Paintings of Himachal Pradesh
Among the art forms of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra paintings are the most prominent ones. It is a pictorial art centred mostly in the regions of Kangra region. The origin of Kangra paintings is enrooted in Guler, in 18th century. A family of Kashmiri painters adept in Mughal painting s in the court of Raja Dalip Singh of Guler patronized this style pf painting. Local artists of the region later also engaged in this art and developed new and unique feature in Kangra painting. The themes of these painting mainly hovered around the eternal love between Radha and Lord Krishna. Scenes from Bhagavata Purana are also illustrated through delicate brush strokes. Other themes include tales of Keshavdas's Baramasa and Nala and Damayanti. Like other traditional paintings, these also utilized colours extracted from natural sources like vegetables, minerals etc. During the rule of Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch this painting gained immense prominence. A unique characteristic feature of this painting is the lush greenery depicted in these paintings. Attention is paid to the detail and the feminine charm is very gracefully depicted.
Another prevalent painting in this state is Basohli Paintings which are characterized by vibrant hues, geometrical motifs and glossy enamels. Bilaspur Paintings are mainly centred in Bilaspur region. It originated in 17th century and has magnificent depictions of Ramayana, Bhagavata Purana and other rituals of festivals and ceremonies. Chamba paintings closely resemble the Mughal style of paintings. During 17th century, this painting emerged as a prominent art form. Influences of different other forms of paintings can also be witnessed in this art. Another painting that originated in Himachal Pradesh is Garhwal Paintings which reflected blends of Mughal and Kangra style of paintings.
Paintings of Haryana
Paintings have developed as an exquisite form of art in Haryana since ancient times. During the reign of King Harsha, this form of art flourished owing to the fact that the King himself was a painter and a great admirer of arts. Later Rajputs and Mughals also patronized the art of painting and several new styles of paintings emerged. Ancient palaces and temples still hold the evidences of this flourishing art as their prime adornment. Famous historical monuments of Haryana that exhibit beautiful paints are Venumadhava temple in Kaul, the Kapil temple in Kilayat, the Rang Mahal in Pinjore, Kurukshetra's Bhadra Kali temple etc. These monuments are embellished with varied style of paintings which evolved during different periods of time and had unique features. Other paintings of this state include Nurpur paintings and Mandi Paintings which are also ancient forms of art and exhibited vivid colours and delicate patterns portraying diverse themes.
Paintings of Jammu and Kashmir
Developed in 18th and 19th century, Jammu paintings are a unique form of art. These however bear a striking resemblance with Kangra paintings. Another painting prevalent in this state is Jasrota paintings. The paintings mainly depict events of royal families, court scenes, allegorical scenes etc. Kulu Paintings also evolved in this region illustrating scenes from Bhagavata Purana. Mankot paintings of Jammu and Kashmir are famous for their bold subjects. Strong influences of Basohli painting are quite evident in these paintings. During mid 17th century the most popular and common theme of this painting was portraitures but later subdued colours and naturalism emerged as prominent subjects.
Paintings of Rajasthan
Rajput painting, emerged in the state of Rajasthan, are the one of the most renowned paintings of the country. Origin of this painting can be traced to the royal courts of Rajput kingdoms. Although different Rajput kingdoms developed their own style of painting, yet they shared some common features. A number of varied themes were depicted in Rajput paintings including Mahabharata, Ramayana, landscapes and human figures. Natural colours were preferred in these painting which were extracted from plants, minerals, precious stones and conch shells. The process of preparation of colours was however tedious and lengthy. Gold and silver foils were also used to adorn these paintings. During 16th century, this art gained prominence and a number of distinct artistic styles emerged. Rajput paintings were also moulded with influences of various other arts.
Paintings of Northern India are collectively known as Pahari Painting, owing to their origin and development in hilly regions. Indian paintings have gone through a number of phases where they have been influenced by varying cultures, prevailing traditions and conditions of the society. Over time, different regions of India have developed their own unique styles of paintings which later emerged as prominent parts of their cultural heritage. Each style of painting is unique in their own way depicting a number of themes in most attractive manner. Paintings of Northern India are not only famous in the country but have also gained huge fame all over the world. Several tourists collect these paintings as souvenirs of the rich cultural heritage of India.