Barahmasa Kangra Paintings The Hidden Artform of India

The Barahmasa is a type of Indo-Aryan Literature poetry that draws inspiration from folklore, culture, storytelling and Sanskrit descriptions of the seasons, utilising 12 Hindu months as a series of poems.

“It typically speaks of viraha, or separation from one’s beloved, and how changes in nature can affect a lovelorn heart.”


March – April

Chaitra is when the yellow flowers of Sarson wave like a sea of gold, sisam trees get covered with pale green silk like leaves all wear saffron clothes and harmonise with nature.

It represents the blossoming of fresh love. The nayak and nayika are engrossed in discussion while sitting apart on a white floor. Various bird pairs, including parrot and nightingale pairs, alongside flowering creepers can be seen behind them.


April – May

Vaisakh shows two lovers whose love is so intense that neither birds nor other animals nor regular humans can stand to see it. The nayika’s motion of her hands indicates that she is pleading.

Trees grow new leaves during the festival of Vaisakh, and Pipal trees have gorgeous copper foliage. The scent of Nim and Sirisha blossoms fills the air, and Sirisha pods are making a rattling sound that disturbs the night’s peace.


May – June 

The coming summer will be scorching.

The nayak wears a magnificent outfit. Like the hot air that takes over the country, his stance now conveys dominance and a desire to rule. The nayika is no longer required to make an impact and is wearing very plain clothing.

In the midst of the woods, peacocks remain still and beg for rain.


June – July 

As the heat gradually decreases, wind gusts are causing the trees to shake.

On a raised platform next to a fountain, the nayak and nayika are also cooling down. There is an atmosphere of devotion, and several ladies may be seen nearby outside a temple.

Many people see Ashadha as the quiet before the monsoon’s turmoil.


July – August

A passionate romance frequently takes place during the monsoon. A cuckoo and a peacock are also seen among the greenery; these species are connected to the beginning of the rainy season.

The lone peacock, lone cuckoo, and another lone nayak, all of which are waiting for their partners, may be compared with the expressive posture of the nayak and nayika.


August – September

Though the rain has stopped, the clouds remain still gloomy. The lovers’ relationship and the natural world are both experiencing a return of peace and equilibrium.

The nayak speaks confidently to the calmed and consoled nayika as her palm rests securely on her bent knee. He too listens attentively.

Only the lovers and the birds can hear the silence that permeates the area.


September – October

The skies are a rich blue colour, the showers are over, and it’s chilly outside.

A shawl is covering the nayika, who is pointing softly in the direction of the shifting scenery.

The nayak watches avidly.

The lovers feel restrained even though their faces are beaming after the monsoon’s roaring passion.


October – November

Diwali, Dhanteras, and Karva Chauth. Many Hindus believe this month to be exceptionally lucky since it ushers in a number of celebrations.

The nayak and nayika are dressed in festive colours – bright yellow and red.

By holding his lover in a loving embrace, the nayak appears to be exposing his heart to her.


November – December 

After the sweet whispers of Kartik, the lovers need to part in Margashirsha.

The nayak has wrapped his shawl about him and, as seen by his posture, has come to bid his lover farewell. Similar to the nayak who must leave the luxury of his nayika’s companionship, migrating birds are flying back to their homeland.


December – January 

Finally, winter has arrived. Fires warm the hearth and the lovers’ hearts.

Nayak and Nayika are cuddled up on a blanket on a red carpet, signifying raw passion, while a rectangle heater is burning coal next to them.

Winter has a lazy quality about it. Warmth and a little brightness are what life wants.


January – February

The celebration of holidays like Makar Sankranti carries over the joyful spirit of Kartik into the month of Magh.

On a nearby rooftop, there are people having a party, and two women are frolicking outside while wearing brilliant red robes.

The fabrics on the nayak and nayika suggest that there is a chill in the air.


February – March

As a result of people soaking one other in colour, setting aside grudges, and coming together in love, Holi, the Hindu festival of colours, is also known as the festival of love.

The community festivities and blossoming trees behind them are reflected in the nayak and nayika’s embrace, which shows how they are connected by their shared love.

The 12 stunning paintings of BÁRAHMÁSÄ give a great hint of the upcoming collection to the elegant, modern yet extremely cultured designer Shilpa Mittal. 

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