Raja Balwant Singh writing a letter to Amrit Pal of Basholi


Raja Balwant Singh writing a letter to Amrit Pal of Basholi



Very rarely does one come across a master artist, who has so devotedly documented the activities of the patron as did Nainsukh for Raja Balwant Singh. This little-known royal person from Jasrota, has been immortalised by Nainsukh through his portraits depicting him in various moods and activities. The Museum has 17 other paintings of Balwant Singh by Nainsukh, portraying him engaged in various chores. This painting shows Raja Balwant Singh, dressed in a bright red jama (a loose coat), wearing a matching turban with a fine sarpech (a decoration for headgear), a green shawl draped over his right shoulder, a striped chadar (a large rectangular piece of cotton or other fabric) covering his lap. He is writing a letter to his nephew Amrit Pal and the artist has copied the contents of the letter. His huqqa is in front of him. A dagger and a decorative pen case is placed near him.

The letter written in takri script says:
“Salutations to Shri Rama. To my honoured bhanja (sister’s son) Shri Amrit Pal from Balwant. Please accept the greetings of Jai Deya,
May Shri Rama protect you: that would give our hearts great joy.
Your letter has reached and apprised us of the situation.
Sayeed Khan wrote to you separately that…”

The inscription on top gives the month and year of the painting.

Sir D. J. Tata Collection.


Indian Miniature Paintings


Ascribed to Nainsukh

Object Type

Miniature Painting


Opaque watercolour on paper






Dated Samvat 1815 = 1758 CE


Basholi, Jammu and Kashmir


18 x 25 cms