Pichwai Paintings: Depicting stages of Lord Krishna's Life

Pichwai is actually a Hindi term that means “back of”. It is a folk art style that is mainly done in Nathdwara region in the state of Rajasthan, India. It’s an intricate art form that shows dramatic incidences from the life of Lord Krishna, mostly hung at the back of Srinathji’s manifestations in holy places and temples.

Pichwai is deemed as one of the most difficult Indian paintings. Other than just being a pictorial narrative, these paintings also show the deity’s mood and the sense of the occasion. The tale of Lord Krishna in itself is a great combination of symbolism and legend. Hundreds of incidents from his life make for an integral aspect for the culture and Hindu religion in India! 


Earlier in the 15th century, maybe as a response to the progressively ascetic way in which Hinduism was moving, a new path of Lord Krishna worship known as the Pushti Marg was born in the Northern India. Owing to its philosophical faith of monism, the path of grace or Pushti Marg continued with a belief that there is only one Supreme Power and every living thing holds its essence inside them.

Pushti Marg is basically a path to the devotion of Lord Krishna. You all must have heard of Krishna’s childhood story where he lifted the mountain ‘Govardhan Parvat’ to safeguard the people of Vrindavan village from heavy rains and thunderstorms. This particular episode holds a great importance to this art style and showcased as Shrinathji, the child avatar of Lord Krishna. The primary Pushti Marg of Shrinathji usually presents 7-years old Krishna.


As told above that Pichwai is a very intricate form of art, it can take several months to get finished. The artists should be well-skilled as every minute element must be designed with care and precision. Coming to the themes of this beautiful painting, it majorly includes the stories from Krishna’s childhood, love life with Radha Ji, and festivals such as Govardhan Pooja, Janmashtami, Holi, Sharad Purnima, Annakoot, and much more.

Although most Pichwai paintings showcase different swaroops of Lord Krishna, specifically tales from his childhood as well as adolescence are more focused aspects.


In this section, we will let you know about the most relevant episodes in the Pichwai paintings that further increase its popularity amongst the Hindu society.

These two episodes relates to the Govardhan Parvat that are Ras Lila and Annakoot.

Episode 1: Annakoot

‘Annakoot’ means ‘Mountain of Food’ on which Shrinathji is standing in the middle.  He is usually dressed in luxurious brocade work clothes, and a crown with a peacock feather with standing edges that look like the cow’s ears. This scene shows how Shrinathji acted as a savior for the people of Braj when Indra, the God of Rain caused heavy storm. In most Pichwais, Shrinathji is shown lifting Govardhan Parvat on his little finger so villagers can get under it and be safe!

Episode 2: Ras Lila

Ras Lila is another famous episode of Pichwai painting, which shows adult Krishna dancing with his Gopis. The sense of devotion that the Ras Lila brings in one’s heart is truly amazing.

Now let us move towards today’s scenario for this traditional Indian art form and see how it is being preferred by modern people. 


As said earlier that Pichwai paintings were used only in temples and holy places, today these paintings can be seen in the homes too. Thanks to their attractive look and intricate designing that impress people from all over the world at this time. 


Now, these paintings are easily available to you for home décor at multiple painting platforms like The Bimba. Our website has a true and amazing collection of Pichwai art pieces from the skilled artists. Here are some great Pichwai paintings:

There are many other beautiful paintings in the Bimba’s store. They all are available at reasonable prices so they’re worth checking once!

February 01, 2022 — Team Bimba