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Bundi painting


Etymology: The name Bundi comes from the narrow valley named ‘Bandu-Ka-Nal’, ‘Bandu’ was the title given to the chief/leader of the Meena tribe and ‘Nal’ referred to the narrow ways. 

Origin: Bundi school of miniature paintings originates in Bundi, Rajasthan. The earliest traces of Bundi miniatures can be dated as far back as 1591.

Location: The first paintings that would put Bundi miniatures on the art map were created at Chunar, near Varanasi. The art then traveled back to Bundi and remained mobile, spreading to Jodhpur, Mewar, and Marwar as artists settled in those regions.

Relevance: The grandeur and beauty of these paintings were highly appreciated and in great demand among many Rajput royalties. Having Bundi courtesans document royal activities and create portraits was considered a social merit.


Significance: Bundi miniatures are a blend of Mughal & Deccan elements and styles. The major themes in these paintings include ‘Krishna-Lila,’ ‘Nayaka-Nayika,’ ‘Barahmasa,’ as well as other subjects like the royal court, festivals, wars, hunting, portraits, and animals.

Culture and Societies: This community celebrates festivities such as Rakshabandhan, Diwali, Dusshera, Holi etc. ‘Teej’ and ‘Gangaur’  hold significant cultural importance in their traditions. The primary languages spoken in this region are ‘Haroti’ and ‘Khararhi’. Additionally, they have a rich tradition of folk dances, including ‘Ghoomar’, ‘Panihari’, ‘Gheer’, ‘Kacchi Ghori’, and ‘Dandia’.

Religious significance: Hindu gods & goddesses are at the centre of their religious and spiritual beliefs. In Hinduism, Ragas depict Krishna and Radha’s courtship, and there are paintings called Ragamalas that illustrate these themes.

Understanding the Art

Style: These miniatures possess a distinct representation of the human form. For example, women portrayed in these miniatures are tall and slender, characterized by their cinched waist, almond-shaped eyes, and long noses.

Central motifs: Artists primarily emphasize the lush vegetation, greenery, flora, fauna, rivers, and dramatic, clear, dark skies to showcase the hilly region. Women are depicted with exaggeration, featuring tall and slim figures, elongated eyes, and heavily ornamented attire.

Bundi Painting

Image Source: Tripadvisor

new outlook

Shifting from frescos, cloth and handmade paper, artists now use canvas to paint these miniatures using pigments such as oil paints and watercolours as their traditional mediums.

Bundi Painting blogs