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Fact-Check: Painting of Hindu deities inside Afghanistan’s Panjshir palace?

An image of a painting was shared by hundreds of users on Facebook and Twitter claiming that a painting of the five Pandava brothers was placed inside Panjshir palace in Afghanistan. They claimed that this painting was a depiction of the time of Mahabharata when the area of Panjshir was called Gandhara. They also claimed that Panjshir is an aberration of “Panch sher (five lions)” named in honour of the five Pandavas.

The claim was shared by @oyevivek who is followed by the likes of author Shefali Vaidya and politician Kapil Mishra. The user’s tweet received over 5,000 likes and 1,100 retweets.


Upon reverse searching the image on google we found that the painting titled “Krishna and the Pandavas” was actually put up in a Russian Art Gallery’s website called Art SPb. The artist of the painting is claimed to be Rasiknanda, who is a Russian artist. Rasiknanda is a Russian artist of Indian origin.

Since the claim went so viral, even Rasiknanda himself addressed it and dismissed it as fake news.

Therefore, this claim is misleading.