“Years ago I had watched a movie named Dead Poet’s Society. It was a story that held many wise gems inside its folds. But one of the warmest quotes that resonated with me was this —

“…medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

Why did this resonate with me? Because it was around that time that I had dived into the history of my great great grandfather Ni. Li. Go. Ti. Shri Goverdhanlalji Maharaj’s reign. And seen the Nathdwara of 19th and early 20th century, where arts were the dominating colours of social life. From pichvai painting to miniatures, music to poetry, even frescoes… Nathdwara was the centre of small scale industries that created unique art. And its artists, the forefathers of the current bunch of Nathdwarian painters, the driving force of those industries.

In my opinion, it wasn’t that Nathdwara or its artists lost touch with themselves over time, but the world lost touch with what is really beautiful. And as supply followed demand, we came to this point, where the real, rasatmak pichvai paintings were pushed to the backburner and those who were skilled in the same were reduced to petty paintings.

But with renewed efforts of the 21st century, like the patronisation of arts by H. H. Shriman Tilakayat Maharaj and promotion by modern means (this website being at the helm), things are looking brighter. Arts once again seem ready to dominate the fabric of everyday Nathdwara life. And with Shriji kripa, as patrons of these arts grow in the world, these artists will reclaim their position as the trailblazers of expression of Pushti tradition, and Prabhu’s rasatmak lilas for all.


Goswami Chi. 105 Shri Vishal Bawa


Being exposed to the Pushtimarg since childhood as my mother’s family were followers, I have always been enraptured by the beauty and aesthetics of the shringar and seva found within Pushtimarg havelis. I have been visiting Nathdwara since school years and have had the good fortune to meet artists like Dwarkalal Sharma, Rajendraji Khubiram Sharma, Premnarendra Ghansiram Sharma, Reva Shankar Sharma, Chiranjeevlal Sharma, Amratlal Sharma and Parmanandji Sharma and many others and then the next generation of artists, like Piyush Sharma, Lalit Sharma, Suresh Sharma and quite a few others. I have been a long admirer of the work of the hereditary artists of Nathdwara, who have had an impact not only on my art practice, but also those of my friends, like Bhupen Khakhar, Gulam Sheikh, and so many others. I am delighted to know that through this website, the artists of Nathdwara will now reach out to a wider audience and I wish them all good luck with this initiative.

Amit Ambalal

Artist, collector, and author of Krishna As Shrinathji

I curated the international exhibition, Gates of the Lord, to bring worldwide attention to the hereditary tradition of pichvai painting. The artists of the temple town of Nathdwara have preserved the tradition of painting pichvais for over three centuries. Pichvai literally meaning “displayed at the back” is a decorated cloth that is hung behind the Krishna image in a Pushtimarg temple. I hope that people across the world will learn to appreciate this exquisite tradition.

Dr. Madhuvanti Ghose

Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, and Himalayan Art

The Art Institute of Chicago

Pichvais of Shrinathji and paintings depicting the life of Krishna have been keenly sought after by Pushtimarg pilgrims, by collectors and tourists. Nathdwara’s painter families often descend from a long lineage of artists: a rare, talent and skill-based tradition passed down from father to son. They support their families by practising this art. While our TAPI Collection prides itself on its holdings of old and new pichvais, we are prouder still of having known some of the artists over decades. A new generation of artists continues this centuries-old parampara, often against all odds, into the 21st century. We are happy to know that Nathdwara artists have come together on this website, thus providing an opportunity for art lovers to access information on them directly.

Praful & Shilpa Shah

Tapi Collection, Surat

I belong to the Vaishnava family of Seth Jagjeevandas, devout Pushtimargis with centuries of unbroken Raj Seva at our personal shrines. Seth Jagjeevandas settled in Hyderabad with their enshrined family deities in 1729 CE.

My family has patronized Nathdwara artists over the centuries, commissioning paintings, inviting artists from Nathdwara to Hyderabad for special commissions and generally maintaining a good personal relationship and rapport with various artists’ families of Nathdwara over the centuries, which we continue to this day. I commend the effort to broaden the reach of the hereditary artists of Nathdwara to a global audience

Dr. Anita Bharat Shah
Hyderabad, India
Independent scholar and descendant of an important Pushtimarg family from Hyderabad.