Tilkayat Girdharji of Nathdwara

Tilkayat Girdharji (1843-1903) of Nathdwara
in a procession

by Nathdwara Haveli artist
circa 1870 CE

Gouache on paper
12 x 19.8 in. (30.5 x 50.3 cm.)

Revered as a great patron of architecture, paintings and other arts, Tilkayat Girdharji is also known for his eccentricities. At times his whims made his pupil suffer harsh punishments. He constructed the famous Moti Mahal in 1861.

He was a man of independent nature and exercised his authority in the manner of an absolute monarch. He fashioned his own troop which included European soldiers and was adamant enough to take Tantiya Tope in his refuge in the time of crisis. Disobedience with Maharana of Mewar and British government had adverse effects and he was banished from Nathdwara.

His pompous processions were largely meant as a show of his power and position and often included his own troops. In this composition, the two rows of his personal troop are marching in a discipline while he follows in his royal ensemble with his personal standards including meghabamdar (parasol), nisan (insignia), morchal (peacock feather fan), and others.