India | West Bengal

Kalighat Paintings

Kalighat Paintings is a typical style of watercolor on paper, which has its roots in cultural upheavals of 19th century colonial Bengal. The painting is a legacy, which helps us understand the mode of life at the time of its design and immortalize events which would otherwise be lost to future generations.

The name Kalighat comes from the place where the artists originally set up their practice, around Kalighat Temple in Kolkata on the banks of the Hooghly. In the beginning, the paintings depicted scenes from Hindu mythologies. They were later replaced by themes showing the British rule in India. Nowadays, the artists use both religious themes and social themes. Sometimes even images of birds, animals, snakes and fishes are found in the paintings.

The artists belonging to the Patua community still follows this peculiar type of painting. One can view the best of Kalighat Paintings in the old Kali temple in Kalighat.

Updated on 8th August, 2005


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