Krishna with Shesh naag – Sanjhi Art (17″ x 12″) is rooted in the folk culture of Uttar Pradesh (Mathura). It was taken to its glory by the Vaishnava temples in the 15th and 16th centuries. Sanjhi came to be regarded as a highly refined art form practiced by the Brahmin priests. Sanjih is a ritualistic craft used in the worship of Lord Krishna. This craft involves the cutting of an intricate stencil depicting scenes from the life of Lord Krishna and the use of this paper stencil in making rangolis. The origin of the word sanjhi, it is felt, could either be derived from the sancha or mould from which the stencil is cut or it could have originated from the word sanjh — the coming of dusk — when the rangoli was traditionally unveiled in the temples. Though rangoli-making is practiced in most parts of India and has, for centuries, been a part of the ritualistic worship of the gods, the craft of sanjih is rare. The craftsmen at Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh are among the few still carrying on the age-old tradition, the origins of which are lost in antiquity.
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