Shrinathji is the representation of the Hindu god Krishna lifting Mount Govardhan with his left arm to protect the cowherders, their families and cattle from a deluge which lasted for seven days. The thunderstorm was unleashed by Indra, the ancient god of the heaven and rain who was angered by the cowherders abandoning their worship of him, and transferring their allegiance to Krishna.
This painted hanging [picchavai] shows Shri Nath-ji dressed in an elaborate silver gown being worshipped by two priests during the autumn harvest festival known as annakut [mountain of food]. In Nathdvara during the festival an orange cloth is hung behind a life-size black stone sculpture of Krishna holding up the mountain in the town’s temple. Nathdvara is an important centre for Krishna worship and pichhavai production.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label