Published on: April 6, 2023

Basohli Painting

Basohli Painting

Why in news? The world famous ‘Basohli Painting’ – popular for its miniature art style from Kathua district, Jammu has obtained the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag followed approval by the NABARD.


  • Basohli painting of Kathua district is the first independent GI tag from Jammu region, whereas the Ladakh Wood Carving is the first handicraft of Ladakh to get a GI Tag.

About ‘Basohli Painting’

  • Basohli Paintings is a fusion of Hindu mythology, Mughal miniature techniques and folk art of the local hills, evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries as a distinctive style of painting.
  • This style of painting derives its name from the place of its origin – hill town of Basohli from the centre of district Kathua in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

What are the main themes of the paintings ?

  • The most popular themes of Basohli Paintings come from Shringara literature like Rasamanjari or Bouquet of Delight ( a long love poem written in 15th century by Bhanudatta of Tirhut Bihar ), Gita Govinda and Ragamala.

What are the main characteristics of the paintings ?

  • Paintings are marked by striking blazing colors, red borders, bold lines and rich symbols.
  • The faces of the figures painted are characterized by the receding foreheads and large expressive eyes, shaped like lotus petals. The painting themselves are mostly painted in the primary colors of Red, Blue and Yellow.
  • This style of painting was first introduced to the world in the annual report (1918-19) of the Archaeological Survey of India published in 1921 and style was yet to be properly categorized and studied.
  • Ananda K. Coomaraswamy was the first to publish them, in Rajput Paintings in 1916.