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Indian Summer : Handpicked Selections from our travels across India
Indian Summer : Handpicked Selections from our travels across India

Pichwai Paintings

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    Srinathji 11 : Yellow Gold Handpainted Pichwai Painting with Cow Motif ( Framed)

    Khoj Crafts

    This Pichwai : 10 painting showcases a stunning cow, surrounded by delicate lotuses. Its beautiful yellow background and excellent attention t...

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    Pichwai Cow Painting

    Khoj Crafts

    This Pichwai : 10 painting showcases a stunning cow, surrounded by delicate lotuses. Its beautiful blue background and excellent attention to ...

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    Traditional Pichwai Painting : Elegant Traditional Pichwai painting with detail ( Framed)

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    This elegant Pichwai 13 painting offers a beautiful window into traditional Indian art. Its vivid colors and precise brushstrokes capture the ...

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    Nathdrwara Painting : Elegant Pichwai painting in Traditional Style (Framed)

    Khoj Crafts

    This elegant Pichwai 12 painting offers a beautiful window into traditional Indian art. Its vivid colors and precise brushstrokes capture the ...

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    Srinathji 9 : Embellished Vintsge Pichwai Painting in Black ( Framed)

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    This exquisite Pichwai: 9 is exquisitely crafted with embroidery and beads to create a timeless antique piece. Using a careful balance of trad...

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    Mordern Pichwai Painting : Classic Pichwai Style painting of tradtitional motifs of cows and lotus (23.5inches, framed)

    Khoj Crafts

    This Pichwai : 8 painting showcases a beautiful landscape of cows beneath a tree, with lotuses in bloom alongside a river.  Perfect for any mo...

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    Prichwai Krishna Painting : Vintage Pichwai Sri Krishna painting in a classic style (12 inches, framed)

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    This Pichwai painting from India is a vintage and iconic work of art. It  displays a image of Sri Krishna, painted on paper in an antique styl...

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    Shrinathji 6 : Vintage, Handpainted Pichwai with muted jewel colours (7 inches, framed)

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    This Pichwai: 6 is a small, hand-painted vintage pichwai, weathered with time. Featuring original art, it's a perfect choice for anyone lookin...

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    Shrinathji 5 : Vintage Pichwai Painting featuring the ratri shringhaar (14 imches, framed )

    Khoj Crafts

    This Pichwai : 5 is a unique and special antique painting, featuring a night rendering of Shrinathji. It is highly unusual and has been slight...

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    Antique Pichwai Painting : Rare , Embellished, Vintage Pichwai

    Khoj Crafts

    This rare Pichwai is a timeless treasure, with its small size, beautiful Tanjore-style painting, and precious stones. It's an excellent exampl...

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    Shrinathji 2 : Jewel Coloured Pichwai Print ( 26" , framed )

    Khoj Crafts

    Make a statement with this unique Pichwai: 2 paper print. Its original design features a cheerful, bright orange background making it an eye-ca...

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    Shrinathji Pichwai Painting - Vintage Framed Pichwai Painting ( 25 inches, framed )

    Khoj Crafts

      Capture the essence of Shrinathji with this authentic Pichwai: 1 painting depicting the deity in mesmerizing detail. Featuring vivid colors a...

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    Lotus Pichwai Painting : Cow & Lotus Motif Pichwai Painting with Custom Crown Frame (Framed)

    Khoj Crafts

       The Pichwai paintings feature Krishna cows symbolizing joy, prosperity and serenity. The artwork is further accentuated by the subtle inclu...

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    Kamdhenu- 1 : Framed Pichwai paintings

    Khoj Crafts

       The Pichwai paintings feature Krishna cows symbolizing joy, prosperity and serenity. The artwork is further accentuated by the subtle inclu...

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    Wooden framed Pichwai - 1

    Khojcrafts

    Experience the exquisite beauty of Pichwai art with our hand-painted Wooden framed Pichwai-1. This antique piece showcases the unique Krishna p...

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    Pichwai series- Goverdhan

    Khojcrafts

      Beautiful rendering of Srinathji Surrounded by devotees Hand painted Slightly damaged Size: 18" x 24" Unframed Medium: Shipping,  All over Ind...

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India is a land of rich history and beautiful traditions, and what better way to celebrate it than through art? One art form that captures the beauty of India’s cultural heritage is Pichwai, a traditional craft that originates from the vibrant state of Rajasthan. Pichwai paintings are not just a visual treat, they are an expression of devotion and spirituality.

In this blog, we will explore the world of pichwai art, its history, its various types, and some prominent artists who have kept this traditional art alive. If you’re interested, we’ll also tell you where to buy the best ones. Let’s dive in!

What is a Pichwai Painting?

Pichwai painting is a traditional Indian art form that originated in the 17th century in Nathdwara, Rajasthan. In Sanskrit, the words "pich" and “wai” mean "back” and "hanging," respectively, thus literally translating to “a painting that hangs at the back”. These paintings were traditionally used as decorative backdrops in temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, especially his Shrinathji form in the Nathdwara temple. In modern times, Pichwai art is a popular choice for home decor.

What are the Different Types of Pichwai Art?

Pichwai paintings come in various types, each with unique themes and styles. The ten most common ones are listed below:

1. Shreenathji Pichwai painting

Shrinathji is the seven-year-old form of Lord Krishna, worshipped heavily in the heart of Rajasthan. It’s no surprise then, that this divine manifestation of Krishna often takes centre stage in Pichwai craft. These paintings predominantly revolve around the portrayal of Shrinathji's endearing childhood escapades and playful exploits, like stealing butter, enchanting the Gopis, etc.

2. Radha Krishna Pichwai Painting

The love story of Radha and Krishna is one of the most common subjects of pichwai art. The mesmerising scenes of Rasaleela usually depict Lord Krishna gracefully playing his flute, while Radha, his beloved, listens with rapt attention. The Gopis are also in attendance sometimes, dancing in harmony around this celestial couple. For those who seek to bring this enchantment into their lives, consider ordering a Radha Krishna painting from Khofcrafts.com.

3. Lotus Pichwai Painting

The Lotus flower is highly symbolic in Hinduism, and it also makes its way into pichvvai. In it, Bal Krishna is often depicted sitting on top of a lotus flower. Many paintings also show him with a lotus in his right hand, along with a garland around his neck of the same flower. In some modern interpretations, he can also be seen playing his flute in a garden of roses.

4. Cow and Calf Pichwai Painting

Cows hold a sacred place in Hindu mythology, and they feature prominently in the tales of Krishna. Thus, they naturally become an integral part of numerous Pichwai paintings. These artistic masterpieces often depict the serene image of cows alongside their playful calves, evoking a sense of maternal tenderness and spiritual significance.

5. Peacock Pichwai Painting

In the world of Pichwai designs, peacock feathers often takes centre stage, adorning the divine crown of Shrinath Ji. These splendid paintings present Lord Krishna, resplendent in rich attire, cradled in festivity during the Janmashtami celebration. Sometimes, artists paint a pride of peafowls alongside, adding a beautiful splash of colours to the drawings.

6. Tree of Life Pichwai

This style of painting features the “Tree of Life” as its centrepiece. In Hindu mythology, the tree of life refers to a Banyan tree, as it can live for centuries and even a millenia. It is a symbol of abundance, fertility, and of course, eternal life. The tree motif is painted in a golden colour, and is sometimes accompanied by Lord Krishna, the Gopis, lotus, cows, or peacocks, adding more substance to the design.

7. Sharad Purnima Pichwai Painting

Among the diverse themes, one significant motif is the celebration of the autumn festival of Sharad Purnima. It brings to life the enchanting swing ceremony of Radha and Krishna under the shimmering glow of the full moon.

8. Sandhya Aarti Pichwai

The Sandhya aarti paintings portray the heartwarming scene of Yashoda and the Gopis extending a warm welcome to Krishna, Balarama, and their playful gopa friends as they return home from grazing with their cherished herd. This depiction encapsulates the essence of devotion and familial love, immortalised on canvas.

9. Annakut Form of Pichwai

The Annakut form of Pichwai is another popular depiction, particularly in the context of offerings made by devotees. "Annakut" translates to "mountain of food" or "offering of food." This form of Pichwai illustrates a grand and elaborate presentation of various food items arranged in a mountain-like structure, symbolising the offering of food to Lord Krishna, often in his form as Shrinathji.

10. 24 Swaroop of Shrinathji

The 24 swaroop, or chhavi, of Shrinathji represent his various divine forms or manifestations. The different swaroops are as follows:

  1. Balak Swaroop: In this swaroop, Lord Shrinathji is depicted as a child, symbolising innocence and purity.
  2. Ghanshyam Maharaj: This form represents the young and playful side of Krishnaji.
  3. Navnit Priyaji: Here, Lord Krishna is depicted as one who loves butter.
  4. Gopi Priyaji: This swaroop showcases Krishnaji showering affection on the Gopis, the cowherd maidens.
  5. Girdharji or Govardhan Swaroop: This is the swaroop of Krishna which shows him as the one who lifted Govardhan hill on one finger.
  6. Kshemankariji: In this form, Lord Shrinathji is shown offering blessings to devotees, for their well-being and protection.
  7. Dwarkeshji: This swaroop represents Lord Krishna as the ruler of Dwarka.
  8. Shringar Swaroop: In this chhavi, Shrinathji is adorned with exquisite jewellery and regal attire, emphasising his divine beauty and elegance.
  9. Jagdambe Priyaji: This form signifies Lord Krishna's devotion to his mother, Yashoda.
  10. Bhairavi Maa: Here, Lord Krishna is accompanied by devi Bhairavi, who is considered to be his spiritual sister.
  11. Madhavji: This form represents the Lord as the husband of Rukmini.
  12. Venu Gopal Swaroop: This swaroop features Lord Krishna playing his enchanting flute, symbolising his melodious and captivating presence
  13. Radha Vallabhji: In this form, Lord Krishna is accompanied by Radha, his divine consort.
  14. Ranchorji: Showcases Lord Krishna as the one who fled from the battlefield of Mathura to establish Dwaraka.
  15. Raja-Rajeshwarji: This form represents Lord Krishna as the king of kings.
  16. Mohanlalji: Here, Lord Shrinathji appears in an enchanting and captivating form, drawing devotees towards him.
  17. Dhruv Narayan Swaroop: Represents Shrinathji's role in helping young Dhruv in his devotion to Lord Vishnu.
  18. Vrajrajji: Lord Shrinathji is depicted as the king of Vrindavan.
  19. Ganapati Swaroop: Depicts Shrinathji alongside Lord Ganesha, signifying blessings and the removal of obstacles.
  20. Dinanathji: Lord Krishna is the sustainer of all beings in this form.
  21. Sakhi Priyaji: This form signifies Lord Krishna's affection for his female companions.
  22. Shambhav Priyaji: In this swaroop, Lord Krishna is depicted as the beloved of his devotees.
  23. Rai Swaroop: This swaroop depicts Shrinathji as the protector of cows
  24. Gokul Nathji: This form represents Lord Krishna as the son of Gokul, the village where he spent his childhood.

Pichavai paintings that show one or many of Shreenathji’s chhavi are a great option, especially if you’re a devotee (or gifting this to one).

Seven Noteworthy Pichwai Artists of India

Pichwai paintings have been nurtured and enriched by numerous talented artists over the years. Here are seven pichwai artists whose contributions have left an indelible mark on this beautiful traditional art form:

1. Rajaram Sharma

Rajaram Sharma, a dedicated Pichwai artist best known for honing his craft under the guidance of Tulsidas Ji, the head of the Shrinathji temple. His lifelong immersion in Pichwai art has resulted in exquisite paintings that vividly depict Lord Krishna's divine life. Rajaram has earned a lot of recognition, including the prestigious National Merit Certificate in 2016. His art graces esteemed locations, from the Shrinathji Temple in Nathdwara to the Victoria Monroe Fine Art Gallery in Boston, USA.

2. Raghunandan Sharma

Raghunandan Sharma is one of the most renowned Pichwai artist, based in Nathdwara. He is famous for leading a team of artists in crafting the monumental "Kamal Kunj," a colossal Pichwai painting measuring an impressive 27 x 57 feet. This masterpiece, part of the Reliance Foundation's initiative, celebrates the 400-year-old art form native to Nathdwara.

3. Suresh Sharma

Suresh Sharma's artistic talents extend beyond Pichwai art, as he crafted an exclusive Morakuti (peacock) Pichwai cover for AD India magazine. He is a co-founder of the "Artists of Nathdwara (AoN)" organisation, established in 2015. Drawing inspiration from his illustrious grandfather, Bhurelalji, Suresh actively contributes to the popularisation of Pichwai designs, both nationally and internationally.

4. Parmanand Sharma

Parmanand Sharma, immersed in Pichwai style since childhood, proudly continues the artistic legacy of his ancestors. As the mukhiya (leader) of the "Artists of Nathdwara," he draws inspiration from his renowned grandfather, Shri Champalalji, a 19th and early 20th-century artist of global acclaim. Parmanandji specialises in Nathdwara Pichwais and miniature paintings, carrying forward the torch of devotion through his artistic expressions.

5. Kalyan Mal Sahu Ji

Kalyanmal Sahoo's remarkable journey from a farmer's background to becoming a Pichwai master is a testament to his talent and dedication. He has various accolades to his name, with the National Award in 2011 and Paramparagat Award in 2018. Even the brother of the Dalai Lama has acknowledged his artistry, solidifying his reputation as one of the best Pichwai artists.

6. Shehzad Ali Sherani

Hailing from Kishangarh, Shehzad Ali Sherani is a well-known Pichwai artist. He has received numerous awards and accolades to his name, including the State Award and the Rajasthan Lalit Kala Akademi Commendation certificate. He is also responsible for reviving the Kishangarh School of Art.

7. Sri Daulat Ram

Sri Daulat Ram, born in Beawar, Rajasthan, is a remarkable traditional Rajasthani and Pichwai artist known for his depth and humility. He learned the art from his mentor, Sri Kalyanmal Sahu, and he specialises in Radha Krishna and Pichwai paintings.

Interesting Facts About Pichwai Art

Here are some intriguing facts about this traditional Indian art form that you should know:

Revival in Modern Times

In the 19th and 20th century, Pichwai art had mostly faded into obscurity. The wave of western art style was sweeping across the country during the British Raj. In some instances, artisans were adopting western painting techniques and synthetic colours for Pichwai artwork. However, it failed to gain momentum.

In the 21st times this traditional art has been rediscovered, and it is quite popular with Indian and foreign buyers alike. In fact, it is one of the biggest export from Nathdwara now. Efforts are being made to preserve the art form, with artisans training newer generations, passing down relevant skills and techniques.

Ornate Jewellery Adornments

The depiction of elaborate jewellery adorning Srinathji is one the most striking features of Pichwai artwork. The paintings show the holy city of Vrindavan, where Lord Krishna is often depicted with diamonds on his chin and ring fingers.

Use of Natural Colours

Pichwai art is created using colours derived from natural sources, like flowers, coal, semi-precious stones, and minerals like zinc. The more expensive paintings use precious metals like gold, adding both value and splendour to the artwork while pushing the price through the roof!

Perfection Demands Posture

Pichwai designs leave no room for error, as even the smallest defects are easily detectable. Artists and creators adopt a specific posture to ensure precision during the intricate process of creating these enchanting masterpieces.

Versatile Display Options

Unlike some religious artworks, Pichwai paintings do not come with rigid rules for display. They lack a specific religious motive or belief, making them versatile ornaments for your walls that can be hung without strict guidelines.

Where Can I Buy the Best Pichwai Paintings?

If you find yourself in Nathdwara or Udaipur, then you have a great opportunity to get your hands on pichwai cow paintings, lotus pichwai paintings, etc. But if you’re not, we recommend searching on the internet. Online stores like Khojcrafts.com are a great place to buy everything pichwai!

Khojcrafts offers a diverse range of Pichwai paintings. You can find modern pichwai paintings as well as antique pichwai paintings for sale on our website. You can decorate your home with them, adding a touch of spirituality to your life, or you can gift them to close friends and family.

Here’s why Pichwai paintings make for very meaningful gifts:

1. Spiritual Significance

2. Unique and Handcrafted

3. Cultural Heritage

4. Symbol of Blessings

5. Suitable for various occasions - weddings, housewarmings, birthdays, or religious festivals like Janmashtami

Are you looking for gift options for cherished family and friends during this festive season? Well, now you know what to give them!

Conclusion

Pichwai paintings are not simple works of art; they are a profound expression of devotion, tradition, and artistic excellence. This traditional Indian art form continues to captivate audiences worldwide with its rich history, vibrant colours, and intricate designs. Through the dedication of artists and the appreciation of enthusiasts, Pichwai art thrives, preserving the cultural heritage of India for generations to come. After learning its history, are you interested in it too? Well, what’re you waiting for? Khojcrafts has a massive collection, from which you can choose, right now! Find the one that speaks to you and level up your home decor today.