Chanda talking to a Friend

Sultanate Period; 1525-1575 CE

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)
Mumbai, India

This is a folio from an illustrated manuscript of Laur Chanda.

The earliest known masnavi in Hindi is the story of Chanda and Laur variously known as Laur-Chanda or Chandayan composed by Maulana Dawood sometime during 1370–1380 CE. He belonged to Dhalmau near Lucknow and the story is based on a Dhalmau folk tale.

The heroine Chanda lived in Gobarghar and was married when she was a child. When she was twelve years of age, a beggar bard chanced to see her. Charmed by her beauty, he composed songs lamenting that he could no longer see her. Once the bard sang about the beauty of Chanda at the court of the Raja of Rajapur. These songs inspired the king so much that he invaded Gobarghar. Chanda’s father invited Laurak Veer, a neighbouring king for help. Raja Rupchand of Rajapur was defeated, but Laurak and Chanda fell in love with each other.

Chanda, her friend and attendants are wearing ghagra (flared skirt) with pleats in the centre and short cholis (blouse). The transparency of their odhanis (unstiched upper garment to cover head) suggests a very fine quality cloth, perhaps muslin.


  • Title: Chanda talking to a Friend
  • Date Created: Sultanate Period; 1525-1575 CE
  • Location: India
  • Type: Folio
  • Medium: Gouache on paper
  • Region: probably Delhi - Jaunpur belt
  • Accession Number: 57.1/22

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