Sanjhi - The art of papercutting
"SANJHI" :- Sanjhi is an tradition of the region of Vraja in the northwestern Indian state of Uttar-Pradesh. Vraja is known as the Indian God Sri Krishna's homeland.
Rooted in the folk tradition, the practice of sanjhi was taken over by the Vaishnava temples during the 15th/16th centuries and developed into a highly refined art form professed by the Brahman priests.
Today, the art of sanjhi has become rare and is practiced by very few people in very few temples only. sanjhi practice is among the most ancient and most beautiful branches of this tradition, which somehow remains in the temple of Radharamana at Vrindaban (Uttar Pradesh).
The Art of Paper Cutting
Sanjhi, the art of hand cutting (or stencil cutting) designs on paper, is typical art of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, home of the god Krishna.
Traditionally, The theme of Sanjhi are taken from the God Krishna's stories and are created in stencil which are used to decorate spaces during festive seasons, or are used for filling in with colors in water and on the floors of temples.
The cutting process requires lots of skill, concentration and patience, and the fine detail is achieved with specially designed scissors. later, striding latticework patterns of Mughal origin as well as more contemporary themes have been introduced to widen this art form.
At one time this art was believed to be practiced extensively over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat but now it survives only in Mathura.
Great Stuff on The Art of Paper Cutting
History of Sanjhi Artwork
History of Sanjhi
A traditional temple craft used for ritualistic rangolis, especially practiced by Radha to woo Lord Krishna centuries ago, Sanjhi has gone beyond the temples of Mathura. Though the name still differs as you travel across India - Rangoli in Maharashtra and Gujarat, sanjhi or stencil cutting in north India - but over the years the art has been taken over by a number of artisans and is being practiced in few temples of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. "The 350 year old art is not restricted to narrow by lanes of Krishna janmabhoomi. It has been adopted by the country and given its due respect"
Type of Sanjhi Artwork
Dry Colors Sanjhi
The most popular sanjhi is filling with dry colors . The filling of colors in Sanjhi and lifting of the same has to be meticulously and impeccably done as the process is as critical as cutting of the Sanjhi.
The submerged Sanjhi - i.e. rangoli made is viewed under the water and Rangoli floating on the water.
These are made by young unmarried girls, who create a new design on the walls of their houses each day, using flowers, coloured stones, and metal foil, among other things, on a cow dung base.
each design is supposed to be linked with a part of the story of Sanjhi and her husband, Sanjha, and each evening, the completion of the sanjhi is followed by rituals involving offerings of food and the lighting of lamps by unmarried girls seeking 'a husband and many children'. On the final day, which is amavasya (moonless night), a grand design called the kota is created. All the materials used in making the sanjhis each day are collected and are disposed off in water (tank, river etc.) after the holy Navratris or nine nights (Nav = nine; ratri = night) of Durga Puja