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                             Wall Paintings of Dada Siba Temple
Location:-   21 km from Dehra in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh.

Dada Siba was a small state whose ruling dynasty was an offshoot of the house of Kangra. Raja Ram Singh who ruled over the state about two hundred years ago,was a man of refined taste.
The location of his palace on the top of a hill and the Radha-Krsna temple built by him in the green thickness of a wooded place, seem to indicate that he had a sense of beauty .The walls of this temple are covered with murals.
The name of the artist (or artists) of these paintings is not known. These are somewhat inferior in style to the paintings at Dharamsal. A medley of themes are illustrated here.

The drawing is flat with an accent on squat figures and the colouring lacks in lustre; it consists mostly of dull shades of bottle green, red, orange and brown which are covered with a lustreless varnish. As elsewhere in the hills, the and the cowherds and with Radha with whom he is shown in dalliance. The theme of the subjugation of the Kaliya  snake also finds a place here, So does that of Krsna”s marriage with Rukmini, which is seen in the pindori darbar murals too. There is  besides, one panel given to the theme of Kunjara -Kamini Which is but a group of women (Kamlni) " arranged in the shape and form of an elephant (Kunjara), a theme which is quite popular with contempory miniaturists .  

Krsna  legend seems to have been very popular here as well. He is painted in association with the gopis.The Rama legend was also quite popular with the artists of this temple as is evident from the representations of Sita's svayamvara, Rama and Lakshmana killing rakshasas and Rama’s coronation with the other devatas paying homage to him. An interesting composition consists of an illustration of the darbar of Sugriva, where the monkey king is being offered homage by other monkeys.
Sikh influence had already penetrated deep in the hills by the time Dada Siba paintings were executed. A general reverence for Guru Nanak is indicated by a panel portraying the  Guru sitting alone under a tree. There is also a painting of the Sikh rajas meeting Pahari rajas.A panel with the romantic theme of Laila carrying water in a cup to an emaciated Majnu also  finds a place here.
The palace at Dada Siba must have also been originally covered with paintings.

It is now completely in ruins and only one painting of a soldier is intact. Large in size and with broad sweeps of brush, this painting seems to have been done in real mural style.
Images by P r Bali

                         Colors  of  Himachal  Photo  Gallery By P r Bali 

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