Gallery of Pahari Paintings


The hill states of the Himalayas produced some of the most evocative scenes of Krshna Lila in their paintings. Painted in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, they represent yet another golden age of Indian art.

b-putana.jpg (2275 bytes) Nandrai returns from Mathura (bottom left hand of the painting) to discover a strange sight in Gokul ! His new born baby, having killed Putana, is safely back with his mother. Gopies ward off all evil by encirling His head with the tail of a cow (top right hand of the painting).  Due to her huge size, gopas had to hack the demoness's body up (bottom of the painting) to cremate her (top left hand of the painting) ! 51kb

Krishna kills the storm demon in a narrative style that shows Krishna seated on a terrace of Nanda Bhavan,being abducted into the sky, and than being lifted off the dead demon's chest by gopies of Vraj ! 92kb

Kaliya-daman Lord Shri Krshna defeating the serpent Kaliya. (Pahari painting) 14k

b_confuse.jpg (3497 bytes) Krshna re-calls his beloved, for she accidentally put on His clothes as they dressed hastily to part in the early hours of the morning ! 40kb

b_doorstep.jpg (1945 bytes) The lovers talk quietly on the doorstep - beautiful depiction of country life. 25kb

b_entreat.jpg (2837 bytes) Krshna sends a gopi on his behalf to entreat Radha. The darkness of the woods reflects the lovers mood.  By dressing the main characters in bright clothes the painter sets them apart from their surrounding, as if they were lit by a spot light on a grand stage. 40kb

b_glance.jpg (2034 bytes) Lovers exchange desperate glances in a street, such are the restrictions of society at large ! 29kb

b_courtyard.jpg (4570 bytes) Lovers talk quietly and quickly in a public place. The heroine is shown to be shy, but very much in love - her brilliant red veil testifies to that - a colour often used to depict intense longing. By keeping the veil between them, she maintains all the rules of social conduct in a public place - alas, what else can they do ! 30kb

b_gopisep.jpg (3295 bytes) Series of paintings depicting the sorrows of gopies during Gopi-Geet. 67kb

b_pgg.jpg (3067 bytes) Another painting depicting the sorrow of gopies during Gopi-Geet. 68kb

b_kkaliya.jpg (3285 bytes) Wives of Kaliyanaga plead with Krshna to desist, as he dances on the broken hoods of the great naga. 54kb

b_lila1.jpg (2371 bytes) Series of paintings showing the loving lilas of the Lord in the woods of Vrindavan. 38kb

b_lila2.jpg (2084 bytes) Series of paintings showing the loving lilas of the Lord in the woods of Vrindavan. 28kb

b_lila3.jpg (2215 bytes) Series of paintings showing the loving lilas of the Lord in the woods of Vrindavan. 37kb

b_rk_vana.jpg (2354 bytes) Series of paintings showing the loving lilas of the Lord in the woods of Vrindavan. 38kb

b_venu-gita.jpg (2166 bytes) Suddenly hearing her beloved's flute, gopi's heart skips a beat and she looks in the direction whence the music came. 64kb

b_wall.jpg (2154 bytes) Lovers meet and exchange furtive glances and muffled messages over a garden wall. 30kb

b_lilavar.jpg (3271 bytes) Brahma begs forgiveness from the Lord and knows him to be the Lilavara who is his own creator. 69kb

b_murlidhar.jpg (2180 bytes) Charmed by His flute, the gopies gather around Him despite their shyness (notice the gopi drawing her pure white veil). 31kb

b_radha01.jpg (3014 bytes) Despondent Radha attempts to cool the embers of her separation from Krshna. Painting uses the most common classical allusions to describe the methods used in ancient India to cool the fires of love - flowering woods, river, lotus pond, fan, thin flowing robes. 64kb

b_sum-p.jpg (2644 bytes) Summertime, and the life is easy !  Krshna and his friends have fun in the woods of Vraj - note, Krshna is shown serving Bala-Rama and is also shown being served by the other gopas. 70kb

Radhikaji Arresting Shri Krshna for waylaying gopies of Vraj and demanding an “unlawful toll” - dana - unusual painting of a theme often sung during early autumn. - 39kb

Gopies playing rasa with the Lord - Pahari style painting. 20kb

b_akrura.jpg (3456 bytes) Akrura is amazed by his visions of the Lord Vishnu being one and the same as Krushna and Balarama as he rests with his young charges on the banks of the river Yamuna. 46kb


I am very grateful to (also called "black peacocok") for allowing us to use paintings from their excellent and extensive collection.  Pahari paintings are part of a series of wonderful paintings they have - please visit them and see more wonderful paintings at their site.


Index of ShriNathji's Galleries

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