Lord Vishnu with Goddess Lakshmi seated on his 'Vahana' (consort) - Garuda under Kalpavriksha. The story behind Kalpavriksha is something like this -when Indra â€“ king of the Gods â€“ lost his kingdom, he went to Lord Vishnu, the Supreme One, for help to regain it. Lord Vishnu advised him to churn the ocean to bring out amrita (ambrosia) so that Indra and the devas could partake the amrita which would make them immortal and help them regain their lost kingdom.Â Fourteen treasures came out of the ocean during the churning, the most important being Kalpavriksha â€“ the wish-fulfilling tree, Kamadhenu â€“ the wish-fulfilling cow, and Dhanvantari â€“ the physician, an incarnation of Vishnu, the enemy of disease, who brought with him Ayurveda, the science of healing.
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.