Chod (backdrop for an idol), Chandarvo (canopy) and Torana (door hanging) are used to decorate shrines. Some textiles are offered as fulfillment of wishes, such as the Darshan Dwar phulkari (embroidered hanging for temple or Gurudwara) of the eastern Punjab and shawls with couplets from Gita Govinda offered to Lord Jagannatha. The Vaishnava religion has a rich tradition of painted backdrops called Pichhwais and elaborate costumes for Lord Krishna.

A rectangular wall hanging with crimson satin ground is finely embroidered in various kinds of silk and gilt materials of different types used in jari embroidery. A wall piece is imagined as a niche enclosed between two half pillars with bell and cushion-shape base and similar capital on either side, supporting beautiful arches on top. The sun and moon are prominently placed in two top corners while elegant peacocks flank the flower decoration in the centre. The ground is covered by a jal of lozenges with a flower in each, creating a rich brocade effect. The borders are decorated with floral motifs and a winding creeper whereas the four corners have big eight-petalled flowers on a red background. The museum also has in its collection, the Chandarvo or a square a canopy, of the same material and design to match this wall-hanging.


  • Title: Chod (Wall Hanging)
  • Date Created: 19th century CE
  • Location: India
  • Type: Wall Hanging
  • Medium: Satin with Zardozi work
  • Region: Probably Surat, Gujarat
  • History of Style of Technique: <i>"I’ve painted my body red, I’ll paint my mind all red Kabir says I’m off to my wedding, I’m marrying the Imperishable One"</i> There is an array of religious textiles with equally varied meanings and usages across different religions in India. These include the temple and domestic shrine decorations, devotional offerings, banners, ritual costumes and narrative scrolls. Large painted textiles have often been used to narrate stories and exploits of deities, saints and heroes to the common folk. One such textile is the Pabuji no Phad (painted scroll of Pabuji) which is used by the Bhopas of Rajasthan to narrate the story of Ramnarayana or Pabuji. In Andhra Pradesh, the kalamkari (painted cloth) is used to narrate the story of gods and goddesses. They are also used to decorate temple walls as well as rathas (temple chariots) at the time of a procession. In Gujarat Mata ni Pachedi (painted and printed cloth depicting the Goddess) is used to create an enclosure for the shrine.
  • Dimensions: 147.5 x 84.8 cms
  • Accession Number: 78.5/9

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