Administration, Social and Cultural Characteristics History of Garhwal in Shah Dynasty -20
History of Garhwal including Haridwar (1223- 1804 AD) –part -209
History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -457
The art critics call the art of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Garhwal and Kumaun as ‘Pahadi Chitrkala or Paintings of Himalaya . Phadi Kala is part of of Rajputa Chitrkala but with difference. Before the introduction of Rajput style in mountains of Himalaya, the style was referred as Kangada style. Due to ignoring characteristics of Aurangzeb the Mogul King and thereafter weakening of Mogul kingdom, the artists started migrating towards Himalayan kingdom’. Fortunately, the artists got the art lover king Sansarchand of Kanga (Himachal Pradesh). By the appreciation of King of Kangada Sansarchand for art and artists, Pahadi painting developed with speed. The critics call the time of 1786-1805 as the Golden Period for Pahadi Paintings. Expert of Rajput Painting Dr Kumarswamy says, “ The Pahadi or Kangada style provided an exclusive style of presenting very beautiful, desirable, extra ordinarily attractive women in the paintings, this is its own creation and recognition too and there is no limit of attraction.” In other article, Kumarswamy writes,” if Chinese paintings could present splendid geographical images (Nature) the Pahadi style paintings could present the memorable love scenes”
Pahadi style of Paintings developed in three specific zones or branches-
Though, Barrister Mukandi Lal is credited to bring Garhwali paintings into lime light I beginning of twentieth century , Kumarswamy will be called the first art critic who told about Garhwali painting in his famous book Rajput Paitning (1916) .
The development of Garhwali style painting is the result of historical happenings in Garhwal then a sovereign nation. Suleman the eldest son of Dara Sikoh (son of Shahjahan ) took asylum in Shrinagar Garhwal at the time of king Prithwipati Shah in 1658AD. Along with Suleman, two prominent court artists of Shahjahan Tomar Shamdas and his son Haridas -also came to Shrinagar Garhwal. After nineteenth months, thearmy of Aurangzeb took away Suleman Shikoh but the artists settled in Shrinagar. Both artists got the position of court artists (Tasveerdar) in the court of Prithwipatishah
When the art of Shamdas and Haridas was on its zenith, prince Pradyumanshah son of Prithweepatishah got married to the princess of Guler (Kangada) . It was obvious that the artists of both the kingdoms interact with each others. That is the reason that critic believe in Garhwali style effected Kangada style and kangada style effected Garhwali style paintings .
In 1829 the king of Kangada Anirudh Chand had to leave his kingdom and came to Haridwar (part of Garhwal kingdom) There in Haridwar, his two sisters were married to the King of Garhwal Sudarshan Shah and there is possibilities that the exiled king of Kangada offered kangada paintings and artists to the king of Garhwal. Though , Kishori Lal Vaidya an art critic connect this historical points for effect of Kangada paintings on Garhwali paintings but the time factor does not permit to accept so.
Maularam a Prominent Painter of Garhwali painting
Apart from artist duo Shamdas Tomar and Haridas Tomar, there have been fine painters as Heera lal, Heeranand and Mangatram. They might have painted the paintings which are not having there names on the available Garhwali paintings.
Maularam (1743-1833) was the fourth generation of Haridas .. Maularam was the son of fine artist Mangatram.
Maularam was the devotee of Kali Jagdamba. In one painting which he portrayed he is worshipping Kali godess. There was effects of saints and sages on Maularam. He was also follower of Gorakhnath sect and in his last span of life he became follower of Manmanth sect (believer of shapeless god) . That is the reason, he developed high imagination power. Initial his paintings are effected by Mogul style but slowly he inclined towards Garhwali and Kangada styles. He was also rewarded by Sansarchand king of Kangada nad nepalis praised his painting. The governor of Nepal kaji Hastidal Chauteria praised the art of Maularam in Nepali verses.
The king Jaikrit Shah appreciated his wok but it is believed that there was disagreement between Maularam and price Parakram Shah. After debacle by earthquake and Gorkha attack, Shrinagar lost its glory and it was no more capital of Garhwal Kingdom. Even then Maularam did not leave Shrinagar.
Maularam was of multifarious talents. He was great poet, historian and philosopher. Maularam used to write poems on many his paintings.
His paintings are as :
1-Morpriya- is the painting of his young age
2-Maynkmukhi painting is painted in his old age
3-Utkanthita Nayika and Jaidev Bazir are one of the best paintings of Maularam
4-‘Dampati’ painting portrayed the king Pradyumn Shah and his queen and is high standard painting
5-Due to very high standard of painting ‘ Radha - Krishn Milan’ , the apinting was exhibited in many art galleries and exhibitions.
6-The love paintings of Maularam are ’Vipralambha Nayika’,’Sitar Priya’, ’Hindola’, ’Mastani’, Vasakshayya’.
Maularam used to paint his name and date of finishing the painting. Invariabily Maularam used to write poems on the painting and he was the expert of blending poetry and visible art.
Art critics j c French, A Ghos and many appreciated the works of Maularam
Successors of Maularam as Garhwali Painters
The following paiters were family succesors of Maularam who created Garhwali paintings too
1- Jwala Ram son of Maularam: there are sixty three paintings of Jwalaram in the collection of Barrister Mukandi Lal . Three paintings are in the collections of Nurpur king
2-Shiv Ram son of Maularam: According to art critics Shiv Ram was finner painter tha Jwalaram
3-Atma ram grandson of Maularam: two paintings ‘Shiv Parvati’ and ‘Radhakrishn’ are in the collection of g K Joshi
4-Tejram grandson of Maularam
5-Hariram great grandson of Maularam
6-Tulsi Ram great grandson of Maularam
Chaitu and Manku
Chaitu and Manku brothers are famous artists of Garhwal, Himalaya . Though, there is no agreement among the historian for the village of Chaituand Manku and their life span, most of the historians and artists claim that Chaitu and Manku were contemporary artists of famous poet and artist Maularam (1743-1833)
Chaitu and Manku were born in village Rampur of Chalansyun Patti, Pauri Garhwal. Dr Katoch says that Chitram or Chaitu and Manak Ram or Manku were the last of Phadi Kala (Garhwali art) generation.
Both lived in Shrinagar then the capital of Garhwal .
N C Mehta, Chakravatrti, Carl Khandlwala and Randhava did researches on Chaitu amnd Mankram .
The paintings named ‘ Yadviyon ka haran or Rapes on Yadav Women’ and ‘krishn Dwara Kar Vasuli or Tax by Krishna’ are famous paintings of Chaitu and there are signatures of Chaitram on both the paintings.
There is signature of ‘Chetaye te gher de‘ (From the house of Chaitu) ‘ on a painting ‘Rukmani Haran’ painting (is in Bharat Kala Sangrah)
According to N C Mehta, Manku is famous for ‘ Geet Govind’ paintings
There is distinct effects of Kangada style on all the paintings of Chaitu and Manku.. Krishna is in the dress of Mughul style.
Museums and Collection Centers where Garhwali Paintings are available
1- Maharaj Narendra Shah collection , Tihri Garhwal
2-Collection of prince Vichitr Shah, purana Darbar Tihri
3-Collection of rao Virendra Shah (Dehradun)
4-Bhartiy Kala Bhawan Varanasi (kunvar Vichitr Shah collection)
5-The collection of heir of Balak Ram , Shrinagar
6-Collection of Mukandi lal Kotdwar
7-Collection of Maharaj Nurpur
8-Collection of diwan Chakrdhar Juyal
9-Collection of barrister Manak , Patna
10-Collection of girja Kishor Joshi, Almoda
11-Collection of Ajit Ghos , Kolkatta
12-Collection of R K Kajriwal, Kolkatta
13-Collection of Onkar Chand Sud, Shimla
14-Collection of Kastur Bhai Lal Ji Bhai , Ahmedabad
15- Collection of J C French
16-British Museum , London,
17-Victoria Museum, London
18- Boston museum, USA
19-Rashtriy sangrahalay, Delhi
20-Rajya sangrahalay Lucknow
Characteristics of Garhwali Painting
The art critics call the art of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Garhwal and Kumaun as ‘Pahadi Chitrkala or Paintings of Himalaya . Phadi Kala is part of of Rajputa Chitrkala but with difference.
There have been many experiments in Garhwali paintings on the basis of Mogul style from seventeenth century till Maularam came in existence. We may see this style in the paintings as ‘Manini’, Mastani (1771) and ‘Hindona’ pantings. There is visible effects of Mogul styled painting on the two paintings of Maharaj Fateh Shah. In one painting, Fateh Shah is in very indigence condition and is aiming at the target with arrow. In other painting, before Maharaj Fateh Shah a lion and a goat are taking water from a river together with peace and harmony. From subject point of view, though there is effects of Kangada style and Mogul style, there is specialty of Garhwali style in those paintings.
The famous art critic J .C French (who was a civil servant in Bengal Province ) states about Garhwali paintings in Himalayan Art( 1931), “ From design, subject, presentation and strenth poit of views, there is strong effects on Garhwali paintings( seventeen to nineteenth centuries ) of Kangada. however, there is clear distinction from the point of views of line-flow, general atmosphere between Garhwali and Kangada painting (art) . There is lesser glossiness, luster, decoration and extreme tenderness in Garhwali paintings than Kangadapaintings”. However, Ajit Ghosh says,” there is similarity between Garhwali and Kangada paintings from the angles of emotions, objectivities, inspiration and stimulation. But in many aspects, Garhwali art reached ahead of Rajput Style ofpaintings. As Garhwali artists (painters) are far ahead than Rajput Styled paintersin terms of spender, radiant, ornamentation, fineness, and presentation of geographical natural scenes.
A world fame art critic K.Vaidya writes in Pahadi Hirakata ,” there is vast distinctions and differences in the faces of Hero and Heroines (Nayak Nayikayen) between garhwali paintings and Rajput Paintings and Kangada art. There are trees and plants gushing without leaves in many Garhwali paintings. The leaves are smaller in size and are round shaped in Garhwali paintings than Rajput Styled and Kangada Styled paintings . There are many other distinctions in Garhwalipaintings that they are exclusive in nature and presentation.”
There are following main subjects of Garhwali Paintings or Garhwali Chitrkala :
1- Rukmani Mangal
There have been paintings of Dasawtar, Ast Durga, Nav Grah too.
Initially there have been love scenes in Garhwali art . However, this style have been on its peak and best in the paintings of Krishna Leela . The love scenes of radha and Krishna had been the main subjects of painters. The patron of Garhwalipaintings Mukundi Lal Barrister says,” no painter of other Himalayan paintingscould reach on that height which Garhwali painters could achieve in showing the emotions and beauty of women. The women in Garhwali paintings are more lively, agile , swift and attractive than other Himalayan Paintings. The most important distinction in Garhwali paintings is that the women are having bigger round Teeka on their forehead”
There have been very effective blending of poetry and art in Garhwali paintings. Most of the painters took the base of Bihari Satsai (Poems of Bihari of Braj language) , Keshav, Matiram and other poets of love subjects. Example, in onepainting, Krishna is embracing his lover while falling down from the bed and in other painting, Radha becomes jealeous after seeing that another lover of Krishna putting her foot on the head of Krishna with tender love (from Bihari’s Satsai) . These painting is available in the collections of G .K. Joshi and Onkar Chand Sood respectively.
The Garhwali painters displayed very good expression of forests, animals, plants, birds and flowers. Mostly, painters showed flowery Mandar tree in their paintings. The audience becomes happily surprised to see the emotions of heroine in the scene of ‘Separation of Love’ in the paintings of Maularam . J. C French states,” There is special tenderness and attraction in the flowers shown in Garhwalipaintings”
Famous art collector and critic Kumarswami rightly says,” The Rajput Styledpaintings is nothing but a Folk Art and Garhwali Painting is Garhwali Folk art too. We find memoir of that time ,artistic views of people, religious and social thinking , belief of that time etc. all should do researches and preserve the past. All should take the work of Mukundi Lal Barrister ahead and should find more on Garhwali Artaand paintings”
Critics and Historians of Garhwal Art or Garhwali Chitrakala
1-We get first reference about Garhwali art from the notes of an English woman sister Nivedita (disciple of Swami Viveka Nand ) about the artistic characteristics of temples around of Shrinagar Garhwal.
2- Metcalf seems to be first historian who threw lights on art of Garhwal in his articles on Rajput Style of Art
3-- E T Atkinson provided some reference on Garhwali art and handcraft in Himalayan Gazetteer (1882-1884)
4-Kumarswamy a famous art historian published his book in 1916 Rajput Paintingwherein he positioned Garhwali paintings with Pahadi Paintings. From 1908 onwards Kumarswamy traveled many Himalayan places for his research on Rajput style of painting. Before that, Kumarswamy called references of Garhwali paintingsin his speeches all over world. In true sense Kumarswamy is modern historian who talked about Garhwali paintings and later on his disciple Barrister Mukandi Lal worked thorough research on Garhwali paintings.
5- Pundit Harikrishna Raturi provided references of Garhwali kings appreciating and promoting Garhwali art in his Garhwal ka Itiyash
6- O.C Ganguli provided detailing on the paintings of Maularam in his famous book ‘Master Pieces of Rajput Paintings’(1926)
7-The work of N C Mehta is very important for imitating the researches of Garhwaliart as he mentioned that Kangada style of painting ‘Gee Govind’ is related to Garhwali style of painting in his famous boo’ Studies in IndianPaintings’(1926..This book inspired research scholars to search specifics of Garhwali paintings.
8- J.C French published his well researched book on the art of Himalayan Kingdoms ‘Himalayan Art’ (1931. For this research French traveled Garhwal and other kingdoms of Himalaya. French appreciated the work of Maularam in his book and research papers.
9-W .G Archer published two books in 1956 -Indian Paintings in Punjab and Kangada-Paintings. Archer proved that Maularam used to copies his original work for many uses as gifting to other celebrities.
10-M S Randhava published three books in 1952 ‘Knagda Valley Paintings’, Krishna Legend in Pahadi Paintings and Basuli Paintings. M S Randhava . Randhava mentioned that Garhwali kings used to give paintings in dowry on the occasions of their daughters, nieces.
11-Carl Khandalwala published a large volume ‘Pahadi Miniature Paintings ‘ wherein he described / interpreted the research works of Barrister Mukandi Lal in details.
12- K L Vaidy published a book ‘Pahadi Chitrakal’, wherein there is details on Garhwali paintings.
13- Vachaspati Gairola provided details of Garhwali paiting in his book Bhartiy Hirakata (1963) and proved that Garhwali paintings started from fifteenth century.
14-Mulkraj anand, Ajit Ghosh, Gotz, Garlswarth also provided glimpses of Garhwali paintings in their works of art crtics.
15-Chakravarty wrote about Garhwali paintings in Ruplekha :part 22 (1951)
16-Barrister Mukandi Lal is called the father of writing, researched on Garhwalipaintings and from his young age he wrote about garhwali paintings. In 1969, he published his famous book ‘Garhwali Painting’ Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi wrote the introductory notes of this book.
17-There are articles (mostly of barrister Mukandi Lal ) in the following magazines, newsletters, books etc
A-Rup Lkehs part 26(2)
B- Himachal Prashashthi, 6th part, 1970
C-Uttarakhand Bharti ,Nainital, 1973
D-Bharat Kala Bhavan Suchipatr, 1945
E-Uttarakhand Bharti, issue-2,1973
F-Vishal Bharat issue 1, January 1928
G-Rupam (21Vol) 1921
H-Sarswati, September, 1940
I- Hindustani from 1932-1944
J-Tripathga (Kala ank) 1952
K-Nehru Smarak Granth 1949
L- Uttarakhand Bharti, Nainital, 1973
M-Illustrated weekly, 3rd June 1973
N- Sammelan patrika (1980), Allahabad
P- Barrister Mukandi Lal Smiriti Granth 1986
18-Dr Yashvant Katoch has written books and articles on this subjects
19-Dr Shiv Prasad quoted many paintings in his books Uttarakhand ka Itihas an provided photographs of many paintings in his books --Uttarakhand ka Itihas 9 volumes
20-Dr Mohan Babulkar wrote about Jaunsar art in many magazines
21-Budhiballabh Dyundi and Durgavati Dyundi wrote many articles on garhwali chitrkala
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, firstname.lastname@example.org/10/2014
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -458
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
History of Garhwal from 1223-1804 to be continued in next chapter ….
Notes on South Asian Modern Period History of Garhwal; South Asian Modern Period History of Pauri Garhwal; South Asian Modern Period History of Chamoli Garhwal; South Asian Modern Period History of Rudraprayag Garhwal; South Asian Modern History of Tehri Garhwal; South Asian Modern History of Uttarkashi Garhwal; South Asian Modern Period History of Dehradun, Garhwal; Modern History of Haridwar ; South Asian Modern Period History of Manglaur, Haridwar; South Asian Modern Period History of Rurkee Haridwar ; South Asian Modern Period History of Bahadarpur Haridwar ; South Asian Modern Period History of Haridwar district, History of Characteristics of Garhwal Kings Shah dynasty , to be continued