Maharana Sangram Singh II at the Gangaur boat procession

Udaipur, ca. 1715–18
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Image, 74.6 × 72.7 cm
The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, 2012.19.0014

Slices of Life

This bustling painting depicts the annual festivities devoted to the goddess Gauri. Nestled within the crowds are moments of levity that enhance the jovial mood and provide glimpses of everyday life. In the foreground procession, many women lift their henna-adorned hands to honor images of Gauri, while one mother gently lifts her distracted child off the ground. In the upper right corner, a group of festivalgoers scatter in all directions after a firework explodes on the ground.
—Kinaya Hasane, graduate student, NYU

A Celebration on the Lake

This bustling painting depicts festivities during the annual holiday of Gangaur, which honors the goddess Gauri. Celebrants gather on Lake Pichola to perform religious ceremonies, watch the maharana’s boat procession, and observe pyrotechnic displays. Nestled within the swarms of people are small moments of humor and levity.

A Motherly Tug

A child appears to get distracted during the procession and her mother chidingly pulls her off the ground. This humorous scene calls to mind the near-universal experience of mothers corralling their endlessly curious and easily sidetracked children.

Matching Motifs

Notice how the child is dressed like the icons of the goddess Gauri that the women carry in the procession.

Matching Motifs

The repetition of the goddess’s costume serves as a connective thread across the painting that unites various celebratory moments.

A Scattershot Spectacle

During the evening festivities on the painting’s upper right, a firework explodes on the ground. A group of men scatter in all directions to avoid the danger. One even seems to dart toward the water, perhaps getting his robe wet in the process.

Curious Onlookers

People nearby look on with consternation as the sounds of popping and feet shuffling distract them from ongoing conversations.

Curious Onlookers

They are perhaps torn by the wonder of the display, which shoots up into the air in fiery streaks, and their concern for the fleeing men.


Look closely and you will find other intimate and humorous moments in the bustling crowds.

Authored by Kinaya Hasane

Authored by
Kinaya Hasane