The Creative Treasure Of Hills
The highlands of Garhwal are the sole location with the flowing murmur of holy rivers, the stunning Himalayan backdrop, the green valley, glistening glaciers, and everlasting beauty. This location, which is well-known for its serenity and tranquility, has drawn many artists of all kinds, including famous authors like Kalidas and Maharishi Balmiki, to it. As a result, the 17th century saw the establishment of the final basis for the Garhwali literary heritage. The painting of the hills is one of these priceless gems, and words cannot express their magnificence.
So be ready to explore the rich Garhwali legacy!
A Mughal Prince named Sulaman Shikoh sought asylum in Garhwal during the middle of the 17th century AD. The prince traveled with a painter and his son who were court artists and knowledgeable in the Mughal Miniature painting style. After nineteen months, the prince departed Garhwal, but his court artists remained because they were so taken with the surroundings. The Mughal painting style was introduced to Uttaranchal’s Garhwal region by these painters, who resided in Srinagar, then the Panwar dynasty’s capital. As time went on, the successors of these original artists gained proficiency as painters and also created their distinctive styles employing extremely realistic colors. Later, the Garhwal style painting was created in this manner.
Additionally, during the reign of King Pradyumn Shah, his marriage union with a Guler Princess of Kangra encouraged numerous Guler artists to travel to and settle in Garhwal. For his contribution to art and painting, Mola Ram stands out among these individuals in Uttarakhand history. The “Garhwal School of Painting” was established by him. In the Pauri Garhwal area, close to Srinagar, Mola Ram was born in 1743. Along with being a statesman, he was also a poet and philosopher. During the Gorkhas’ (1803–15) and British’s (1897–1914) reigns, he continued to promote the advancement of literature and art.
The Garhwal school of painting shares similarities with the Mughal, Rajasthani, and Kangra schools of painting as well as has its unique traits. India’s perspective regarding love is embodied in the artworks. Ramayana, Krishna Leela, and the Mahabharata are among the major subjects of the paintings. All art enthusiasts should take the time to look at how these paintings show the women, who are the main subject, and their jewelry in exquisite detail. In addition, the paintings provide a stunning representation of the glory and majesty of the natural world around the artist. The genuine brilliance of these artworks is undoubtedly beyond the scope of these words.
The long list of notable artists from that era includes Shyam Das, Har Das, Hiralal, Mangat Ram, Molaram, Jwalaram, Tejram, and Brijnath. However, Barrister Mukandi Lal deserves much praise for his noble efforts in bringing the Garhwal Paintings and Mola Ram back to the public’s attention.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering where you may see these stunning works of art. Well, a large number of these paintings as well as other sculptures and artifacts from archaeological digs are on exhibit in Srinagar’s University Museum in the Garhwal region. You’ll be ecstatic to know that several of Mola Ram’s paintings are even in private collections, with some of them being on display at the Boston Museum of Art in the United States. However, some of them may be found at Banaras’ Bharat Kala Bhawan and Ahmedabad’s Kastur Bhai Lal Bhai Sangrahaalaya, as well as in Delhi, Allahabad, Calcutta, and a few other cities.
Recently, the originality of this lovely artistic legacy has been eroding. We must protect and publicize this Garhwali treasure immediately. Stone cutting as a legitimate art form has recently been extinct, but wood carving art is still available. Every door of a house and hundreds of temples display this art. As a result, Uttarakhand is home to a wealth of artistic treasures that all art enthusiasts may enjoy.