Origin: Himachal Pradesh is as famous for it’s beautiful people as it is for it’s paintings. Himachal paintings showcase their rich cultural heritage with a singular mix of of Mughal art and Buddhist art. Mughal art as was the case in Uttarakhand was brought along by Mughals in the 17th century and later flourished by the patronage of Rajput Kings. Along the ages and the Rajput kings, unique schools of paintings spread across Himachal. The most famous ones being Kangra, Bisholi, Chamba and Gompa.
Chamba and Kangra school of painting depicted the art form as courtroom drama or the passionate love theme. They gave us the miniature paintings of figures with beautiful colours and details. These paintings were also inspired by spiritualism and nature bound Gompa school is a buddhist style of paintings that derives their inspiration from Chamba and Kangra school of Paintings
Present Day: Museums, art galleries and local inclination towards the arts have contributed in preserving the Himachal version of Pahadi paintings that are mughal inspired miniatures. To this day, we find artists and schools spreading this typical art form of Buddhist mughal miniatures.
Procedure: Himachali paintings have a certain elegance and a unique style that is adapted by the drawings of rajput kings living in Himachal, with activities such as riding, hunting, wars and the age-old love story of Radha & Krishna. Kangra Paintings are based on passionate love or Shringar (to adorn) theme. A lot of focus is given to God Krishna, Vrindavan, Greenery, Bhagvad Gita. Pahari Paintings draw influences and are developed out of Mughal Paintings. There are four different types of art school: Guler School, Kangra School, Basohli School, Chamba School Chamba School of paintings were originated in Chamba Region of Himachal Pradesh. These paintings depict influence of Gujrat and Mughal era.
Colours used in these paintings are primarily light to depict delicate and freshness. Colours are made of vegetable and mineral extracts. These paintings are known for their beauty and illustrative designs. Thangkas are also one of the famous paintings of Himachal Pradesh. They are the famous Buddhist wall paintings. These are bright paintings done on Cloth and Walls. You can also learn the ancient art of making Thangkas painting at Norbulingka Institute at McLeodganj.
Demand of these beautiful paintings have been increased a lot in India as well as in Overseas. These paintings are exported in various countries across the globe like USA, U.K, UAE (Oman, Dubai), China, France etc. This handicraft contributes immensely to the Indian economic growth.
Bring Home Paintings of Himachal: You can find these paintings in a lot of local markets. However, you can buy Thangkas paintings in Mcleodganj and Dharamshala and different Tibetan markets. You can shop other paintings at Shimla, Kangra, Chamba, Mandi and Kullu Manali. You can find different craft centres and State Emporium displaying this art form.