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Govinda Ala Re at Janmashtami – an Indian Miniature Painting

August 17, 2014 1 min read

It is Janmashtami again!

And to honor Krishna, his love for home-made butter and his theft from the homes of neighboring Gopis, communities in many cities will put up the “matki’ or clay pot filled with butter & other rewards. Hung at the height of several storeys between two buildings, the rewards tempt groups of young men to form human pyramids and break the matki.

by Anupama Kinagi

by Anupama Kinagi

This photo a moment before the climbing begins   (Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press) is the best I have ever seen!


Bombay must be high on the adrenalin pumped in by the Govinda-Ala-re boys! Outstanding acrobatic feats performed by teams of regular people who have no acrobatic background!

Although today this is conducted as a team – an old painting suggests that  the game was played differently in the 19th century – not as a team but by individuals:

Indian Miniature Painting, Rajasthan

Indian Miniature Painting, Rajasthan


Bundi, Rajasthan, 18th century,
Depicting the Janmashtami festival celebrating the birth of Krishna.
Gouache and gesso on paper,
290 x 160mm

Perhaps it evolved and became a team event over the decades? If only we had more details about the evolution of traditions & cultural events!


By Jaina Mishra

By wovensouls



The post Govinda Ala Re at Janmashtami – an Indian Miniature Painting appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.

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