Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 2:06 AM
The paintings at Sitabhinji in the Keonjihar district represent the early phase of painting in Orissa during the time of the Bhanjas. Situated close to the village Danguapasi are typical boulders at Sitabhinji, named after characters from the Ramayana like Sita, Lava, Kusa and Ravana. In fact, one of the boulders, known as Ravanachchhaya, has a painting on the smooth-cut underside forming the ceiling of the roof.
The painting has been very much damaged by weather, but what remains, though a small area of 17' x 10', presents a royal procession with an inscription painted below mentioning Sri Maharaja Disabhanja. It is thus clear that the painting is of the time of the Kalinga king of that name of the Bhanja dynasty. The letters are of about the eighth century A.D. and the painting may be referred to that period. It therefore represents a continuation of the Gupta tradition in Orissa and is almost contemporary with the Parasuramesvara temple at Bhuvanesvar.
The procession shows a king on an elephant with the umbrella held over him, cavaliers and foot-soldiers preceding and following the stately animal. It closely follows the Bagh representation though it is not so beautiful. This is the earliest painting found in Orissa and has to be recognised as one of the early schools of painting in India.
Writer – C. Sivaramamurti