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Lively Depiction of the Holy City of Lord Shiva on the Canvas of the Baidyanath Paintings.

Deogarh, popularly called Baidyanth Dham, is gradually making its mark in the art map of India. This decade old painting is the youngest of all the Indian folk arts. Folk paintings are usually the pictorial expressions of the religious and social lives of a particular region with characteristic signature style of colors, lines and concepts.

In India, the folk paintings are painted on themes of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. The daily lives of the local people in the backdrop of regional flora and fauna are painted by these painters. Baidyanath painting is the latest folk art of India which is dedicated to Lord Shiva who has established himself in Baidhyanath Dham as one of the twelve Jyotilingam. This place is also a Shaktipeeth of Sati, the consort of Shiva.

Baidyanath Painting is the brainchild of the multi talented artist Narendra Panjiyara. He has created a beautiful style of painting which showcases the socio- economic and religious sentiment of this area. Deogarh is a sacred place which has been mentioned in various hindu ancient texts. Millions of devotees come here to worship Shivling of Baba Dham temple during the pious month of Shravan month of hindu calender.

Lord Shiva with his Gana and Nandi

Lord Shiva with his Gana and Nandi

Just as the Kalighat Pat paintings revolve around Goddess Kali, the Baidyanath paintings are dedicated to Baba Vishwanath or Lord Shiva. This art form truly captures the essence of spirituality of the twenty one ancient temples found in and around Deogarh. Various religious rituals and ceremonies are also painted by the local artists

Ravana offering his ten heads to Shiva

Ravana offering his ten heads to Shiva

Characteristics of the Baidyanath Painting

To get a better insight of this nascent art form, let's learn about its characteristics.

1. While other contemporary folk arts like Madhubani and Warli paintings preferably use natural pigments, Baidyanth painting extensively uses the water based acrylic colors.

2. The background is usually painted with dark colors and the center characters are colored in the contrasting colors.

3. Another prominent feature is that the bright and vibrant hues are used to give a bold and attractive look.

4.It is done in the tempera style where one color is mixed with the other colors.

5. The figurines of the baidyanath painting have a signature style - they have a round face on an oval body. This symmetry of body and face makes the painting unique

6. The lack of details of fingers and toes on the hands and feet of the human figures, is yet another unique characteristic feature of this art. This is deliberately done to keep the painting simple but elegant.

This also helps rural women artisans to learn this painting easily.

7.On the margin, white lines are drawn which represents the aura of spirituality. Yellow and orange colors are often associated with Hindu deities.

8.Besides canvas, Baidyanath painting is also painted on the fabrics of daily use like sarees, kurtas, bedsheets and stoles. Many decorative and utility items made up of terracotta and bamboo are decorated with Baidyanath paintings. Even interior designers are using the Baidyanath painting wallpapers.Fashion designers are looking up the ways to use this art form in their clothing lines to enhance the aesthetic values of their brands

9. The Baidyanath painting is not just an art but also a major factor in the economic upliftment of poor people of this region. Many NGOs are associated with Narendra Panjiyara to give training to the rural women to learn this art thus creating a means of livelihood for them. Upscaling the skills of many poor people is generating more money.

Baidyanath painting on bamboo vessel

Baidyanath painting on bamboo vessel

About the artist Narendra Panjiyara

Enticed by the spiritual vibrancy of this holy place, artist Narendra Panjiyara decided to evolve a new art form dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The name Baidyanath Painting aptly suits this nascent art.

Born in Munger District of Bihar, Narendra graduated from the Patna School of Arts. He also excels in the field of music, drama, archery, writing and painting besides playing soulful tunes on his flute. Painting has been close to his heart and wanted to do something significant in this field. He attributes his inspiration for this new folk art to Lord Shiva and within a short period of time, this painting has become immensely popular.

Besides the artistic value of this art, Narendra also ensured that this would create a means of livelihood for the poor people of that place. Even the State Government is supporting him in his noble venture to train the people especially women to paint this folk painting on various mediums.

Narendra Panjiyara has won many awards and fellowships both at national and international levels. He has won Zilla Sanskriti Prashad award of Jharkhand State in 2016.While working for the local newspaper Prabhat Khabar, he was awarded the” Cartoonist of year “.For his consistent efforts to make his creation- Baidyanthan Painting, popular, he was awarded the prestigious award “Jharkhand Gaurav Samaan 2019” by the State Government. The Jharkhand Government is going to declare Baidyanath Painting as the cultural emblem of the state.

Soon the Baidyanath Paintings will be available on the online portals of the Jharkhand Government.

Felicitation of artist Narendra Panjiyara

Felicitation of artist Narendra Panjiyara

Tourists visiting Deogarh will definitely get the treat for eyes besides getting the religious enlightment .One positive thought of an artist has created the beautiful ripples in the world of art. Surely the Baidyanath Paintings will have its way to the hearts of all the art enthusiasts.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Nidhi Gautam


Punam sinha on June 08, 2021:


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