Wall Painting Directory

India has a vast rich collection of wall paintings. These are housed in temples, monasteries, churches, mosques, Imambaras, palaces, palaces, havelis, caves etc. Some of the more famous are those at Ajanta, Ellora, Bagh, Badami and Sittanavasal. These sites are under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India or the State Archaeology Departments, however much more are in various stages of their deterioration due to neglect and lack of awareness. Some wall painting sites have been published by few art historians or writers, but these are the more famous ones. However, there are thousands of sites that are unknown or ignored. This directory is an effort to document monuments/ sites comes under this category.

Wall painting documentation in Uttar Pradesh has started survey with the help of four team members on 2nd November 2015. 17 Wall paintings were found at Lucknow which are extremely unique. Different techniques and varied range of patterns were seen. All the paintings found are Tempera and use distinct pigments are visible. The chief feature of Nawabi era Architecture is use of Lakhauri bricks, plaster and ornamentation of buildings with stucco work, and it is evident in all prominent monuments of Historical importance. However there still are places that are decorated with wall paintings. Distinct Use of Ramraj and charcoal are striking. Original paintings at places like- Jama Masjid, Teele wali Masjid, Karbala Dayanat-ud-daulah, Shahnajaf Imambara have been white washed and what we see today is all freshly painted on the traces of old painting. The splendid interiors of – Jama Masjid, Karbala Dayanat-ud-Daulah and Teele Wali Masjid, (especially on the arches and ceiling) are profusely covered in floral designs and geometrical patterns. The spectacular figures of Gods and Goddesses at Manna Lal Temple, Baba Gareebnath Shiv Temple, were, although not rich in grandeur but illustrated mythological stories. The paintings at Baba Gareebnath Shiv Temple are different from the rest of the wall paintings found in Lucknow, they are extremely raw in their forms and lack technical intricacies, when compared to the others. It is unfortunate that some parts of it are now covered in paint layer.

All six wall paintings at College of Art and Crafts, Lucknow, which were painted for demonstration are certainly the most interesting, as all of them had different illustrated story. The “Panini Ajanta” painting at History of Art Hall, Story from Ramayana at Portrait Hall (according to the Professors it is a Fresco), Buddhist Bhikshus painting, Emperor Akbar’s painting, Story from Ramayana, Human Figures at Principal office. The present condition of some of the paintings is definitely alarming, further ignorance might cause irreparable damages. The paintings which are in immediate and dire need of conservation are at Mughal Sahiba Imambara, Malika–i-zumania, Kothi Roshan–ud-daulah, Rauza-i-Kazmain, Nadan Mahal, Gopal Temple. Along with that, the team has listed 33 probable sites of Barabanki district.