Etymology: The word ‘pichwai’ is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘pich’ meaning back and ‘wai’ meaning hanging. 

Origin: The Pichwai Paintings are believed to have originated about 400 years ago.

Location: Pichwai painting school originated in the Aravali hills on the bank of Banas River at Nathdwara in Rajasthan.

Relevance: The demand for Pichwai paintings grew as these religious scrolls were bought increasingly by the pilgrims who would visit the temple in Nathdwara. Since the paintings portray joyous occasions, it induces positive thoughts and feelings in the observer.


Significance: The tradition of making Pichwai paintings is as old as the history of the main temple of Shrinathji. 

As, the people developed the art form and reached the culminating point around Shrinathji’s temple in Nathdwara. 

Culture and society: Many artists were employed by the temple administration and were tasked with making Pichwai for different seasons and ritual ceremonies on the order of the chief priest. The Pushtimarg community had a crucial role in making Pichwai paintings.

Religious significance: To protect Shrinathji’s image, the prominent priest, fled from Goverdhan to Mewar with the image, and the cart carrying the image got stuck in the mud. It was assumed that god wanted to reside here (in Nathdwara).

Understanding the Art

Style: These paintings depict imaginative figures with soft features, whilst adorning an earthy colour palette. Floral motifs and the lotuses especially are the main attraction of Pichwais, after the depiction of Lord Shrinathji. 

Central motifs: Apart from the themes of Shrinathji, motifs of lotuses and cows are well depicted. And, various Indian festivals such as Diwali, Holi, etc, are also painted.

Pichwai blogs