Krishna dancing the round dance in the Mahabharata

Krishna dancing the round dance in the Mahabharata. (The seventh preliminary miniature.)

“The Mahabharata is one of the two major ancient Sanskrit epics of India, the other being the Ramayana. Traditionally ascribed to Vyasa, it is the longest literary epic poem in the world. Besides being hailed as one of the greatest literary accomplishments of humanity, it is also of immense religious and philosophical importance in India.”

“Special Collections [University of Edinburgh] has a beautiful example of the Mahabharata on a continuous strip of silk approximately 230 feet long. Illuminated with elaborate illustrations in late Mughal or Kangra style with lavish use of gold, detailed floral borders and infills between the frames of the miniatures. Dated sam 1852(=1795 A.D.) in several of the internal colophons. The manuscript is mounted on rollers in a glass topped box. Preceded by a series of large miniatures, with others between the various parvans, as well as a series of small quatrefoil-shaped ones interspersed through the text. All the miniatures have gold backgrounds with red and white flowers, green leaves, blue diamond shapes and gold flowers in orange cartouches.”

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