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Discover Traditional Artforms On this Krishna Janmashtami

The mystical Krishna

Mythology of Janmashtami

In India, the birth anniversary of Gopala, Lord Krishna’s infant form, is celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami, which is considered a festival of encouragement, goodwill, togetherness, and faith!

Lord Krishna, the symbol of -love, devotion, and wisdom is not just a religious emblem, he is a muse and a cultural phenomenon in the creative world of Indian arts and literature. Artists portray him as an adorable, chubby baby sitting with a vessel full of butter. Sometimes, they represent him as a male figure with blue skin wearing yellow hip wrappers, a crown with peacock feathers holding his flute in one hand. A crucial component of ‘Sanathan Sanskriti’ is Krishna Janmasthami.

As India is a land of exceptional creativity, find out more about the diverse Indian art forms where one can find glimpses of Lord Krishna.

Phad Painting

Phad Art
Image credits: (L) Indian Folk Art; (R) Pixels

The Phad paintings originated from the Indian subcontinent around 700 years ago and are primarily prevalent in the western state of Rajasthan. This art symbolizes Krishna’s life, highlighting some important aspects of his ‘Leela’ or cosmic activity depicted with bright colours in red, green, blue, yellow, and black. These scrolls are a fusion of Rajput and Mughal styles.

Pichwai Painting

Image Source: (L) Etsy; (R) Exotic India

This traditional Pichwai art style originates from Rajasthan, it uses natural colours to depict Lord Krishna as Shrinath Ji, his ‘Rasleela‘ on cotton fabrics. In many Pichwai paintings, the artists depicted Lord Krishna and Radha with Gopis, Yamunaji, and Gosaiji of the Nathdwara. 

Kerala Mural Painting

Image Source: (L) & (R) Flickr

A Kerala mural painting is the genre of depicting mythology, legends, and history that decorates the walls of temples and churches in Kerala. It dates back to the 8th century AD.

Tanjore Painting

Image credits: (L) Etsy; (R) Memeraki

Tanjore paintings originate from the Maratha court of Thanjavur taken from the Vijayanagara school of painting. Rich, flat, vivid colours and iconic compositions embellished with glittering gold foils, glass beads, and precious and semi-precious stones are characteristics of this unique art style.

Basholi Paintings

Image Source: (L) & (R) Flickr

‘Basohli’ paintings are a type of painting that combined Hindu mythology, Mughal miniature techniques, and regional folk art that first appeared in the 17th and 18th centuries. Basohli, a hill town in India, is the place of origin for this painting style in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Radha and Lord Krishna’s love story was focused on by the artists and they succeeded in reaching a high level of creativity.


Image Source: (L) Crafts Odisha; (R) Gaatha

‘Pattachitra’ paintings originated in Odisha and are one of the most famous of their kind. The word ‘pattachitra’ is derived from Sanskrit, where ‘Patta‘ means canvas and ‘Chitra’ means picture. Bold lines from bamboo brushes and organic and naturally vibrant colours characterize this painting style.


Image Source: (L) Gaatha; (R) Pinterest

‘Madhubani’ was developed first in Bihar, an eastern Indian state. It is commonly known as ‘Mithila paintings’, they depict symbolic motifs from nature and Hindu epics. The folk women of Bihar continue to preserve this tradition by painting Hindu deities, especially Lord Krishna.

Miniature Art

Image Source: (L) V&A Museum; (M) Victoria Memorial Hall; (R) San Diego Museum of Art

Even by their miniature sizes, these paintings depict intricate details and expressions. Miniature painting origin was in the Mughal era and Rajasthan, and widely practiced art form within them. These paintings depict the folklore around the life of ‘Lord Krishna.’ Several striking facial features such as large beautiful eyes, sharp noses, and other fine details make these paintings one of a kind.

Kishangarh Art

Image Source: (L) Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad; (M) National Museum, New Delhi; (R) Allahabad Museum, Allahabad

Kishangarh’s painting originated from the combination of Mughal artistic idioms with the conventions of the Rajput Rathor provincial schools in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Known for their devotion to Lord Krishna and Radha, Kishangarh paintings express the passion of ‘Vaishnava Bhakti‘ (devotion).

Mysore paintings

Mysore’s paintings are not just decorations but also devotional artworks. It is known for its elegance, muted colours, and attention to detail. Hindu gods and goddesses, and mythological scenes are the themes for most of these paintings.

Image Source: (L) Christie’s; (M) Bonhams; (R) Flickr

There are many representations of Krishna throughout Indian culture, including architecture, paintings, sculptures, and textiles. Generationally, people have been captivated by the legend of Lord Krishna. Be it his life, birth, victories over enemies, or his leelas!!

As the country celebrates the festival and Krishna Janmasthami mesmerizes the nation, Rooftop wishes you God’s blessings. We wish you a life full of compassion and the ability to make everyone around you smile!

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