Swarajya to Empire - Art, Architecture, Literature




Art, architecture, literature:

The development of Maratha miniature Paintings is seen through illustrations on the manuscripts such as pothis, pattachitra, and patrikas. The same style is maintained in the glass paintings as well. Illustrated manuscripts of Sanskrit texts such as ‘Bhagvat Gita’, ‘Devi Saptashati’, ‘Bhagvat Purana’ as well as Marathi texts such as ‘Dnyaneshwari’, ‘Shivaleelamrut’, ‘Pandavapratap’ etc. are available Dnyaneshwari, also referred to as Jnanesvari, Jnaneshwari or Bhavartha Deepika is a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita written by the Marathi saint and poet Dnyaneshwar in 1290 CE. Dnyaneshwar (born 1275) lived a short life of 21 years, and this commentary is not able to have been composed in his teens. The text is the oldest surviving literary work in the Marathi language, one that inspired major Bhakti movement saint-poets such as Eknath and Tukaram of the Varkari tradition.

The paintings of Dashavatara are included in them. The wooden stands of the pothis have paintings of various deities such as Ganapati, Riddhi-siddhi, Ramapanchayatana, Gopalkrishna, Vishnulakshmi in dark red, green, and yellow colours Dashavatara refers to the ten primary (i.e. full or complete) incarnations (avatars) of Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation which has Rigvedic Origins. Vishnu is said to descend in the form of an avatar to restore cosmic order. The word Dashavatara derives from daśa, meaning 'ten', and avatar (avatāra), roughly equivalent to 'incarnation'. Remarkable portraits of Bajirao I, Nanasaheb Peshwa, Pilaji Jadhavrao are available. Murals are found on the facade of the Wadas, as well as on the walls of reception areas (Diwankhana) and bedrooms. In the temples, the mandapa wall, owri (varanda), shikhara, gabhara (sanctum sanctorum), and chhat (ceiling) were also decorated with paintings. During the Maratha period, keertan and Mahadji Shinde singing of Bhajans were popular. Powadas (Ballads) were composed during this period to encourage the spirit of heroism among the people. The ballads are known as ‘powadas’ and ‘katavas’, composed by the Shahirs were the types of historical poetry The literary tradition of ‘Lavani’ developed in the later Peshwa period. Shahirs like Anantafandi, Prabhakar, Ramjoshi, Saganbhau, and Honaji Bala are known for their beautiful compositions. Various dance forms from the Maratha period have existed until today such as including Lavani, Koli dance, Gaja Nrutya, etc. The tradition of vocal music also received patronage in the Maratha States.


Shivaji Maharaj gave priority to build forts. The tradition of building forts was prevalent in the Deccan since three centuries. This tradition proved to be of advantage to Shivaji Maharaj. The required expertise of maintaining forts was easily available to him. The Kasaba temple in Pune and Vitthal temple in Vitthalwadi were reconstructed by Veermata Jijabai The construction of temples began on a large scale during the later Peshwa period. These temples were of three types. Examples of the temple architecture of this period are found at Saswad (‘Vateshwar’, ‘Sangameshwar’), Mahuli (‘Vishweshwar’), Jejuri, etc. These are huge in size. The plan of these temples is in star-shaped design, the foundation of the temple was multi-layered, and was named accordingly.

The construction of shikhara is made in bricks and stucco method. The ‘Kalaram’, ‘Goraram’, and ‘Sundarnarayan’ temples at Nashik and ‘Mahadev’ temple at Trimbakeshwar, ‘Mohiniraj’ temple at Nevasa were similar to the temples in Malwa and Rajasthan. The temples were constructed in stone. In the third type of temples, the temples at Pune, Satara, Wai, etc. were built in an independent style. It included arches, a wooden hall (sabha mandapa), and sanctum sanctorum (gabhara). The Shikhara slopes inwards at the top. In the small niches of the Shikhara, beautiful sculptures are made of stucco. It includes images of dashavataras and other deities as well as male and female figures. The stone deep mala is a remarkable feature of these temples Since most of the villages and temples were located on river banks, stone steps (ghats) were also built on the river. Such extensive ghats are seen at Nashik, Puntambe, Wai, Menavali, Mahuli, etc. The Chhatris (Samadhis) built at various places are noteworthy.


Marathi literature developed greatly during this period. Sant Tukaram of this period was a poet of the warkari sect. Samarth Ramdas wrote ‘Dasbodh’ and ‘Manache Shlok’ in Marathi. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj got the ‘Rajyavyavaharakosha’ prepared which was a compilation of Sanskrit lexicon for Persian terms. Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was a great writer and Sanskrit scholar. Apart from Sanskrit, he also knew many other languages. He wrote texts in Brij language namely ‘Nayikabhed’, ‘Nakhshikh’, and ‘Satasattak’. Muhammad Qasim Ferishta wrote the history of India in 12 volumes named ‘Gulshane-i-Ibrahimi’. Bakhar literature is important among the historical literature in Marathi. It contains eulogies of the heroes and stories of historic events, battles, lives of great men. Sabhasad Bakhar, Bhausahebanchi Bakhar, Panipatchi Bakhar are some of its examples. Bakhar literature is important among the historical literature in Marathi. It contains eulogies of the heroes and stories of historic events, battles, lives of great men. Sabhasad Bakhar, Bhausahebanchi Bakhar, Panipatchi Bakhar are some of its examples.

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