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Pahari paintings of music and poetry

Pahari paintings (‘pahari’ meaning ‘from the hills’) refer to works of art created in the small Hindu kingdoms in the foothills of the Western Himalayas. These refined and delicate paintings often relate to bakhti poetry and the themes of love and longing.

‘Ragamala’ paintings are pictorial representations of ragas, musical modes associated with particular seasons and different times of day. Each raga elicits a different rasa (essence or mood). This rasa is also expressed in the poetic lyrics which accompany the music and was captured by painters in ‘ragamala’ paintings.

Pahari style, Guler

Khambhavati Ragini

Attributed to Sajnu (active early 19th cent.)

Ragini Todi

Indian School, Pahari style, 19th century

Proshitapatika Nayika