Phad paintings of Rajasthan: Narrating the Godly tales

Phad painting of Rajasthan is a 700 year old legacy. Depicting a kind of scroll painting, it narrates the elaborate religious stories of local deities and Gods.

Passed down over generations within a single family, it finds its origin in Shahpura near Bhilwara in Rajasthan,

Many centuries back, these traditional paintings, created as travelling or mobile temples, were carried by priest-singers of the Rabari tribe, called Bhopas and Bhopis. They sang and performed stories of their local deities including Devnarayanji (a reincarnation of Vishnu) and Pabuji (a local hero). The Phad painting were unrolled, or unfolded after sunset, and they performed in front of village members till the night. This is perhaps why the paintings are called ‘Phad’, which means ‘fold’ in the local dialect.

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