Mata ni Pachedi

Meladi Mata no Chandarvo

This textile celebrates and reveres the folk goddess Meladi Mata, depicted at the centre seated on a black goat. According to legend, Goddess Parvati created Meladi from the dirt on her body and bestowed her divine shakti or strength and a black male goat as her mount.  Mata-ni-Pachedi or Chandarvo is a textile painting that… Read more »

reimagine I

‘reimagine’ is an ongoing Instagram-exclusive series through which we make connections across the Sarmaya collection and examine the extent to which our ways of seeing — and an object’s own meaning — are informed by time, space, and context

Patang Mata ni Pachedi

This artwork shows the process of making Mata ni Pachedi in the city of Ahmedabad. The Sabarmati river, Teen Darwaza, busy roads are shown more prominently than the Goddess, located off-centre. Sanjay Chitara and his family have been upholding the artistic tradition of Mata ni Pachedi (Cloth of the Mother Goddess for over 10 decades.… Read more »

Mata-ni-Pachedi: Bahuchara Mata

This Mata-ni-Pachedi  venerates the Bahuchara Mata, depicted sitting on a rooster. Two diminutive goddesses flank her on either side. Benevolent protector of India’s hijra community, the Bahuchara Mata or Becharaji is most commonly portrayed seated on a rooster. The bird represents virility and devotees of the goddess seek help with infertility, among other maladies. Historically,… Read more »

Mata-ni-Pachedi: Hadkai Mata

This Mata-ni-Pachedi celebrates and venerates the Hadkai Mata, depicted standing on a large chariot shrine pulled by four dogs. Goddess Hadkai, also known as Hadkamai, Hadaksha, Hadkabai and Hulan, is the Goddess who protects against rabies. Rabies is a real and present danger due to the large population of dogs that live in and around… Read more »


A session on Mata-ni-Pachedi and Mithila arranged exclusively for an organisation that aims to bring Indian art into mainstream education

Mata-ni-Pachedi: Durga Mata, Vahanvati Mata, Bahuchara Mata

There are three central goddesses in this painting: Durga, Bahuchara Mata and Vahanvati Mata. If you’ve read this story on goddesses and their vahans, you will know that Durga Mata is the one riding the lion on land, Vahanvati Mata is riding a black goat on a boat in the sea and Bahuchara Mata is… Read more »

Mata-ni-Pachedi: Vishat Mata

Vishat Mata’s name is derived from the Gujarati ‘vis-hath’ or twenty hands. Interestingly, even though she’s named for that very quality, this goddess is rarely represented in paintings with twenty arms; some six-armed goddesses have also been identified as Vishat Mata. Her mount is a black buffalo. The Goddess usually carries swords, a dagger, a… Read more »

Mata-ni-Pachedi: Bahuchara Mata

Bahuchara Mata is the central figure of this work. The goddess is depicted sitting on a rooster inside a shrine-like structure. Her is flanked by the images of Hindu gods and devotees, and foliage on the outside. This goddess’s name is derived from the Gujarati words ‘bahu’, meaning many and ‘chara’, meaning movement. Her mount… Read more »

Mata-ni-Pachedi: Meladi Mata

A folk goddess worshiped by the Vaghri community of Gujarat, Meladi Mata is identified by her mount, the black goat. In this Mata-ni-Pachedi painting, she is shown in the centre, a goddess with eight arms sitting astride a goat. She is framed by a shrine-like structure and smaller panels depicting deities and stories cover up… Read more »

Mata-ni-Pachedi: Vahanvati Mata

Vahanvati Mata is one of the folk goddesses, worshipped by the Vaghri community of Gujarat. She is iconographically represented as sitting on a goat, which in turn is placed inside a ship. She is primarily a goddess that protects travellers and merchants crossing the seas. In this Pachedi, the goddess is represented with eight hands… Read more »

Mata No Chandarvo: Meladi Mata

The tradition of Mata ni Pachedis (Gujarati for ‘behind the goddess’) was developed by the nomadic tribe of Vaghris in Gujarat. It is believed that because the tribe was barred from entering village temples, they came up with the ingenious solution of painting the Goddess Durga on a cloth, hanging it at the back of… Read more »