The miniature paintings of erstwhile states of Punjab Hills in India are known as Pahari paintings. In local dialect, the word ‘Pahari’ stands for hilly area. The making of Pahari painting starts from the ruling period of Mughals. Later on, this art was grasped by local artist and soon it becomes an integral part of Indian Handicrafts.
Pahari painting is the name given to Rajput Paintings, which were made in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. Pahari Paintings comes in proper action & developed and flourished during the period of 17th to 19th century. The style is truly inspired or can say is alike the Rajasthani miniature paintings.
History of Pahari Paintings:
These paintings are highly inspired and influenced by the Rajput Paintings. As the kings of Pahari area were having strong friendship bond with Kings of Rajasthan, they developed this art. In these styles of painting, you can also see the influence of Gujarat and Deccan Paintings. Because of the happening of Bhakti Movement, New themes were introduced.
There was a theme of Shaiva-Shakta which was supplemented by argot poetry and folk songs of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. Some of the major themes of Pahari Paintings revolved around devotion and love.
Styles of Pahari Paintings:
The painting style can be differentiated into two types, on the basis of their geographical range;
- Kulu Style & Basohli inspired by Chaurpanchasika style
- Kangra Style & Guler, based on cooler colors and refinement.
The Technique of Pahari Paintings:
The making process of these paintings is still same. Firstly sheets of handmade paper were joined together to get the desired thickness. After that, the outlines were drawn in light reddish brown or gray-black colors. Then a very thin and transparent coating was applied on the sketches. Later on that white coating the colors are filled.
For brightening, the painting after coloring was burnished with border or river stone called golla or glass or agate etc. For making the colors natural color pigments from mineral and vegetable sources were mixed in water, and gum for binding the paints. And this is how the Pahari Paintings were made to give a beautiful look to any ambiance.