Workshop to Promote Narsinh Mehta's Literary Legacy Through Visual Art

15th century poet-saint Narsinh Mehta’s works are to get a fresh lease of life, through visual art documenting his life and literature.  


Rupayatan, the Bhavnath-based school of Gujarati art and literature in Junagadh district, has entered into a collaboration with Gujarat Kala Pratishthan to jointly document the life and literature of the 15th-century poet-saint Narsinh Mehta. Mehta was the foremost proponent of Vaishnava poetry.

The organisers wish to propagate the words of the ‘Adi Kavi’ (‘first among poets’) through visual art. Rupayatan’s managing trustee Hemant Nanavati informed TOI that through their workshop, they intend to bring together academic pundits and artists on a shared platform, so as to preserve the life and legacy of the accomplished saint. The workshop is planned to commence in August this year. As prelude to this, around 108 artists from Bhavnath, Giri Taleti, Rang Mahal, Diwan Chok, and various other areas, were recently invited to document the city of Junagadh and its breathtaking cultural heritage through watercolours.

The devotional poet-saint’s most famous Bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan To’ was one of Mahatma Gandhi‘s favourite prayers. The literary forms that he used are called Pada, Akhyana and Prabhatiya. Born in Talaja, Narsinh Mehta lost his parents at the tender age of five and later moved to Junagadh. Till today, many of his profound literary works are preserved solely as oral literature.


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