Posts Tagged phad paintings

Shri Devnarayan – Gurjar Medieval Hero from Rajasthan

 Shri Devnarayan was born on the seventh day of the bright half of the month of Maagh in the Hindu Calendar in Vikram Samvat 999 (943). He was a Gurjar medieval hero from Rajasthan.

He is worshipped as a folk deity mostly in Rajasthan and MP. He was the son of to Sri Savai Bhoj and Sadu mata Gujjari and was believed to be an avatar of Vishnu.

The story behind his birth

Shri Devnarayan’s father Savai Bhoj was most well known and courageous among those twenty-four Bagaravats who were born from Bagh Simh(who had a head of a tiger and the body of a man).

Bagaravats and Rana became dharma-brothers. One evening they were drinking and the drink jar overturned with wine onto a hillside flooding the earth to such an extent that the wine actually flowed down into the kingdom of Basak Nag (serpent lord of the netherworld, who holds the earth on his hood). Angered king Basak deposited the earth temporarily on a bull’s horns and went to Bhagavan Vishnu’s court to complain about the Bagaravats. But neither Basak, nor Hanuman, nor Bhagavan did anything to remedy the situation because the Bagaravats were very powerful.

Finally Bhagavan assumed the form of mendicant (jogi) and visited Sadu Mata, the wife of Savai Bhoj, begging for alms. Sadu, who has just completed performing ablutions and bathing, appeared in front of the mendicant covered only by her long tresses. Struck by her devotion, the mendicant (Bhagavan) granted her a boon. Sadu desired that Bhagavan be born as her son. Bhagavan promised to be born as her son on the 13th day after the Bagaravats have been killed.

Devnaaraya’s mother, Sadu Mata did penance on a hill near the battle field. After eleven days, she called out to Bhagavan, who has promised to be born as her son. Devnarayan, who is playing a game of dice at the time with king Basak, rised up on a stream of water that split apart the rock on which Sadu is seated. Borne on that jet of water in a lotus blossom, the infant Devnarayan fell into Sadu Mata’s lap.

Devnarayan’s Revenge

Devnarayan spent his childhood without any knowledge of past events. After eleven years Chochu Bhat, who was the bard and genealogist of the 24 Bagaravat brothers, came to Malwa in search of Devnarayan. Devnarayans mother Sadu Mata knew his intentions and tried to kill by poisoning, but Devnarayan revived him. Chochu Bhat then informed him of the battle between the Bagaravats and the Rana. Devnarayan then decided against his mother’s will to return to his father’s ancestral land and take revenge on the Rana.

Devnarayan shrines and Phad

After the battle Devnarayan left for heaven and before leaving, he gave a boy Bila and a girl, Bili to his wife. The boy Billa became the first priest of his father. Shri Devnarayan worshipped by the Bhopas, the priest-singers by means of a scroll known asphad, depicting various episodes of the narrative of life of Devnaryan. A Bhopa, usually erects the phad shortly after nightfall in the villages where he is invited to sing different episodes from the epical narrative of Devnarayan in front of the phad during the jagarans.

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Rajasthani Traditional Paintings – Phad, Pichhwai and Murals Paintings

Traditional Phad Paintings Depicting Heroes of Rajasthan

Traditional Phad Paintings Depicting Heroes of Rajasthan

Rajasthani paintings beautifully depict rural Rajasthan and its conservations.  The tradition on painting the wall of houses with scenes from mythological and chivalric tales has been prevalent in Rajasthan for the past many centuries.

Today we are writing about some traditional Paintings of Rajasthan which are very famous all over world.

Phad Paintings

Phad paintings are a beautiful specimen of Indian cloth painting, which has its origin in Rajasthan. These paintings can be simply described as a large painting on Khadi, which venerates the deeds of a hero. They have their own styles and patterns and are very popular due to their vibrant colors and historic themes.

Phad paintings, depicting the life of Pabuji a local hero, now deified are predominately red and green coloured long scrolls carried by the Bhopas. They are unfurled by these itinerant balladeers of Rajasthan, who narrate in song the legend of pabuji on auspicious occasions to the accompaniment of the folk instrument ‘Ravanhatta‘.

Made by the joshis of Shahpura, near Bhilwara, Phads are now also available in smaller panels portraying single incidents or characters from the epic.

Pichhvai Painting at Shrinathji Temple in Nathdwara

Pichhvai Cloth Painting at Shrinathji Temple in Nathdwara

Pichhwai paintings

The Pichhwais are cloth paintings hung in temples. These Pichhwais depicting Lord Krishna as Shrinathji in different moods, are hung behind his image in the temple and changed according to the season. Done in dark rich hues on rough hand-spun cloth, they have deep religious roots and are devotionaly rendered by the painters.

This painting tradition developed in the temple of Nathadwara in southern Rajasthan, and the paintings show Krishna playing the flute and dancing with his consorts, the gopis. The divine love-play here stands for the devotion of believers and their union with their deity.

About Murals

All over Rajasthan, one can see brightly coloured murals. These murals done in the folk art style, depict processions, battles and folk deities. The murals in the palaces of Bikaner, Udaipur and Bundi are classical works of art and have been rendered in the miniature style.

The frescoes of Shekawati are world renowned and the region is popularly termed as an ‘Open Air Art Gallery’.

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