Janmashthmi Pichwai


Shrinathji is the presiding deity of the Pushtimarg Vaishnava religion. The spiritual home of Shrinathji is in Nathdwara, near Udaipur. Though devotees flock to the temple town for darshan eight times a day, festivals such as Janmashtami, Sharad Purnima, and Holi receive large crowds. Devotees often tend to leave this place of devotion with a special souvenir – a Pichwai painting.

The word ‘Pich’ means backdrop and the Pichwai is intended to be hung behind the idol at the temple. As a result, the original Pichwai is with a window cut out for the idol to fit through. The Pichwais borrow their narratives from the Dasham Skand, the 10th canto of the Bhagavata Purana, all of which are related to Krishna. For instance, this Pichwai celebrating Janmashtami (birth of Lord Krishna) features Yashoda, his adopted mother, rocking his cradle. Gopis in colourful flare skirts, cows with red handprints, dancing peacocks, god-flying vimanas, swaying plantains, mango trees, and lotus ponds are all depicted alongside Srinathji’s idol.

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Janmashthmi Pichwai
Narendra Singh
H: 147.3 x W: 156.2 cm
Accession No.