The Rajasthanis take immense pride in their culture and grand history. The art and crafts of the region reflects this regard towards their heritage. The paintings are vivid impressions of the historic events the region has seen and the expression of the artisans veneration of the religion, rituals and customs of the land.
The myths and legends taught to the children finds expression in the paintings and craft of these painters. Textile paintings of the state such as Phad, Pichwai and Batik paintings are the most sought after artifacts worldwide.
These medieval miniature paintings vividly render hills, valleys gardens, palaces, court scenes, desert and religious processions.
Pichwais are a ritual art form, meaning that they are offerings to the deities, especially Hindu Gods and Goddesses. They are brilliant color paintings that adorn the walls of the temples of Rajasthan. The use of rich and vibrant colors provides the Pichwais a distinctive quality that sets it apart from other paintings of the state.
These paintings enhance the aesthetic appeal of the temples they grace. The themes revolve around the Lord Sri Krishna in the form of Srinathji. Various episodes of Srinathji such as the raas-leela etc. and the Nathdwara temple festivities are portrayed in the Pichwais. Udaipur and Nathdwara are very famous for the Pichwai paintings and Nathdwara especially so due to the celebrated Srinathji temple in the city.
The Pichwais are generally painted but some are block printed and embroidered in the applique style. Pichwais are generally artisans renderings to the Lord but they are also sometimes undertaken for commercial purpose. The religious fervor of the painter is reflected in each Pichwai made to decorate the Lord's temple.
The theme of the pichwais varies according to the season and its moods. Each pichwaidenotes the seva (worship) of Srinath ji in a different season. The summer pichwai has pink lotuses as the backdrop while the winter pichwai has an intricate jamawar pattern, providing the warmth needed for the season. The main pichwai that denotes the "Anukooth", the day after Deepavali when Srinath ji lifted the Govardhan parvat, has the deity in a silver poshak , exquisitely decorated with pearls, dabka, zardozi work. It is a technique that employs high relief on a stellar, going back to the Mughal times.
Shopping in Udaipur is another delightful experience. Here shopping is all about buying stuffs like hand printed dyed saris, Pichwai paintings and Phad paintings which are known for its texture. If you are looking for a rich shopping experience in Udaipur then visit the Bada Bazaar, Chetak Circle, Palace Road and Hathi Pol. Look for Pichwai paintings while you are in Udaipur.
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