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PM Modi gifts Biden Kangra painting: What is the significance of this art from Himachal

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Nov 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted US President Joe Biden a Kangra miniature painting. The Kangra miniature paintings generally portray Shringar Rasa or depiction of love on a natural backdrop.

These exquisite paintings are made by painters from Himachal Pradesh using natural colours. Kangra is named after the Kangra state a former princely state of Himachal Pradesh.

PM Modi gifts Biden Kangra painting: What is the significance of this art from Himachal

In the middle of the 18th century A.D. when the plains of Northern India were convulsed by the invasion of Nadir Shah (1739), followed by the incursions of Ahmad Shah Abdah, a strange event took place in the Punjab hills viz. the birth of the Kangra School of Painting at Haripur-Guler under the patronage of Raja Govardhan Chand (1744-1773), a prince with a refined taste and passion for painting. He gave asylum to refugee artists trained in the Mughal Style of painting. In the inspiring environment of the Punjab Himalayas with their beautiful green hills wave-like terraced paddy-fields and rivulets fed with the glacial waters of the snow-covered Dhauladhar , the Mughal style with its sensitive naturalism blossomed into the Kangra style instead of painting flattering portraits of their masters and hunting scenes, the artists adopted themes from the love poetry of Jayadeva Bihari and Keshav Das who wrote ecstatically of the love of Radha and Krishna. Thus, developed a school of painting with new spirit, whose artistic works are suffused with romantic love and bhakti mysticism the District Kangra website says.

Prakash Chand the successor of the erstwhile Govardhan Chand continued the patronage of the artists. The paintings in early Guler style were by the artist Pandit Seu and his two sons Nainsukh, Manak and his brother Gursouhae were in the employ of Raja Parkash Chand of Guler. Raja Sansar Chand (1775-1823) attracted a number of talented artists from the court of Guler even when he was 20 years of age.

PM Modi, US President Biden exchange greetings at Mangrove forest visit in BaliPM Modi, US President Biden exchange greetings at Mangrove forest visit in Bali

The painters made use of pure colours such as yellow, red and blue. The brilliance is retained even after two hundred years. The three main centres of Kangra painting are Guler, Nurpur and Tira-Sujanpur.

The painting depicts ideas and values which guided life in society and passions pictured in the language of the brush and colour. This makes the experience rich and sensibilities sharp.

Though the main centres of Kangra paintings are Guler, Basohli, Chamba, Nurpur, Bilaspur and Kangra. Later on this style also reached Mandi, Suket, Kulu, Arki, Nalagarh and Tehri Garhwal (represented by Mola Ram), and now are collectively known as Pahari painting, covering the style that was patronized by Rajput rulers between the 17th and 19th centuries, the official website also said.

Pahari paintings as the name suggests were painting done in the hilly regions of India, in the sub-Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. To see some of these paintings one can visit the Maharaja Sansar Chand Museum which adjoins the Kangra Fort in Kangra Himachal. The museum was founded by the erst-while royal family of Kangra and to purchase the paintings one can contact dc-kan-hp@nic.in.

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