About Devotional Art (Kangra)

From our Sacred Art of Nepal Writers:

Artists that created the famous miniature paintings produced in Rajasthan, India during the time of the Mughal rulers fled to northern India in the early 1700's. They took protection of the Raja Dalip Singh who promoted the arts.  A new art form called Kangra emerged.  

The former local raja of Himachal Pradesh,  Raja Sansar Chand Katoch encouraged and supported this art form in this area of Himachal Pradesh from 1765 to 1823. The art is still kept alive today.

Kangra-style paintings are delicate, devotional and depict scenes of divine love. Common subjects are pastimes of Radha and Krishna. I met two young, female artists of this genre in Dharmshala, Himachal Pradesh and I am happy to offer their works for purchase.

All natural minerals such as cinnabar (pictured below) are ground to a powder and mixed with gum arabic to make paint. Tiny brushes made of squirrel hair are used to create the delicate and evocative paintings. 22 carat gold is used for accents.


The speciality of Kangra Art is the graceful depictions of the female subject. The beauty and devotional qualities of womanhood are especially evoked in Kangra Art.


This is Ritu Dhiman. She has been creating Kangra Art for 5 years in addition to being a young wife and mother.

This is Poonam Katoch (descendent of the royal Katoch family). She has been creating Kangra Art for 10 years and sees it as her life-long career