Lila Hava – Exchange of clothes


Lila Hava – Exchange of clothes



Lila Hava is the playful love game of Radha and Krishna imagined by the Pushti Margi ashtachap poet Surdasa.

In a playful mood Radha requests Krishna
“You become Radha and I will become Madhava
Truly Madhava, this is the reversal which I shall produce.
I will braid your hair and will put your crown
Upon my head.

Suradasa says:
Thus Krishna became Radha and
Radha the son of Nanda.”

Radha and Madhava
Madhava and Radha
The two became one
Madhava soaked in Radha’s colour
Radha soaked in Madhava’s colour
Radha immersed in Madhava
Their love is eternal.
words are unable to sing of it.
Sweetly smiling he said you and I
Are not two We are inseparable…

The painting shows Radha and Krishna seated in the solitude of the forest enjoying the ecstasy of love. Radha fully immersed in the shringara rasa is wearing just a translucent odhani. The amorous play of the couple has reached its fulfilment and now Radha, whose inner soul is already united with her beloved is eager to change her outer appearance “you become Radha and I will become Madhava!” She has crowned herself with the mukuta of Madhava (Krishna) and now doing shringara of Krishna. Their love-drenched eyes are completely lost in each other. The artist seems to have understood the philosophy of the theme very well. The lush green forest with a few blossoms and a few chirping birds are the only witnesses to this divine drama. The bluish-grey background suggests the advent of dawn.

Founded in 1658 the Gaharwal atelier became dominated by Molaram (1743-1843) who produced some brilliant paintings filled with life and colour and resonant of Krishna.


Indian Miniature Paintings

Object Type

Miniature Painting


Gouache on paper






18th century CE


Garhwal, Uttarakhand


20.4 x 21.6 cm