The most significant is the middle world, manushya-loka (world of the mortals), where liberation from the chain of rebirth is possible and where the Jinas (of saints and devotees) are born. Paintings of the phenomenal world therefore have remained popular in the Jain tradition and survive from the fourteenth century through to the present day.
The river and its tributaries are depicted in brilliant blue and white basket patterns, while the hillsides and mountains are in shades of mauve and brown (white for the highest mountains) set off by the brilliant depiction of the various trees in traditional Rajasthani style and by the numerous shrines.
Badrinath is one of the four great religious sites at the extremities of India along with Dwarka, Puri and Ramesvaram, as established by the great sage Sankaracarya in the ninth century. In keeping with this foundation, the chief priest or Rawul is always a Nambudiri Brahmin from Sankaracarya’s homeland of Kerala.
Dr. Vivek Nanda
Maps part of
Prshant Lahoti Collection