Raja Sansar Chand and saint Tulsidas paying homage to Rama and Sita


National Museum - New Delhi

National Museum - New Delhi
New Delhi , India

Courtly portraits of rulers in full durbar were a common genre of Kangra painting, as were in other Rajput states. In this depiction the Raja himself appears as if in the durbar of the gods, standing in an attitude of humble submission, hands folded.

The objects of his adoration Rama and Sita are placed within an alcove viewed through a jewel studded gold arch, seated on a magnificent, ornamented gilt throne under an emerald green embroidered canopy. Behind the divine couple, Rama’s three brothers hold attributes that mark out Rama’s kingship and the divine status of the deities: one holds aloft a bejewelled chhatra that spreads over their heads, while the other two brothers hold a chowrie, a quiver of arrows and a sheathed sword.

Raja Anirudh Chand ?? himself stands venerating the deities along with a multitude of characters that come alive from the Ramayana. Blending myth and history, the author of the Ramayana, Tulsidas, stands behind Raja Anirudh Chand his hands raised in a gesture of singing, presumably a Chaupaii from the Ramayana itself, the expressions of his face suggesting his devout immersion in singing the hymns. In front of him, Hanuman, traditionally believed to be the greatest devotee of Rama, offers the gods a fruit with humble devotion. A multitude of other devotees depicted with individualistically rendered features crowd around the enthroned gods - sages who could be alive in the present or imagined from the past along with other characters from the Ramayana such as the simian king Sugreeva, the bear Nala, all assuming attitudes of supplication and humble devotion.

There is much meticulous detailing in the work in the architecture, ornaments, textiles, but the rendering is also accompanied by a certain slackening of energy in the drawing, along with the attempt to impart an excessive sweetness in rendering the facial features particularly evident in the expressions of Sita, accompanied by a lavish use of gold. Such stylistic traits are characteristic of the early nineteenth century painting of Kangra.

A similar painting made much earlier depicts Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra worshipping Rama and Sita along with the poet Tulsidas and other saints. This earlier composition also influenced a similar painting depicting a Raja of Mandi, Raja Ishwari Chand worshipping Shiva, which is now in the Bharat Kala Bhavan.


  • Title: Raja Sansar Chand and saint Tulsidas paying homage to Rama and Sita
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1825/1830
  • Location: National Museum, New Delhi
  • Location Created: Himachal Pradesh
  • Physical Dimensions: 28.4 x 20.1 cm
  • Subject Keywords: Ramayana, Paying homage to Rama and Sita
  • Medium: Opaque watercolour on paper
  • Art Form: Kangra Style, Pahari Style
  • Depicted Person: Rama and Sita, Tulsidas, Raja Anirudh Chand
  • Exhibition History: 2020 Ramayana exhibition in Kolkata
  • Accession Number: 60.1000

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