Citrakathā, Paintings, and Popular Prints
(3,560 words)

Visitors to India today may happen upon a moustached musician in a turban who is singing and playing a one-stringed fiddle in the lobby of their luxury hotel. If they visit the Crafts Museum in Delhi or the Dilli Haat market, they may see an artist in the outdoor demonstration area, painting a long paper scroll. Most will not realize that they are coming into contact with the vestiges of a series of ancient and diverse performance traditions of India, those of illustrated storytelling. The former is likely a Bhopa (caste of musicians in Rajasthan; see also oral tradition), whose singing and …

Cite this page
Stephen Inglis, “Citrakathā, Paintings, and Popular Prints”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 10 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2012

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