Origin and Development

Guler is supposed to be the place of origin of Pahari school of miniature painting according to different scholars. some scholars consider Basohli as the origin of Pahari school of miniature painting.In 1780 A.D. the GULER KALAM was its peak. Then entered Kngra and came to be known as KANGRA KALAM.

Auranzeb was the cruel Mughal ruler. He hated painting and music .so most of the Mughal artists went to hills where they got shelter and there they invited s different new style of painting known as Pahari miniature painting .in the beginning, Pahari school flourished as a folk art, it came to be known as a Pahari kalam.

Some scholar considers Guler as the palace of origin of Pahari school of art for many different reasons. firstly, the kings of Guler had friendly relation with Mughal emperors. There can be the possibilities that the artist from Guler might have shifted to Guler as it was nearer place for shelter and they might have renewed the folk art of Guler by adding some newness to it.

Some scholars consider that due to Aurangzeb’s cruelty, Mughal artists might have shifted to Basohali and according to them, Basohali which flourished under Raja Kripal Pal is the origin place of Pahari school.

The oldest Kangra painting are connected with Guler where raja Goverdhan Chandra and his family has been depicted. after him raja Prakas Chandra and then raja Bhoop Singh came into power. then under raja Sansar Chand’s Protonege, finest paintings were created. the Raja Sansar Chand’s period is considered to be the golden period of KANGARA KALAM.


Description of women

Face of women is in profile and are round in shape. their nose is almost in line with forehead, eyes are long narrow and expressive like bows and the chin is sharp.

Depiction of line

Rhythmic lines have been depicted which are smooth in nature and are very fine and worth praising.

Colour schemes

Mostly primary colours have been used. some colours are like pink, mauve, gray and green have also been used. Golden colours is used in large scale. The red coloured border have been used having an influence of Mughal style. The colours are strong and contrasting. in the garments and ornaments, golden and silver colours have been used .th lightening has been shown through silver colour.


Choli, lehnga and transparent odhani have been worn by women. Males have been turbans and angarkhas. Krishna is always shown wearing yellow pitamber.

Depiction of nature

Trees, clouds jungles mountains foliage river aquatic birds etc. have been depicted beautifully. the rainy season and lightening effects have been nicely painted.


Inspite of having no proper perspective, the Pahari paintings appeal to us

Romantic scenes

Many romantic scenes have been founded in Pahari style. Krishna symbolizes God (Nayak) and Radha symbolizes (heroine) in many of these paintings.