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Temples & Legends of Himachal Pradesh
Index Of Himachal Pradesh Author
Introduction Background
Kulu - Manali Shyama Kali Temple
Manali Mandi
The Ardhanari Temple, Mandi Buddha Temple
Bijli Mahadev Idol Worship
Hidimba Banasur
Basishta Chamba
Kangra Area Manikaran
Bajreshwari Devi Chintpurni Devi Temple
Baijnath Temple Baglamukhi Deity And Her Temple
Chamunda Nandikeshwar Bilasur
Kinnaur Lahul   And Spiti
Wall Paintings Sirmur
Nath Temple  
Major Sections
Temples & Legends Of India
Andhrapradesh
Maharastra
Kerala
Himachal Pradesh
Tamilnadu

Bengal

Assam
Bihar
Somanatha

WALL PAINTINGS ON THE TEMPLES OF HIMACHAL

But we like to quote the following from Dr. Seth's book, with which we fully agree :-

"The ritualistic religious beliefs of the royal patrons and the artists also tended to reduce wall paintings to the level of mere decorative works. As a result of such beliefs and due to an urge to reform and propagate them, they tended to choose the most popular legends from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana, which were evocative of immediate response from the common people. The celebrated legends like the love of Radha and Krishna, Rama and Sita and Siva and Parvati naturally lent them to very decorative presentation. In the actual technique of painting also, the patrons and the artists chose to depict the popular themes in small panels so that an ordinary visitor could appreciate them without taxing his imagination too much. As a further concession to plebeian taste, they embellished the panels with a variety of floral designs. These floral designs helped, more than anything else, to give a decorative character to these paintings. In the choice of floral motifs, the Pahadi paintings were not alone as a similar tradition prevailed in Rajasthani wall paintings. There is great similarity in design also. The paintings in the Divanji-ki-Haveli in Alwar have floral designs very similar to those found in the Narmadesvara temple at Sujanpur Tira." *

In conclusion we have to mention that though the Mughal Courts had inspired the wall-paintings in Himachal temples and there was distinct impact of the style and techniques of Rajput paintings the Himachali paintings did carve out a distinctiveness of its own and the Rajas of the Hill States were the greatest patrons. The Hill Rajas believed they were holding the States as trustees of God and, however, secular and earthy, they wanted the painters to bring out God's excellence in their art. The work that the Rajas could produce with their limited resources (quite insignificant in comparison with the wealth of the Mughal Court) through the dedicated artists were of high order though not of the level of Ajanta. The temple paintings give us a good idea of the social and economic conditions besides the religious beliefs of the times. The paintings confirm that faith in Siva, Devi or Durga, Rama and Sita, Lord Krishna and Radhika continued in the area unabated.

*Wall paintngs of western Himalayas by Dr.Mira Seth, (1976), (page100).

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Wall Painting : Dharamtal Mahantan - Ram, Sita and Lakshmana
About Wall Paintings
Introduction
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