Sanjhi Art

In India, art is almost always closely associated with religion, spirituality or mythology. Sanjhi art depicts scenes and incidents from Sri Krishna Charitamrita and there are very few artists who practice this art today which traces its origins to Radha and the Gopis of Vraja. The artist’s spiritual involvement with the themes is usually transferred into the art making it a visually stunning piece.

The term Sanjhi is from the Hindi word sandhya meaning dusk with which this art form is associated. Radha used to invite Krishna to her house and would decorate the place with intricate designs using stencils created out of handmade paper. Special scissors are used to cut patterns on paper. These stencils are then placed on flat surfaces on the ground, and rangoli powders are dusted on the surface which forms intricate patterns on the floor. Henna, sindur, turmeric are all used to create colorful patterns.  The art developed in the 16th and the 17th centuries. The Mughal period saw the inclusion of contemporary themes into the patterns.