Basohli, Jammu And Kashmir: Basohli or Bishohli is a small notified area committee town in Kathua District in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. Positioned at 32.50°N 75.82°E coordinates, and at an elevation of 1876 feet, Basohli is situated on the right bank of River Ravi. Basohli is about 20 kms from its District main city – Kathua, and is 160 kms south-east of Jammu.
A historic place, Basohli is a fortress town perched on top of a hill at the periphery of lush green woods. Reflecting a strong artistic streak backed by solid history, Basohli is known as a princely town of temples.
Basohli is the corrupt form of the Sanskrit name ‘Vishvasthali’ which was an ancient town of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Basohli is primarily known for its paintings. The painting style derives its name from the hill-town – Basohli where the painting style originated. Known for their distinct style of portraying faces and using the 4 primary striking colours in their original hues along with bold lines, Basohli Paintings emerged in the 17th Century at the foothills of the Western Himalayas in Jammu and Punjab. The earliest paintings in this style have been dated to the time of Raja Kirpal Pal (1678-93) in Basohli and later spread to Mandi, Mankot, Nurpur, Kulu, Suket, Bilaspur, Nalagarh, Chamba, Guler and Kangra. The Archaeological Survey of India made the first acknowledgement of Basohli Paintings in its Annual report. The report mentions the purchase of old Basohli Paintings which belonged to the pre-Moghul Era. ‘Guler’ Style Basohli Painting prevailed during the reigns of Raja Amrit Pal (1757-1776), Raja Vijay Pal (1776-1806) and Raja Mahendra Pal (1806-1813). Basohli Pahari (hilly) style miniature paintings had flourished during the 1800s which were fused with Hindu Mythology. Basohli Paintings derived their themes from Hindu mythological literature such as Shringara, Rasamanjari, Gita Govinda and Ragamala.
According to the 2001 India census, Basohli had a population of nearly 6000 of which males constituted 53% of the population and females 47%. The small town 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 total population is below 6 years of age.