Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Murals in Radha Krishan temple of Dada Siba

1. The Radha Krishna Temple

Dada Siba was a small princely state in Himachal Pradesh, which now falls in Dehra Tehsil of Kangra district and is about 12 Km from the famous Jwalamukhi Temple. The stare was founded by Raja Sibarn Chand in 1450 AD.

2. The Mural on Walls of Temple

There is a Radha Krishan temple in Dada Seba which was reconstructed by Raja Ram Singh (1845-1874 AD). The temple contains murals in Pahari style all over the outer walls of inner sanctum.

The murals as well as frescoes that survive today in temples, shrines, palaces, forts and houses in Himachal Pradesh are predominantly religious in theme and character. The most popular theme in mural paintings like miniatures is based on the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics, Shiv Purana and Devi Bhagwat.

3. The Mural inside Temple
There are about 400 panels both big and small of the paintings in the temple. The largest two of the size of 12 feet by 1.5 feet are about the Krishan leela where the lord is painted in association with the Gopis, cowherds and Radha. There is also a fine painting of the marriage of Lord Krishna with Rukmani. The Kaliya Daman or the taming of Kalia snake is another painting which is in fairly good condition. On another panel Lord Rama and Luxman are shown fighting fiercely with the Rakshas or the demons.  The other paintings on Ramayana are Sita- Swambara and the coronation of Lord Rama. The other uncommon Durbar scene of the monkey god Sugriva is also finely executed.

4. The Mural of Gopis

The painting of Lord Vishnu reclinging on Shesh Nag with the goddess Luxmi pressing gently the feet of the Lord that of Lord Shiva and Parvati in the forest also adore the temple. The most striking painting in the temple is of Kunjar Kamini, a group of women arranged in the shape of the form of an elephant.

The Sikh influence is also seen in a painting of Guru Nanak Dev sitting all alone under a tree.

The paintings on stylistic grounds belong to the 2nd half of the 19th century. The color of all the paintings has faded. Although the quality of the paintings of Dada Siba is not so fine as compared to some other paintings at Chamba, Nurpur, Dharamsala, Kullu, Sujanpur Tira and Arki in Himachal Pradesh, yet the composition and drawings are elegant, graceful and forceful too. The paintings with the passage of time have lost much of their grandeur and colors. Much damage has been caused to the paintings on the front walls.

The Language and Culture Department of Himachal Pradesh is taking care of this temple. In the first phase the panels of the paintings were chemically cleaned. The process of removing the varnish from the paintings caused much problem as the successive coats of thick and cheap wood varnish had been applied many times years ago to the paintings and the same has polymerized and turned pale with the course of time. It has also resulted in the cracks on the surface of varnish and the layers of the paintings as well.

The process of de-varnishing and cleaning the paintings was carried out with utmost care, patience and expertise step by step by removing all calcareous accretions and only greasy stains etc., over the surface. A great improvement is now seen after the restoration process.

Photo Credit- http: hp.gov.in
Image URL- 1.http://hp.gov.in/LAC/Archaeology/images/RadahaKrishan%20Dada%20(43).jpg

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