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Pahari Painting

Miniature Painting

The art miniature was practiced in the princely state of chamba from 17th to 19th centuries. During the regime of Raja Prithvi Singh, in the mid 17th century, some painter seen to have migrated and settled in tha chamba state. The earliest documentary evidence pertaining to the painter of chamba is dated 1670 AD, which in recorded in the priest’s record at haridwar. The carved metallic sheets in the Hidimba Devi Temple at Mehal apparently confirm the presence of the painter in Chamba. By the begging of 18th century AD. The art of miniature painting become very popular throughout the hills and Rajput chiefs of the hills state gave sustain patronage to the painters. Chamba was one of the centre for the atr of painting and Raja Chhatra Singh, Udai Singh, Umad Singh and Raj Singh were the great connoisseurs and the patron of the arts. The style of chamba painting remainded unadulterated having its own indigenous characteristics an extensive series of Bhagvata purana painting by the painter Laharu in 1758 AD is of special mention, which is housed now in the bhuri singh museum, chamba.
In the third quarter of 18th century AD, some painter from guler, who sought refuse patronage at the court of Raja Rai singh (1764-1794). Pahari miniature painting is influenced by classical literature, music and local cultures. The painting are masters in expressing the beauty of nature and women. These painting are done on handmade paper, which is made of bamboo, cotton and other material. These are popularly known as “Sialkoti paper”. After the lines are drawn on the paper, it is given a coat of white colour. The surface of the paper is polished by rubbing a smooth stone on it and colours are applied on this surface. The painters also used stencils to reproduce more copies of the painting.
Pahari painting refers to a painting from the mountainous regions. This is an umbrella term utilized for depicting one of the types of Indian painting. The origins of the Pahari schools are unknown, but it is likely that the Hindu courts of the Himalayan foothills were not as so from the mainstream of Indian life as has been considered hitherto. Some of the earliest miniatures date from about 1650, but the sack of Delhi in the year 1739 provided a significant impetus for the refinement of Pahari art. The Pahari painting went through various modifications throughout its life. The development of the painting of Pahari can broadly differentiated into three distinct schools; the Basohli School, GulerKangra School and Sikh School. The Pahari painting of the Basohli School can be characterized by the use of bold, intense colour and strong profile. It was famous in the valleys of Chamba, Guler, Kulu and Mandi. The Rajput as well as the Pahari artists enjoyed detailing clothing, jewelers and landscape for their subjects.

Wall Painting

Chamba also had the rich tradition of painting on the walls, Bangdwary painting was an old tradition of decorating walls with various figures of god and goddesses, which is still prevailing in the Chamba town . The wall on the either side of the main door is painted with the various figures of the gods of hindu pantheon, carefully arranged in the decorated compartments in vertical format, topped by Ganesha above the lintel the various specimens of wall painting can be seen in Chamba in various temples, places and houses of nobles. 
1. Shakti Devi temple at village Gand, at the distance of 14 km from chamba town is, perhaps, the earliest specimens of the murals in Chamba. 
2. The Chamunda Devi temple at Devi –Kothi (105 KM from Chamba town) in Churah valley of chamba district. The temple was constructed by Raja Umed Singh of Chamba in the year of 1754 AD.
3. The wall painting of Rangmahal and akhandchandi palaces is equally famous for their colourfull composition and fineness.
4. Two more temples, the Shakti Devi, Chhatrari and Obri Shiv Dwala, near chamba town are known for the painting done on their walls.