Vrindavan 2017.09.01 (VT): The Braj Foundation’s fourth annual Sanjhi Art Festival will be held at Brahma Kund from September 7th through the 10th, 2017.
Sanjhi is a unique art form native to Braj. In the most common form of Sanjhi seen today, finely detailed stencils are used to create pictures of Shri Radha and Krishna’s lilas on a raised platform of Braj Raj (earth of Vrindavan), using colored powders as a medium. Sanjhi can also be made from flower petals, jewels or cow dung. Some forms of Sanjhi are even made to float on the surface of water.
Sanjhi stencil. Representational Image. Artist Unknown.
Shri Vineet Narain, the President of the Braj Founation says that in the book Mathura: A District Memoir written by British Magistrate F.S. Growse in the early nineteenth century, it has been recorded that the Brajwasis used to organise a Sanjhi festival every year at Bramha Kund during Pitr Paksh. But over a period of time, the tradition was lost and Bramha Kund also deteriorated.
The Braj foundation renovated the Kund in 2009 and revived the Sanjhi festival shortly thereafter with support from the Braj Sanskriti Shodh Sansthan.
During Pitr Paksh, Sanjhi Art continues to be created by traditional artisans as an offering in Vrindavan Temples. Sanjhi art was also in the news recently as the India Habitat Centre in Delhi organized a Sanjhi exhibition in honor of its Golden Jubilee.
Sanjhi at Brahma Kund – image from a previous year (P.C. The Braj Foundation)