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Pahari artist

रागिनी खंबावती Khambavati Ragini (The musical mode Khambavati) c. 1760

26.8 x 20.0 cm (folio dimensions) | RCIN 925221

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  • A pictorial depiction of the Hindustani musical mode Khambavati.

    In Hindustani classical music, there are no set compositions but modes or frameworks, called ragas, on which musicians build each performance. These ragas are associated with particular scales and distinct melodic structures, to be performed in different seasons and at different times of day. Traditionally there are six ‘male’ ragas each of which have five ‘female’ raginis, giving a typical ragamala (garland of ragas) 36 individual melodies. Each elicits a different rasa (‘essence’ or ‘mood’). This rasa is also expressed in the poetic lyrics which accompany the music and was captured by painters in ragamala paintings.

    Khambavati Ragini is an early-evening melody associated with autumn and cool, post-monsoon weather. Khambavati is commonly depicted as a beautiful young woman performing a solitary fire ritual to Brahma, the creator god.

    This painting is by a Pahari painter, pahari meaning ‘from the hills’, referring to the foothills of the Western Himalayas in northern India. 


    Thought to have been acquired by Queen Mary.

  • Measurements

    26.8 x 20.0 cm (folio dimensions)

    22.7 x 15.7 cm (image)

  • Other number(s)
  • Place of Production

    Himachal Pradesh [India]