art window and easel photo kala mahotsav jaipur

Stories Of The Real Artists From Jaipur Kala Mahotsav

There has been a spate of art events & festivals in Jaipur within the last two years. Having visited Jaipur Art Summit consecutively for the last 3 years along with a few other art events in Jaipur, I have given a miss to many others because of the paucity of time.Β  So what attracts me to art? Well, I have no definite answer. I’m surely not an artist but yes I do love art in any form. All handcrafted items need to be appreciated beyond money; creativity and effort cannot be measured with just money. I heard about Jaipur Kala Mahotsav taking place in Shilpgram at Jawahar Kala Kendra. This was the first time I heard about Kala Mahotsav. There are a couple of art exhibitions organized and supported by Lalit Kala Academy, Jaipur.

art window and easel photo kala mahotsav jaipur
Easel stacked against a window at Jaipur Kala Mahotsav


coloured water pots kala mahotsav shilpgram jkk jaipur
Matki art. Kala Mahotsav Jaipur
paper art kala mahotsav jaipur
Art creations made from paper
colourful handmade embroidered bags pichhwai artwork jaipur
Ain’t these beautiful? Jaipur Kala Mahotsav
fanusta jaipur art for sale at kala mahotsav shilpgram jaipur
The commercial side of the art exhibition. Art for sale at Jaipur Kala Mahotsav.


Kala Mahotsav Jaipur at shilpgram Jawahar kala kendra

For those who have never heard about Shilpgram, it’s an open air area meant for exhibitions and events at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. What makes it unique is that the entire set of Shilpgram replicates the setting of a village complete with huts, a well, and a community area. During the last few years, owing to a change in the management at JKK this area was closed for events. It was an unpopular move. Fortunately, Shilpgram is now available for such events.

painting for sale at shilpgram jawahar kala kendra jaipur
Canvas for sale at Jaipur Kala Mahotsav
Ethnic village rajasthan hut shilpgram jawahar kala kendra jaipur
Another view of Shilpgram. Jaipur Kala Mahotsav

When I walked around the Kala Mahotsav, it seemed like an event organized for painters because most of the booths were all about paintings and canvas. It was buzzing with energy with young artists all around. Many colleges were also participating to showcase their art students.

artist painting portrait at kala mahotsav jaipur shilpgram
Artist making live portrait at Jaipur Kala Mahotsav



Rajasthan men turban art at kala mahotsav jaipur shilpgram jkk
Giving plastic drainpipes an artistic look. Jaipur Kala Mahotsav

This write-up is not about the event or pictures. I met two artists and was impressed with their contributions to the art world.

Let me introduce Sunil who was busy creating what he termed as “something”! His energy left me awestruck. I inquired about his creation which kept him busy. Sunil told me he was creating a replica of a soldier. “Why soldier?” I asked. He replied in an instant “Because I wanted to serve in the army but I was rejected owing to my diminutive height”. I asked him why was he using the space near the entrance and why not a booth? I was disheartened by his answer, “I’m poor and I don’t have money to afford a booth”.

Indian artist in orange turban at kala mahotsav jaipur
Sunil busy with making a gun out of a disposable mineral water bottle for the soldier in the background. Jaipur Kala Mahotsav

How will you make money from this “soldier”, I asked. He gave me a reply which made me think and ponder. Sunil said his motive is not money but to teach art to the poor kids; art accessible to all is what he wanted. For livelihood, Sunil undertakes photography and creates art pieces. I was impressed with this young artist’s energy!

indian man in orange turban kala mahotsav jaipur

I met Mr. Parmanand Sharma & his son, the duo artist from Nathdwara, a town near Udaipur famous for Srinathji temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. They are both painters specializing in the Pichhwai painting style also called Nathdwara style painting.

Pichhwai panting artists from Nathdwara Rajasthan
Mr. Parmanand Sharma and his son, Pichhwai art painters

What makes Pichhwai unique is its style which revolves around Krishna in the form of Shrinathji. Pichhwai painting is a work of art that adorns the walls of a temple behind Krishna’s idol on a cloth piece. Krishna depicted in Pichhwai style is distinctly different from other art styles. Pichhwai painting has Krishna drawn with a large set of eyes, a broad nose, and a heavy body in grey-black color. Rich colors are used in this style of painting; golden is one of the prominent ones.

pichhwai paintings technique artwork from nathdwara rajasthan
Pichhwai painting on display at Jaipur Kala Mahotsav

The family of Parmanand Sharma is engaged in Pichhwai painting for generations. Originally from Mathura in the Braj region, their family moved to Nathdwara, centuries ago along with the idol of Srinathji. The idol of Shrinathji was shifted to Nathdwara in the mid 17th century to save it from the destruction of the Mughal army. Mughal ruler Aurangzeb was opposed to the idea of idol-worship practiced by the Hindus as he considered it as anti-Islam. Therefore he ordered his army to destroy all Hindu temples in North India where he ruled.

Pichhwai Painring artwork on sale nathdwara rajasthan
Beautiful Pichhwai painting of Nathdwara, Rajasthan


Pichhwai painting from Nathdwara Rajasthan for sale at kala mahotsav Jaipur
Ain’t this beautiful? Art creations made in Pichhwai style

Initially, 5 painters migrated to Nathdwara along with Srinathji but now this art engages 200 artists in Nathdwara. He also showed a picture of an intricate painting made by his grandfather which was bought by an affluent Gujrati in 1915 AD. The level of detailing was spellbinding. There is pride in what they do and surely their work is impressive. People like Parmanand Sharma are keeping the ancient art forms alive. I have seen many paintings of Krishna but there is a distinct attraction in the Pichhwai painting style. Have you ever stumbled upon a Pichhwai painting?


handmade pottery jaipur kala mahotsav shilpgram jkk
Handmade pieces by local artists at Jaipur Kala Mahotsav

Follow Jaipurthrumylens on: Facebook,Β Twitter,Β Instagram

There were many other artists of great caliber, but I have only written about what impressed me. Every time I visit art exhibitions and events in Jaipur, I’m amazed at the things people create. Often these artists are from different cities and regions. I was on a different high. I guess I’m an art-o-holic!

stories of real artist from Jaipur kala Mahotsav Shilpgram


52 thoughts on “Stories Of The Real Artists From Jaipur Kala Mahotsav

  1. Wow, Arv! This is such a beautiful setup in Shilpgram. The artworks are praiseworthy. I especially liked the touching story of Suneil. It’s inspiring to see people in their poverty too, keep up the true spirit of art.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The stories of Sunil and Mr Sharma and son tell how much they love art and that they would like people to be attached to the profession for generations to come.

    Good to know about Shilpgram…a novel name, too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alok, Unfortunately, It has become a custom to only feature and talk about the famed artists at every forum. Quite like movies where “stars” get all the attention whereas other actors are often ignored. I just wanted to highlight that we have so much talent and hard work all around. We need to appreciate and recognize their hard work.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alok. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Some artists grab all the attention where as others get sidelined. There are artists all around us, we need to appreciate their efforts to keep the art scene alive.
      You must be having many art events in your city too? Since Bengalis ​are a great artist.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, The International Kolkata Book Fair #IKBF18 is going on and it’s an amalgamation of poets, publishers, authors, artists, little magazine publishers (and, of course, a plethora of food items) from all over the world. The theme pavilion is France this time.

        Apart from this, it’s very common to see roadside artists around the year. They have great skill indeed.


    1. I’m always looking for good frames, so maybe that is what you mean! Happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this story.

      Do you love art? any particular art form?


  3. Some beautiful work there, and a couple of very inspiring stories, Arv. L love that Jaipur seems to be making itself a really important artistic and creative city – not just the various art fairs and exhibitions but, of course, the Jaipur Literary festival.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful art and the story of Sunil left me thinking. What a shame that he couldn’t fulfill his wish to join the army. As an ex military man I can understand his regret that height stopped him.

    His desire to teach though may give him the fulfillment he wanted with a career in the army

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike, often life leads us to speed breakers and other impediments. Here in India, army recruitment attracts a large number of men. This may be because of perks, safe job, or idea to serve the nation. Happy to know that you are an ex-army man. I’m sure he will find some other way to keep his dream alive. Thanks for sharing your thought, Mike! πŸ™‚


  5. What an interesting piece on art in Jaipur, Arv. I also am not an artist when it comes to making things with my hands. I can only look on in awe as those more passionate paint or build things with their hands from the heart. Lovely to hear art events are up and coming over there, and this one you visited in Shilpagram looks very colourful. It was very nice of Sunil to have a chat with you. It looks like he works under the sun all day…and if so, that is dedication right there. There is something admirable about someone creating art despite not being in the best conditions and doing it because they find a purpose in it and not for first and foremost financial gain. Wonderful images as usual πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Surely his dedication is commendable. I’m happy you liked this place, Mabel. Do you also get any opportunity to visit art events in your city? I love handmade things especially art pieces.


      1. There are always art events here in Melbourne. We have the National Gallery of Victoria in the city, and the exhibitions there are always massive, always changing. So there is always art to admire around here.

        Handmade things are always so special – they are one of a kind πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s great, Mabel. We don’t have such massive exhibitions here in Jaipur. I’m sure you must be visiting this place as and when you can.

        Certainly, handmade things are special as they are unique. That makes art so special.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Arv, I like to visit such art exhibits and what a beautiful village setting for this kala Mahotsava too. I wish I could have visited it.
    Sunil wanting to teach art to poor kids tells us what a rich heart he has and the father son duo and their family history is so interesting. I had not seen Pichwaii art either.
    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure you would have loved it since you enjoyed these pictures. There are heroes all around us. Pichhwai painting is quite amazing. I fell in love with the creations on display. Do you also have Indian art exhibitions in the US, Sandhya?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I volunteer at an Indian school on Sundays and teach 7th std kids about Indian culture. I do show them slides of Indian art, architecture, music and dance. I like to do art projects with them and their assignments include tribal masks and a diorama.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a nice small journey through the art place, which is full of personal stories, achievements and disappointments. I am still thinking of the guy who wanted to become a soldier and now is creating something from his dream. All people are talented but not each of us is ready to create. We start to create when we have something to say, but can’t do it with just words… Invisible force rules us to make an artwork which will worth 1000 words said loudly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You said it well, Lidia. At times it is not about talent but opportunities. Yes, there is a secret force called luck. And not everyone is lucky all the time. How are you doing? Looks like you are quite busy these days. πŸ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Currently, I am reading several self-development books on different topics, which explain that “Luck” is something which is already given to every single person, we just need to open our minds, see the opportunity and get it =) That is the thing I’m busy with now – trying to find the way to my constant inspiration and create =D


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.