussions were everything from Sanskrit in Mughal Court to Shakespeare’s Restless World. While Hotel Clarks Amer hosted the music stage venue, Amber Fort became the venue for Heritage events.

Source: instagram.com/jaipurlitfest

Nicole who had come from Australia said,” I had come to India as a young girl about 30 years ago, I have been to all the states but here in JLF I’ve experienced the essence of India. The crowd is young and full of life, levitra en ligne not quite like the one we see in literary festivals. JLF has something for one and all”. Certainly, not just bookstores and session venues, there were stalls selling refreshments from international cuisines like Falafel and Hummus. Live sketch counter attracted a lot many bibliophiles.

Know more at https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/

Facebook: Jaipurlitfestofficial

Instagram: jaipurlitfest

Twitter: @ZEEJLF

If you come to Jaipur to attend JLF don’t miss visiting the Rajasthani markets that sell miniature paintings and bandhej dupattas. Almost everything is available in shops in Bapu Baazar and Johri Baazar.  The forts of Nihargarh, Jaigarh and Amber are a must visit too.

 


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Image Source: www.anokhi.com/museum

The two-story pink sandstone haveli in the dusty lanes of Amber is usually easy to miss. Many of the locals know this as Chanwar Palkiwalaon ki Haveli and not Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, eight miles outside Jaipur where women clad in the most colourful of sarees suspend their chat to wave at you.  The museum focuses on contemporary fabric ranging from innovative designs created by talented artisans to traditional outfits still worn in select regions today, albeit in dwindling numbers. A focused selection of historic textiles provides a context for a further understanding of block printing.

image source: http://josephinewilson.com/?p=417

Image Source: http://josephinewilson.com/?p=417

The one of its kind museum is an endeavour to preserve the community of artisans of 500-year-old block printing in Rajasthan. It was started by Anokhi, a clothing line selling block printed garments in stores across in India. The company was the brainchild of a British woman who married an Indian and moved to Jaipur in 1970, Faith Singh worked with local craftsmen to create contemporary prints on textiles that have become so popular in India and abroad. It was Ms Singh’s daughter-in- law Rachel Bracken-Singh who restored the dilapidated 17th- century mansion which once belonged to the palanquin bearers of the royals and turned it into a museum. This preservation project earned a UNESCO award for ‘Cultural Heritage Conservation’ in 2000. The old but well-maintained building is a cool relief from the desert heat.

 Large boards are put up in the open courtyard which explain the lengthy process of hand block printing. It all begins with the design to be printed on the textile. Once finalised—often floral, paisley or geometric—they are carved by hand onto wooden blocks which have been soaked in oil overnight and cleaned. These blocks are then used to print the pattern onto fabrics using natural vegetable dyes like indigo, pomegranate rind and turmeric in vibrant blues, reds and greens. 

 

 

 

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Image Source: www.google.com

 

 

Inside Anokhi

More than a hundred garments and blocks are on permanent display inside alcoves and galleries across two floors. There are ethnic designs and patterns  and also Western clothes in traditional prints, like knee-length dresses in shades of red and russet. On the roof-top terrace, a few craftsmen sit with their tools, ready to demonstrate their work to interested visitors. The museum also offers a 2-day course in block printing and wood carving to the enthusiasts. The museum shop carries a selection of hand-crafted merchandise which includes limited edition textiles, clothing, furnishings, jewellery, books and cards.

Anokhi is trying to preserve the dying craft which is overpowered by the more efficient and more economical machine-printing process damaging the livelihood of the artisans and threatening to extinguish an important craft. But it has a modern approach too. The team is always looking for new craftsmen and techniques to develop new garments in the main workshop on the outskirts of Jaipur. They have worked with a British designer to re-interpret William Morris’s prints, made costumes inspired by the Russian theatre, and worked their patterns into contemporary fashion—all of which are showcased in temporary exhibitions.

 

 

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Image Source: www.anokhi.com/museum

 

Visit them in Jaipur:
Chanwar Palkiwalon ki Haveli (Anokhi Haveli)
Kheri Gate, Amber, Jaipur
Tel:- 91 – 141 2530226 / 2531267

 

Museum Working Hours

  • Tuesday – Saturday : 10:30am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday : 11:00am – 4:30pm

Together with garments – Indian and Western in design – home textiles, sarongs and accessories, Anokhi offers a diverse and colourful selection of products in its 27 outlets in major cities of India. Anokhi doesn’t offer e-commerce.

Instagram @anokhijaipur

Facebook @AnokhiIndia

Here are some insights, with Ms. Rachel Bracken-Singh, the museum’s director:

Are there any festivals/events/Hand Printing workshops in the museum?

The museum offers regular works throughout the year. These are usually against request and range from individuals and small groups of enthusiasts to large school groups –from within India as well as visiting from abroad. School groups, college groups, design student groups – we tend to tweak the workshops to suit the particular need. While most workshops involve block printing we also offer block carving workshops. Throughout the day, the onsite printers and carvers demonstrate their skills and offer interactive sessions with visitors as they walk around.

 

What excites the visitors the most about your museum?

The response to the museum and what people enjoy most varies quite a bit. While most people love to try their own hand at block printing and also block carving, we find that there is a very clear appreciation for the overall quality of the experience from start to finish, in all the spaces at the museum. A great deal of attention has been given to clear and concise information and good visuals, and great care is taken in maintaining a high standard of care for the various striking and interesting textiles as well as tools, techniques, etc. The building is well worth a visit for that alone!! Visitors leave feeling that they have had a very positive, informative and satisfying and holistic experience.

 

How is the museum funded?

It is funded by Anokhi – we do not take outside financial support. The small shop there and museum publications go part way to supporting some of the costs.

 

What would you say to those looking forward to visit the museum?

Above all, I would recommend that any visitors coming to the museum should give as much time as they can to enjoy a complete experience – a full morning or an afternoon. The opportunity is there to fully absorb and appreciate one of India’s most beloved indigenous crafts,  set in a beautifully restored 16th century haveli. Interacting with the craftspeople and well-informed staff, and then enjoying a cup of desi chai in a traditional clay pot with a view of Amber’s enduring heritage is something to be savoured.

 

 

 

 


Author: Noah Unathraj

Image Source: http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/02510/14TH_KINNERA_2510681e.jpg

Today I would like to present you an art which has lost its prominence 4 centuries ago. Let us discover the Chenchu Music or Kinnera music instrument to know more facts. Though it has not totally perished down, it is almost on the verge of extinction. Darshanam Mogilaiah one of the very few survivors of this extricated traditional instrument brought life to this dying tradition.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”, said the famous French artist Edgar Degas. Yes indeed, in my perspective art is something more imaginative, profound, and absorbing to the human soul. It frees out mind and body from the busy mauhaul of everyday life. Thus, helps to look up to something which is delightful and engrossing.

India is a country with “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” concept of unity in diversity. Hence it is engulfed with many art forms and is become the hunting ground for souls of people engrossed in art.   

India has a renowned artist and the only one in the country playing the 12-step Chenchu music. He hails from Ayusaolni kunta village of the Mahabubnagar district in Telangana state. He belongs to a low esteem family. His forefathers have dedicated their lives in an urge to empower and boost up the spirits of the people to take part in freedom struggle. Hence, they promoted the freedom struggle by playing the instrument and singing patriot songs in synch.

 

Darshanam Mogilaiah

Image Source: http://cdn.deccanchronicle.com/sites/default/files/Moghulayya_0.jpg

The “Dakkali” tribe put in their flesh and soul for design and working of the Kinerra music instrument. They actively participated in the freedom movement. The “Dakkali” tribe is a Chenchu race breed brought up through odds and slavery of the landlords and the upper caste people. Hence, in order to revolt against this culture of slavery they invented the device to unite the people of all the lower caste. They struggled for their freedom and fought their way out.

Kinnera is a stringed instrument like a Desi Veena. It has 12 steps which is able to produce 12 different tunes with the 2 strings that are mounted on them. This tribal instrument is built in the following form:Kinnera is a stringed instrument like a Desi Veena. It has 12 steps which is able to produce 12 different tunes with the 2 strings that are mounted on them. This tribal instrument is built in the following form:

⦁  Bamboo for the neck

⦁  Dried and hollowed gourds for resonators

⦁  Human hair or animal nerves for strings

⦁  Pangolin scales for frets which are fixed using honey-wax

According to Adivasi studies, the Chenchus have lost the musical instrument half-century ago when the gourd used for resonator became extinct in this region. Chenchu music came into limelight while researching about Panduga Sayanna a Telangana fighter. The dakkali singers sang in his praise using Kinnera music instrument.  It has almost taken 3 years to trail out and explore this history through the help of Dakkali Pochaiah.   


Content Research and Written By: Saif Ansari

Paintings are an exquisite work of an Indian art. Rajasthan is famous for its extremely fine handmade old stamp paper art with embossed bead work. Rajasthan’s role is significant in the expansion of Indian traditional art. One of the most innovative & significant example of Rajasthan’s art treasures is the world of miniature painting includes mainly painting on old stamp papers.

radhakrishdancing2

Lord Krishna with Radha & Gopis

Source: http://craftoptions.com/images1/paintings/Painting%20Aug2010/oldstamppaper%20miniatures/radhakrishdancing2.jpg          

A traditional rajasthani stamp paper art is not merely about size, but also about the level of detail in the painting. It’s the detail that differentiates an Old Stamp Paper Painting from others. If you look at it through a magnifying glass, you’ll see extremely fine brush marks with every detail scaled down & finely finished. The painting depicts all the details that bring out a feeling of earthly charm & pleasure. It is indeed an art to cherish & a collector’s delights.

There are some important considerations in determining the fundamentals of a stamp paper art. The surface design is not the only basic quality of an artwork. Hence, the terms like appropriation, content, metaphor, mood, narrative, subject, symbol, & theme are used to promote visual & verbal literacy. The spirit of Rajasthan gives an epitome of history & legends. They are colored by courage & romance and find an expression in different paintings.

Rajasthan is the land of wonderful legends of romance & bravery. India’s northwest region of the sub-continent is packed with amazing beauty of art, history, & culture that dates back to several centuries. These Rajasthani paintings were founded in Udaipur in 1996. These paintings are placed in the city of lakes called Udaipur. You can see a wide range of high quality paintings from well-known Rajasthan.

                             kishangarh-painting-on-old-stamp-paper-826-310x310

Rajput Art of Living

Source: http://www.artnindia.com/wp-content/uploads/imported/Rajasthan-Rajput-Miniature-Painting-Old-Court-Stamp-Paper-Indian-Folk-Ethnic-Art-190614258625.jpg

The Hindu rulers of rajput carried a close political & social links with the Mughal court. They were influenced by the Mughal art paintings. Hence, influenced by the surroundings, paintings have their own unique style. The art includes the paintings of court assemblies, animals like camel and elephants of their army, hills & valleys, religious festivals, processions & scenes. The Radha Krishna paintings depict the life of Lord Krishna a widely devoted Hindu God in India. The traditional stamp paper art painting started falling after the first half of the 18th century. At the end of the century the stamp paper art lost almost most of its strength & attraction. However, in the Pahari region this art maintained its quality till the first quarter of the 19th century. The traditional styles of Indian painting finally perished out in the second half of the 19th century. The art perished due to a conflict of the Western colors & method of painting.

rajasthan-rajput-miniature-painting-old-court-stamp-paper-indian-folk-ethnic-art-190614258625                            Folk Art, King with his Army                            

Source: https://natsybydesign.com/image/cache/data/Sep13/mughal_miniature/kishangarh-painting-on-old-stamp-paper-826-310×310.JPG

The traditional Painting started falling after the first half of the 18th century & by the end of the century it lost almost most of its strength & attraction. However in the Pahari region the art of painting uphold its quality till the end of the first quarter of the 19th century. The traditional styles of Indian painting finally died out in the second half of the 19th century under conflict of the Western colours & method of painting.

You can buy more such paintings online on our website: www.nazariya.in


Author: Seemab Alam

To the ups and downs of numerous Ghats, to the survival of the crowd and passing by the majestic cows around the streets, comes the beautiful haveli’s, temples and houses who amidst the chattering women and wandering local vendors stand with their walls being canvases to the bright coloured parrots, elephants, gods and goddesses, all adding up a supreme uniqueness and charm to the lanes of Varanasi.

These hand painted wall art is known as “Bhitti Chitrakala”, a folk art of Varanasi. These represent the Indian folk art and convey mythology stories through art.However, with the growing modernization, this folk art is finding itself difficult to breathe. These traditional art forms of uttar Pradesh are mainly paintings showcasing mythological and colonial stories, Rajasthani and Mughal art at Jangambadi Muth, Bhonslaghat, Bageshwari Temple. These have already lost their gleaming look while others are on the way to extinction.

The main reason for the dying of this folk art of Varanasi is ignorance and unawareness. However, the existence and history of bhitti chitrakala goes back to the 16th century. Today most of the people around the houses who hold these fine wall paintings do not know about them at all. While there once was a time when the same art was valued and people took pride in expressing them on their houses. While today people find doing the same a waste of time and money.

Dr. Sudhir Keshri, assistant professor from the faculty of visual art, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) says that “The paintings in the city are now hardly visible, main reason being the witlessness of the people and no willingness to take any action against it by the authority.”

The paintings however can still be seen by a hair’s breadth around the old houses at Assi, Bageshwari Temple in Jaitpura, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Devki Nandan Ki Haveli, Sankat Mochan Mandir and few more places.

Dr. Keshri adds, “The paintings depicts mythological stories from Durga Saptashati, Ramayan, Samudra manthan and Dashavtar on the walls of ashrams and temples. Also the elite class families used to paint their Havelis with certain designs. During marriages etc. people used to make paintings of Lord Ganesha, traditional sainiks, elephants, horses, parrots and peacocks. However today the ones who do paint their houses are all confined to the paintings of Lord Ganesha. ”

Concluding up Dr. Keshri says that “With the basic idea of considering wall paintings a waste of time and money and also with other advancements this art is hardly surviving. Topped with negligence, there rarely aren’t any artists into this profession anymore as most of them have shifted to other jobs due to no work availability.”

Around 2 years ago the students of Banaras Hindu University took the initiative to revive this art by painting the house walls of people who were willing to, for free. It was an excellent step to connect this intangible art with tangibility. Also a non-profit organisation- Jnana Pravaha, has put in efforts and collected the drawings of all the paintings that were made on temples, ashrams and other haveli’s and houses of the city as these drawings will be stored in museums.

Thus, a city like Varanasi which portrays a beautiful picture for people all around the world to know what gold this old city holds, would start losing something like Bhitti Chitrakala, it may somehow lead to start loosing up our traditions and folk art gradually.

I remember an old man talking at the ghats that “civilization have come and gone, people have lived here and have been cremated here, days and years have passed but our benaras and it’s magic is still the same.”

I wonder if he would ever realize that things are not the same. I wonder if we, the young generations can uphold these traditions for the coming many generations to see all the gold this old city has been holding since forever.

Want to know more about bhitti chitrakala art images online? Check out the ‘ Store’ section at Nazariya to buy paintings online.

All Picture Courtesy Belongs to Mohit Khetrapal (Student, Sunbeam School, Varanasi)


Author: Seemab Alam

Image Source: http://www.desipaintings.com/images/Chamba-miniature-painting.jpg

The romantic ambience of the monsoon season in the heart of Himalayan Mountains was once loved by a princess named Champavati, daughter of Raja Sahila Varman around 920 A.D. While Raja’s daughter took fancy to the site and asked her father to build a town upon it. As the Raja agreed with his beloved daughter and the town was given its name Chamba from the princess’s name Champavati.

Ravi River

Image Source: http://www.indiamike.com/files/images/07/95/31/chamba-1.jpg

The Chamba district is in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Located at the altitude of 996 meters (3.268 ft) above mean sea level, situated beside the bank of Ravi river and has the population of 20,312 people.

While Chamba is noted for its miniature Pahari Paintings  where Basohli style of paintings took roots with Nikku, the artist of Basohli migrating from Guler to Chamba in the 18th century. However Basohli paintings are considered the first school of Pahari paintings and during the reign of Raja Udai Singh and Raja Jai Singh, patronizing of this art form was conducted. In its continuation Raja Charhat Singh developed this folk art at another huge scale which had a long lasting effect on the local artists.

Image Source:                                http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_sFCue8XC5cI/TP4RcZPg5ZI/AAAAAAAAAl0/TBHMXxSAP2M/s1600/PACF016.JPG                                  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_sFCue8XC5cI/TP4RAAio8wI/AAAAAAAAAlk/FBURg_0DCSE/s1600/PACF019.JPG                                        http://www.indiamike.com/files/images/17/95/31/chamba-2.jpg                             http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_sFCue8XC5cI/TP4RQtZZemI/AAAAAAAAAls/GbcQAMRgABQ/s1600/PACF008.JPG

Chamba paintings bear a resemblance to Mughal style of paintings including strong influences of Deccan and Gujarat style of paintings. Chamba paintings being very realistic and revealing social documents of history of those times also inspire from the natural surroundings and combine in the depictions of Hindu Mythology particularly the legends of Radha Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, Rama Darbar, Yashoda and Krishna, Gopis Love scenes, deer, birds and women.

Art has two different aspects of presentations, traditional and innovative. The art of Chamba, presented via Pahari painting school is basically traditional. The composition of this art is based on the old form. The main reason for this is the arcade for traditional style paintings. As very few artists have strength and courage to create their own idioms and independent styles that are really different from old forms. Many artists create copies from other paintings in a general manner, however they may enlarge and change the figures but the set form has a very hard grip on their psyche.

The major reason for the extinction of this art form is that it failed to evolve itself with the changing time and adapt itself into the contemporary world. There has been a visible stagnation in Chamba painting in creative demeanour when compared to the work of other artists with vibrant innovations we find in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and other cities in the world of contemporary artists.

Tradition needs to be preserved but the same preservation would cause the loss of any other substantial tradition is not appreciated. Therefore similar is the case with Chamba Painting. Chamba is a town with rich cultural tradition with many national award winners but altogether the town lacks the “art-world” coordination. The basic synchronization between the artists and politics either narrow or wide, demand of the market and changing perspective due to modernisation lacks in Chamba which somehow is responsible for the crumbling position of this wonderful art form. Also this has also prevented the artists of Chamba from a pure and delightful experience of interaction and sharing.

However the tangible connection to this intangible heritage survives with the preservation of many traditional paintings being showcased in many museums at Chamba, Shimla and Dharamshala and these museums also hold the distinguished work of artists like Lehru, Durga and Miyan Jara Singh.

Also with proper attention to this art form and by covering missing coordination of the art and changing world and fixing any other remaining loopholes we may preserve this art form from dying forever.

Its important for us to uphold what our ancestors have left us behind. Be it the beautiful stories, the massive mahals or the eye-catching art like the Chamba Painting. Our roots lie in them and binding our roots with such tempting traditions defines who we are.