Himachal Tourist Guide

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Dalhousie

Dalhousie, Chamba, IndiaDalhousie is a hill station full of colonial charm that holds lingering echoes of the Raj. Spread out over five hills. Named after Lord Dalhousie...

Dharamsala

Dharamsala, Kangra, HimachalDharamsala is bea- utiful & peaceful town, surrounded by forests of pine. Up there is Suburb of Dharamsala called Macleodganj or Little Lhasa...

Fine Arts and Artcrafts of Himachal Pradesh

Arts - Fine and Performing and Crafts

Pahari Paintings, HimachalThe A to Z would be incomplete if mention of Pahari miniature paintings is not made here. Dr. V.C. Ohri claims in his book 'On the Origins of Pahari Painting' that some idioms of the sixteenth century paintings of North India and the tradition of wall paintings were responsible for developing several strains in Pahari miniature painting. He recognises that the sixteenth century was a crucial period in the development of pictorial art throughout India when there was a major shift from the tradition; this movement, he believes, has also influenced the art activity in the field of art in the hills. 'Devi Mahatmya' is the manuscript illustrated by Pahari paintings and is considered to be the oldest belonging to the 16th century. Visiting the State Museum at Shimla for its glimpse would be worth the climb to the Museum building from Chaura Maidan. Pahari paintings master in presenting female figures of infinite charm 'slender and moving with irresistable grace, intentionally accentuated by the long line of drapery'. They are no less in comparison to Ajanta females and women in traditional stone sculptures. These appear to have been lifted from the love poem 'Rasmanjari' as Vasaksajja (waiting for her lover), Ratipriya (unending passion), Vipralabdha (waiting for her lover in vain), Dhira (patient), Abhisarika (set out with eagerness) and many many other Nayikas (heroines).

Miniature Paintings, HimachalThe wall  paintings of Narbadeshwar (Hamirpur); Radha Krishna temple at Dada Siba (Kangra); in temples of Chamba and Nahan ha been drawn with vitality and zest by the artists.

The colourful thangkas are another art form of Himachal. These first appeared in Tibet in the 7th ami 8th centuries. With Spiti and Kinnaur also wedded to Buddhism, thangkas made entry into monasteries here. These paintings depict the life of Buddha and episodes from the Jataka tales. With McLeodganj, at Dharamsala turned into mini Lhasa, fresh centres of thangka art have developed there besides a few at Tashijong, Bir, Manali and Shimla. This painting is done in a piece of cloth, cotton or linen or silk.

The folk dances of Himachal Pradesh begin with the sound of single-note, wind instrument called 'Narsingh' and the beats of percussionist on 'Nagara'. Both these instruments are pious and are the properly of the temple of the village deity. It is with the permission of the priest that these are brought out from the temple. Karnal or Karl, an elongated trumpet, drums, shehnai, bansuri are other instruments used in the dances. The dances are known by the generic name of 'Nati'. The folk dances are:

  •  Dances which belong to particular festivities, festivals or collective participative activity!
  •  Devotional dancing done to propitiate the village deity or in praise of nature!
  •  Dances which revolve round the agriculture activities!
  •  Dances of rituals, marriage ceremony, birthday or mundan ceremony!
  •  Hunt dances or warrior dances depicting valour or animal imitation dances!

The folk songs are rich in content and pick up the local idiom deftly to express the flight of imagination. 'Madna', Kamna', 'Hukku', 'Haar' etc. are the battle songs/Gangi', 'Jhango', 'Jhuri', 'Laman' etc. are the love songs. 'Jhamakara',  'Bhadooa', 'Nawala' etc. are ceremony songs. Songs of any country or province are not complete if there were no love-tales. Himachal has these in Kunju-Chanchalo' or 'Sunni-Bhunku'. 'Mohna' is a pathetic song emanating from the valley of  Bilaspur.

The folk theatre of the State is very rich. 'Karyala', an improptu theature that attacks the ills of society, heads the three most popular styles. Traditionally played by men only. 'Banthra' is its parallel in Mandi District. 'Bhagat' has religious overtones. Performed in real Folkish dialect, it carries the message of the story of God and his devotee.

Among the crafts, the woodwork takes the front seat. Not only temples but living abodes also are decorated with exquisite carvings on wood. The relief work on wood in temples at Chatrari, Bharmour, Udaipur, Kinnaur and wherever one sees is simply marvellous. Its richness delighted Lt. Col. Reginald Ramekin who recorded in his travelogue A tour in Himalayas and beyond'; "These Indians are an artistic race. Their houses are wonderfully designed and carved, even the poorest have an eye to aesthetic effect. As in Japan, so here."

Silver Jewellery of Himachal Pradesh is worth a watch. The traditional silver worn by women of Khabal of Rohru sub-division in Shimla District is unmatched. Kinnaur comes next. This jewellery, now, is worn by the female folk dancers only, sometimes by the girls when there is festivity in the home. The goldsmiths of Kangra are known for the special Kangra designs that they give to gold ornaments.

Chamba

chamba, himachal
Chamba valley, the most loveliest in Himachal, is known for its scenic attractions, sparkling streams, beautiful lakes and crowned with high mountains ranges...

Kullu Manali

Kullu Manali, Himachal

 Kullu - Manali, A honeymooners place, is gifted with every thing that one can imagine. Kullu "The end of habitable world" and  Manali "Queen of Hills"...

 

Shimla

Shimla, Himachal, India

 Shimla a tourist destination. A beautiful hill town in the lap of nature, surrounded by pine and deodar forests. At a distance of 45 km, a prettiest place Solan exists"...

 

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