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Sanjhi Art Painting

Sanjhi painting is a tradition of art that originated out of the cult of Krishna and flourished in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is in Vraja, or Vrindavan, the homeland of Lord Sri Krishna, that this art of Sanjhi painting reached its pinnacle.

This art painting is rooted in the folk culture of the region. It was taken to its glory by the Vaishnava temples in the 15 th and 16 th century. Sanjhi came to be regarded as a highly refined art form practiced by the Brahmin priests. Presently, the art of Sanjhi painting is practiced by only a select few and remains a living tradition only in some of the temples of India. One of these temples where Sanjhi painting still survives is the Radharamana temple of Vrindavan. According to mythology, Radha, Krishna's beloved, used to paint her walls with Sanjhi art to attract her beloved's attention. She used colored stones, metal foils and flowers to paint her freshly plastered cow dung walls. Seeing her, other Gopis of Vrindavan also started painting walls with Sanjhi art to attract Krishna. 'Sanjhi' is a word derived from words like "Sajja', "Shringar' and "Sajavat" which all means 'decoration'. Sanjhi paintings are made at a particular time in the year for the pleasure of Krishna's eyes.