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Nickname(s): Basohli
Basholi is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
Coordinates: 32°30′N 75°49′E / 32.50°N 75.82°E / 32.50; 75.82Coordinates: 32°30′N 75°49′E / 32.50°N 75.82°E / 32.50; 75.82
Country  India
State Jammu and Kashmir
District Kathua
Elevation -200 m (−700 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 1
 • Official Sardo
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Ganesha (ca. 1730).[1]

Basholi (Basoli) is a town in Kathua district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is situated on the right bank of River Ravi at an altitude of 1876 ft. It is founded by Raja Bhupat Pal sometimes in 1635. It was known for magnificent places which are now in ruins and miniatures paintings (Basohli Paintings).


Basholi is located at 32°30′N 75°49′E / 32.50°N 75.82°E / 32.50; 75.82.[2] It has an average elevation of 460 metres (1509 feet). Basoli is situated in the uneven lofty hills of Shiwaliks. It is situated in the right bank of Ravi river. Basoli has become popular for the Thein dam which has made it almost landlocked.Before the construction of Ranjit Sagar dam or Thein dam Basoli was just 32 km from Kathua but now due the dam it is about 72 km from Kathua city.


At the 2001 India census,[3] Bashohli had a population of 12356. Males constituted 53% of the population and females 47%. Bashohli had an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 57% of the males and 43% of females literate. 12% of the population was under 6 years of age.

Basohli painting[edit]

Basohli is widely known for its paintings called Basohli paintings, which are considered the first school of Pahari paintings, and which evolved into the much prolific Kangra paintings school by mid-eighteenth century.[4] The painter Nainsukh ended his career in Basholi.


Immortalised by its artistic eminences and its connoisseur patrons, Basohli today is a metaphor for a vigorous, bold and imaginative artistic style, rich, stylish and unconventional. A style of painting characterized by vigorous use of primary colours and a peculiar facial formula prevailed in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in the foothills of the Western Himalayas in the Jammu and Punjab States. The earliest paintings in this style have been dated to the time of Raja Kirpal Pal (1678–93).[5]

Originating in Basohli, the style spread to the Hill States of Mankot, Nurpur, Kulu, Mandi, Suket, Bilaspur, Nalagarh, Chamba, Guler and Kangra. The first mention of Basohli painting is in the annual report of the Archaeological Survey of India for the year published in 1921. Referring to the acquisitions of the Archaeological Section of the Central Museum, Lahore, the report states that "a series of old paintings of the Basohli School were purchased, and the Curator concludes that the Basohli Schools is possibly of pre-Moghul origin, and so called Tibeti pictures are nothing but late productions of this school".

Places to visit[edit]

Dhar Mahanpur

It is new emerging tourist spot in middle Himalayas. It is 27 km from Basohli (Tehsil HQ) and 87 km from Kathua. It is a ridge blanked with thick CHIR, DEODHAR and SHRUBS. It experiences temperate type of climate. It receives winter rainfall from western disturbances and summer rainfall from monsoons. Cold winter and pleasant summer are the main attractions of this place. Many Tourist Melas are organized by the Tourist Department of J&K Govt to promote tourism in the area. Tourist Huts are also proposed to be constructed. Bus service available from Basohli (tehsil HQ).

Sanan Ghat

A small town on Basohli-Dhar mahanpurIt is situated at a height of 3700 ft. It is a ridge flanked with thick CHIR, DEODAR and SHRUBS. It experiences temperate type of climate . Cold winter and pleasant summer are the main attractinns of this place.

Ranji Sagar (Thein) Dam

Hydro electric Project (Thein Dam) being constructed at the west bank of river Ravi by the Govt of Punjab and Himachal Paradesh. It as 6 turbines. It is 600 MW Hydel project. The Govt of Punjab, Himachal Paradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are the beneficiaries of this Project. Jammu & Kashmir has 20% share in this project.Prime Minister Sh Atal Behari Bajpayee has inaugurated the project . At present only one turbine is working (producing 150 MW). The Officers Colony is at Chaper Kandi (Pathankote), 25 km from Kathua.

Sewa Hydel Project

The 120 MW Sewa Hydel Project is being constructed on the Sewa river, tributary of Ravi River between Ghatti and Maska village in Basohli Tehsil of Kathua District.

Second Phase of Rs 672 Crore SEWA HYDRO-ELECTRIC PROJECT Was launched by Minister for Power Mr Surjit Singh Slathia at Mashka in Basohli Tehsil of Kathua District. The Project will be completed by the NHPC in five years and will generate electric-potential of 120 MWs. The Power generated by this Project will go in the pool of National Grid of India. The J&K will get due power share from pool.

Chamunda Devi

Chamunda Devi Temple is located near the main chowk in Basohli town. The goddess is worshiped here in the shape of Natural rock. It is highly venerated by the people.


  1. ^ National Museum, New Delhi. For description of the work see: Martin-Dubost (1997), p. 73, which says: "Ganesha getting ready to throw his lotus. Basohli miniature, circa 1730. National Museum, New Delhi. Attired in an orange dhoti, his body is enitirely red. On the three points of his tiny crown, budding lotuses have been fixed. Gaṇeśa holds in his two right hands the rosary and a cup filled with three modakas (a fourth substituted by the curving trunk is just about to be tasted). In his two left hands, Gaṇeśa holds a large lotus above and an axe below, with its handle leaning against his shoulder. In the Mudgalapurāṇa (VII, 70), in order to kill the demon of egotism (Mamāsura) who had attacked him, Gaṇeśa Vighnarāja throws his lotus at him. Unable to bear the fragrance of the divine flower, the demon surrenders to Gaṇeśa."
  2. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Basholi
  3. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  4. ^ Pahari centres Arts of India: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Music, Dance and Handicraft, by Krishna Chaitanya. Published by Abhinav Publications, 1987. ISBN 81-7017-209-8. Page 62.
  5. ^ A Review of Basohli Style in Indian Painting, Chandramani Singh, Kailash - Journal of Himalayan Studies vol 2, Number 1&2, 1974 [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Hutchinson, J. & J. PH Vogel (1933). History of the Panjab Hill States, Vol. I. 1st edition: Govt. Printing, Pujab, Lahore, 1933. Reprint 2000. Department of Language and Culture, Himachal Pradesh. Chapter XVIII Basohli State, pp. 587–613.
  • Kossak , Steven (1997). Indian court painting, 16th-19th century.. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 0870997831.  (see index: p. 148-152, for information about Basholi painting)