Swimming amid underwater vines, plump fish smile in this painting. Fish are a symbol of fertility and abundance, and are considered one of the many avatars of Lord Vishnu. The people of Mithila believe that God created the sea and hence the fish appeared, the first living creatures on earth.
Madhubani, which by one account means Forest of Honey, (â€˜Madhuâ€™-honey, â€˜Banâ€™-forest or woods) is a region in Mithila region of Nepal and the northern part (Madhubani district)Â of Bihar.Â The Madhubani paintings is an ancient style of painting that originates 2500 years ago. Legend has it that The King of Mithila ( a region now in modern Nepal and with its capital Janakpur) had first commissioned rural artists to paint the palace walls. The occasion was his daughterâ€™s wedding. The name of his daughter was Sita and the bride groom was Lord Rama.
Following the age old methods of painting, artist, till date, mixes cow-dung and rock-salt glue to the paints. While cow dung is used for the shine it imparts to the colored patches, glue helps the paint to bind well with the special handmade paper used for these paintings.