The style of this work can be traced back to the Bhilwara area of Rajasthan, India, and later formed the Phad painting style, spreading far and wide. Works such as this were originally religious scroll paintings of the nomad Rabari. Because nomads are unable to stay in a fixed location, therefore unable to worship in a fixed temple, the Rabari people created this “moving shrine” through painting. As they move from one village to another with their musical instrument ravanhatta in hand, the scroll painting becomes the backdrop of singing and dancing and interprets mythological tales.
The Banyan tree depicted in this painting looks similar to the Bodhi tree, but the shape of leaves are different. In folk belief, the Banyan tree is also known as Kabbalah, which means “tree of the world.” In addition, the Banyan tree is also the national tree of India. Beneath the tree is a sacred cow. The aerial roots of the Banyan tree hang all the way to the ground and eventually grow roots into the soil, covering the land and forming a protective shield. This is also why the land beneath the Banyan tree is especially pure and sacred.