“Away from the rules and rigidity, Unknown and unaware of the logics of theory; Art is what always cultures unrealistically real stories.” We are all passion driven humans, and it is in each one of us to chase what we find ourselves connected to. Today, we have something for the followers of art and craft, this town in southern Rajasthan, 48 kilometer north east of Udaipur is a splendid treat for you. Nathdwara is a town, incredibly famous for the Nathdwara temple the Pichwai paintings of the region that are truly a sight of amazement for those who understand art.
The Hindi term Pichwai is the name given to the large, painted cloth hangings used in the daily worship of the deity Shrinathji in Nathdwara. The Pichwai paintings of Rajasthan are intricately painted pictures portraying Lord Krishna. These paintings are exclusive to a small town, Nathdwara in western Rajasthan.
Legend has it that in 1409 AD, an image of Lord Shrinathji, the mountain lifting form of Krishna was discovered and a temple was established there and was held in high reverence. In 1671, after multiple raids, this temple, lord’s sewak’s, cows and their caretakers along with the Pichwai Painters (painters of temple background art) moved away from Mathura towards Rajasthan. At one point, during their journey, the bullock cart got stuck in the ground and would not budge, it was only then they decided to re-establish the temple in that holy town of NathDwara, which literally means “doorway to the lord”.
The Pichwai paintings were primarily used to adorn the temple walls with the basic purpose of narrating tales of Krishna to the illiterate. Krishna is shown in different different moods, body postures, and attires. It is a very ancient form of art passed on from generation to generation.
Now, even after 400 years, the rituals and traditions and the devotion towards Sri Nathji temple in Nathdwara remain the same. The artists mostly residing in Chitron Ki Gali (Street of paintings) and Chitrakaaro ka Mohalla (colony of painters) form a close, interrelated and interactive community. The town shows stronger cultural influence of Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) than Rajasthan. Different paintings are made for different occasions, seasons, and festivals.
Shrinathji mandir in nathdwara is adored by the ardent pilgrims.
The temple gates open to reveal the spectacular sight or Darshan of Shrinathji in Nathdwara with the beautiful Pichwai in the background, in this town full of business communities, their beloved Krishna is not just their lord Shrinathji, but also their king.
If we would like to do sightseeing in Nathdwara, we are in for a treat. A perfect and ideal destination for a day trip from Udaipur, additionally, Nathdwara’s streets filled with flavors serve some of the finest and the most authentic breakfast of chai and poha and scrumptuos desserts like Rabdi and Malpua. The originality, authenticity and rawness of this small town is what India truly is, in its most original sense. Pack your bags and go to this beautiful town to strike the spiritual and artistic chords of your heart.