Photo Archives: Sohrai painting, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand

Bullu Imam (front) with Rudhan Devi (left) and children in Jorakath, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, 1994.
Bullu Imam (front) with Rudhan Devi (left) and children in Jorakath, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, 1994.
The word 'Sohrai' is distinguished to mark the first domestication of cattle and the birth of agriculture in Jharkhand.

Hazaribagh is the headquarter of the North Chotanagpur Division located on a plateau with the leafy township of middle size surrounded by a number of picturesque forest villages hamlet in hills and valley. The Hazaribagh and adjoining Chatra district have revealed nearly 18 pre-historic rockart sites dated to the Mesol-Chalcolithic period (10,000 B.C) in the Sati, Maudhi and Satpahar hills in the North Karanpura valley, drained by the river Damodar flowing west to east. These painted rock-art shelters referred to by local tribals as Khovar meaning Caves of the bridal couple were first brought to light by Bulu Imam (Convenor INTACH Hazaribagh in 1991.

Sohrai is the winter harvest art, and is celebrated one day after Diwali (festival of light). The Sohrai murals depicting Pashupati (lord of animals), Kamla baan (forest of lotuses), and Tree of Life, is painted using cloth
swabs or chewed twigs of the local Saal forest tree used for brushing their teeth (called datwan) by the villagers. Many of the designs may be compared with prehistoric rock art and pottery markings and prehistoric seal motifs from Harappa.

Click here for Khovar paintings.

Photo Archives

Sohrai painting, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand


Sohrai painting, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Documentation:  Padma Shri Bulu Imam, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Period: 1990 – 2000

Gallery images: 18 
Courtesy: Alka and Justin Imam
Copyright: Virasat Trust 

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