Chhayavad (Hindi: छायावाद) (approximated in English as "Romanticism", literally "Shaded") refers to the era of Neo-romanticism in Hindi literature, particularly Hindi poetry, 1922–1938, and was marked by an upsurge of romantic and humanist content. Chhayavad was marked by a renewed sense of the self and personal expression, visible in the writings of time. It is known for its leaning towards themes of love and nature, as well as an individualistic reappropriation of the Indian tradition in a new form of mysticism, expressed through a subjective voice.
In, Chhayavad Yug is 1918 to 1937, and is preceded by Bharatendu Yug (1868–1900), and Dwivedi Yug (1900–1918), and is in turn, followed by the Contemporary Period, 1937 onwards.
Chhayavad continued till later half of the 1930s, when the golden era of modern Hindi poetry was gradually replaced by social didacticism inspired by the uprising nationalist fervour, when some of the later poets of this era, like Dinkar, Mahadevi and Bachchan took nationalist and social critiquing within their poetry.
Jaishankar Prasad's Kamayani (1936) is considered an important magnum opus of this school, followed by Mahadevi Varma's, Nihar (Mist, 1930), Harivansh Rai Bachchan's, Madhushala (1935).
When it arrived, Chhayavaad was very well received by readers and critics alike. However, subsequent scholars have criticized Chhayavaad for excessive use of decorative language, romanticism aloof from contemporary social and economic malaise and setting stricter rules on meter, rhyme etc.