Artist celebrates Hyderabad’s healing legacy through captivating artwork

This ancient tradition, started by the Goud family, has been maintained for the past 178 years.

Published Date – 25 May 2024, 03:21 PM

Hyderabad: Hyderabad’s cultural tapestry is rich with the contributions of faith healers, or medicants, whose historical significance dates back to Qutub Shahi and Nizam eras. To this day, the fish prasadam, for which scores with respiratory ailments line-up, is distributed annually on Mrigasira Karthi in Hyderabad.

This ancient tradition, started by the Goud family, has been maintained for the past 178 years. Capturing this facet of the city, artist Susheel Kumar Gotla has depicted Hyderabad’s heritage in his latest artwork. His piece portrays the late Bathini Goud, head of the Goud family and a respected medicant, with a fish in hand, symbolizing the fish prasadam practice. The backdrop features the iconic Machli Kamaan of Charminar, reflecting the old city roots of Bathini Goud and his healing practices.

Medicants have historically contributed to public health, preserving and passing down their secret medicinal formulas through generations. Even today, these faith healers continue to practice in Hyderabad.

“My grandfather is a part-time medicant,” shared Susheel. “Today, while we have advanced medicine, the stories of these healers fascinated me and inspired me to create a painting that demonstrates and documents the history of our city.”

His artwork not only pays homage to these healers but also preserves a significant aspect of Hyderabad’s cultural heritage for future generations. Working as an art mentor in an international school, Susheel is currently working on a painting of Champaran Satyagraha. Further, he also intends to delve deeper into other aspects of the city’s faith healers.

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