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Mathura's ancient Sanjhi artwork to be part of UP's culture varsity syllabus

Agra: In a bid to revive the dying Sanjhi artwork of Mathura which grabbed the limelight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a piece to US President Joe Biden last month, the Vrindavan Research Institute is preparing its syllabus for certificate courses in the curriculum of state cultural university which will incorporate the art form. The institute, which is provided ad-hoc grants by UP and central governments, is in the process of finalizing the syllabus for four topics, namely Sanjhi Art, Braj Lok Sangeet, Ras Leela, and Braj Bhasha.
The Director of the institute, Dr. AK Pandey said, "The syllabus will be completed within 15 days and we will submit it to the state government for approval. The government wants, to promote Braj culture and we were asked to prepare a syllabus for a few topics. It will include both the theoretical and practical aspects of the art, with an aim to develop its interest among youngsters. Till now, this art is restricted to temples only." The ancient artwork uses handheld stencils cut from paper to create patterns on the floor.
A researcher in the institute, Dr. Rajesh Sharma, said Sanjhi Art has a special significance in mythology. It is believed that Radha used to decorate walls with Sanjhi Art to catch Lord Krishna's attention when he returned after grazing cows, he added.
"Children are taught Sanjhi art during workshop sessions in the institute, but it still needs a larger platform so that others can learn the art pattern and popularise it," he said. The researcher further added that there are two types of Sanjhi Art- temple culture and folk culture. "In temple culture, there is a depiction of Radha -Krishna Leela while in flok culture, it is drawn on walls using colors and cow dung," he said.
Ashutosh Verma, a sixth-generation Sanjhi artist, said that people are curious to know more about the art now. "The panel that was gifted by PM Modi to Joe Biden was originally made by my grandfather, late chain Sukh Das Verma," he added.

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