Abhisarika Nayika

She’s taken off her belt (with it’s tingling bells)
also her jingling anklets
her silk sari is soaked through-her body too,
to the bone. Thank God!
for the lighting flashes:
They show her the path
the one her messenger described.
Now she’s arrived. She stands there
tossing her long hair, drenched by rain
bangles ringing as if announcing
“I’m at the door!”.*

The Abhisarika Nayika is generally – but not always – shown in costumes of blue or dark colours. This is especially so if the painter is depicting her in the darker half of the lunar month (krishna paksha, pic 1). If it’s the brighter half of the lunar month (shukla paksha) the painter will usually depict the nayika/heroine in white clothes.

There are further classifications of the abhisarika but in all cases it is a woman who goes out to meet a lover or calls a lover over i.e. they all exert agency.

Also more examples of front open tunics, loving the delicate patterning on the garments.

*translated extract of Srinivasa Diksitar’s Bhavana Purusottama (16th cent.) by David Shulman

Pic Sources – X and X.

About Anu M

A potted history of Indian clothing and fashion.
This entry was posted in 16th Century, 17th century, Art, churidar kameez, Costume, fashion, historical art, historical costume, historical dress, India, Indian Dress, Indian fashion, Indian History, Indian Women, Islamic Dress, miniature paintings, Mughal, Poetry, Sanskrit, Sanskrit Drama, Sari, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Abhisarika Nayika

  1. Robert says:

    Wow ! thats for the blog !

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