For the dying art of Kangra paintings- the centuries old pictorial art of hill-region, Saturday brought a new ray of hope as chief minister Virbhadra Singh stressed upon its revival.
The chief minister, who was on a tour to the Haripur- Guler, the former twin princely states and now part of the Dehra assembly segment of the Kangra district, has expressed concern over the art of miniature painting on verge of its extinction.
“Guler was once famous for its paintings, its grandeur, but it is pathetic that the work of fine arts is not visible now,” the CM said.
Exhorting the people of the area to help in reviving the art form, the chief minister said anyone having collection of miniature paintings of the Guler School of Art, preserved with them may come forward. “A museum can be constructed at Guler for preservation of the art work,” said chief minister.
He also stressed upon passing on the art of Kangra painting to the future generation. “If the students of the area want to revive and learn the art of miniature painting, it will surely be done on the basis 'Guru Shishya' tradition as it was prevalent in Guler School of Art in ancient times,” said Virbhadra.
Pahari miniature painting, also known as Kangra miniature painting, is a unique form of art as everything is drawn from nature. The colours used in the paintings are made from stones and other natural resources, while paper on which the paintings are done is prepared from pine needles and brush from the hair of turtle dove bird. This form of art flourished under patronage of Katoch ruler in the Kangra valley.
The art form attained its peak under the patronage in mid-18th century, when Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch ruled the princely state of Kangra, historically known as Nagarkot (1) and “Trigarta”.
The main centres of Kangra paintings were Guler, Basohli, Chamba, Nurpur, Bilaspur and Kangra. However, now the art can be learnt only at Chitera School of Art- an institution run by a society.