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Kangra Paintings

Saturday, May 30th, 2009 | Author:

radkri2There are so many different types of paintings in India, some of which have been obsolete, while some have not been that popular. On the other hand, some schools of arts have emerged and have been significantly popular in keeping India on high grounds in the international art market and art industry. Thus, one of the better known gifts of Indian to the global art world is Kangra paintings. Kangra was a princely state in Himchal Pradesh. It is this place that patronized this art. The popularity of Kangra paintings accelerated after the fading of the Basohli School of painting in mid-eighteenth century. Soon later, Kangra paintings emerged in great magnitude and volume and the Pahari painting school, came to be known as Kangra paintings. The epicenters of Kangra paintings are Guler, Basohli, Chamba, Nurpur, Bilaspur and Kangra. Later this style also spread in Mandi, Suket, Kulu, Arki, Nalagarh and Tehri Garhwal. Today, this style is collectively known as Pahari paintings. In the 17th and 19th centuries, Kangra paintings were patronized by the Rajput rulers and thus they belong to the School of Pahari paintings


Pahari, which means hilly in Hindi language, were paintings that were made in the hilly regions of the ever so beautiful Himachal Pradesh. It is the development and the evolution of the Pahari paintings, which the Kangra School of paintings has evolved. Under the patronage of Maharaja Sansar Chand, who was an early patron of Kangra style, it became the most important center of Pahari painting.