The artists at Kotah generally depicted their rajas seated on a gorgeously carved gold hawda atop a huge stately elephant decorated with jewellery. The splendid caparisoned elephant on which Rao Durjan Sal is seen riding on treads forward firmly and in a stately fashion. Typically, the elephant has two yak-tails hanging from his head, which were considered auspicious by the Mughals, and may possibly be a tradition incorporated by the rulers of Kotah to emulate the grandeur of the Mughal court. The elephant has been well portrayed with a large body and a ring of bells is attached to his neck, to create rhythm and sound as he walk on majestically. The tusks of the elephant have also been jewelled.

The retinue here has all its members armed, holding spears or prongs and uniformly dressed and are wearing red shoes, large white turbans. Every face drawn is highly expressive; each figure is slim and minutely rendered. The depiction of action, splendour and stateliness is supreme. The halo around Durjan Sal projects his royal grace and status.Two flywhisk bearers attend to him. The mahavat is holding a gold goad to give direction to the elephant. Four quivers full of arrows are placed alongside his hawda and Rao Durjan Sal clearly has a Vaishnava tilak mark on his forehead. The Kotah artist was a master at handling painting where elephants and tigers were drawn. The pale yellow background without any indication of perspective, the ornate saddlecloth of the elephant with its multicolours and the golden hawda with Durjan Sal astride the mighty beast make this one as the most superior examples of procession from Kotah.


  • Title: Rao Durjan Sal on a military move
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1735 AD - 1750 AD
  • Location: Kotah, India
  • Physical Dimensions: w330 x h250 mm (without cover)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi
  • Style: Indian Paintings & Art
  • Place Part Of: India

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