The name Kalighat comes from
the place where the artists originally set up their practice, around
Kalighat Temple in Kolkata on the banks of the Hooghly. Kalighat
Paintings is a typical style of watercolor on paper, which has its roots
in cultural upheavals of 19th century colonial Bengal. The painting helps
us understand the mode of life at the time of its design and immortalize
events which would otherwise be lost to future generations. This
peculiar type of painting is followed by the artists belonging to the Patua community.
The paintings shows scenes from Hindu mythologies, in the beginning and
were later replaced by themes showing the British rule in India. Nowadays,
the artists use both religious themes and social themes. Images of birds,
animals, snakes and fishes are also found in the paintings.