Sunday, December 30, 2012

Victoria Memorial Hall of Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Anyone who requires more information may contact Mala Chandrashekhar at the Email Id :  indianartsandcrafts2008@gmail.com

( All images featured in this Blogpost are the property of their respective owners. Our deepest sense of gratitude to all of them for making this gigantic project a reality. If you see your picture anywhere in this Blog and don't want it here, send us a message with the details and the link to the picture, and we will remove it right away.)
The Victoria Memorial Hall is a memorial building dedicated to Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom. It is located in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal in India. Kolakata ( Calcutta ) was the former capital of British India. The memorial serves as a museum and a great tourist attraction.

Victoria memorial was designed by the Bristish Architect Sir William Emerson using Indo-Saracenic style, incorporating Mughal elements in the structure. The design of the structure represents a fusion of British and Mughal architecture.

The massive Victoria Memorial stands enclosed within 64 acres of blooming gardens. It houses a museum containing a large collection of memorabilia relating to Queen Victoria and the British presence in India as well as other exhibits. The Memorial also contains a Royal Gallery housing a number of portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and paintings illustrating their lives.

After India gained independence in the year 1947, certain additions were made to the Victoria Memorial. These additions formed National Leader's Gallery, containing the portraits and relics relating to Indian independence.

The Memorial is the largest repository in India for a visual history of Calcutta. It also has a large collection of paintings, sculptures and manuscripts from the British period in India.











Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mysore Maharaja's Palace in Karnataka, India

Anyone who requires more information may contact Mala Chandrashekhar at the Email Id :  indianartsandcrafts2008@gmail.com

( All images featured in this Blogpost are the property of their respective owners. Our deepest sense of gratitude to all of them for making this gigantic project a reality. If you see your picture anywhere in this Blog and don't want it here, send us a message with the details and the link to the picture, and we will remove it right away.)
The Palace of Mysore (also known as the Amba Vilas Palace) is a palace situated in the city of Mysore in Karnataka in India. It is the official residence of the Wodeyars - the royal family of Mysore, and also houses two durbar halls (ceremonial meeting hall of the royal court).

Mysore is commonly described as the City of Palaces, however, the term Mysore Palace specifically refers to one within the old fort. The Wodeyar kings first built a palace in Mysore in the 14th century, it was demolished and constructed multiple times. The current palace construction was started in 1897, and it was completed in 1912 and expanded later around 1940.

Mysore palace is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in India after Taj Mahal with more than 2.7 million visitors. Although tourists are allowed to visit the palace, they are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace

The architectural style of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic, and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden.

Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck, and abundance with her elephants.

Every autumn, the Palace is the venue for the famous Mysore Dasara festival, during which leading artists perform on a stage set up in the palace grounds. On the tenth day of the festival Vijaya Dashami, a parade with caparisoned elephants and other floats originate from the palace grounds.

Dasara is the most extravagant festival of Mysore. The Dasara festival is celebrated in the months of September and October of each year.

This festival has been celebrated by the Wodeyars in Mysore with great pomp since 1799 and the tradition still is carried on although the scale of the celebrations has diminished. The Dasara festivities have become an integral part of the cultural life in Mysore.

Entry to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll’s Pavilion, a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The palace complex includes twelve Hindu temples. The oldest of these was built in the 14th century, while the most recent one was built in 1953.






                                               Mysore Palace during Dasara






                                                   Temple on the Palace Grounds

                                            Darbar Hall inside Mysore Palace


                                                     Mysore Palace during Dasara

                                                            Inside the Palace


                                                         Temple in Palace Grounds

                                                                      Main Entrance

                                                     Temple in the Palace Grounds

                                                   Temple in the Palace Grounds

Bharata Natyam / Bharatanatyam : One of the Classical Dance Forms of India

Anyone who requires more information may contact Mala Chandrashekhar at the Email Id :  indianartsandcrafts2008@gmail.com

( All images featured in this Blogpost are the property of their respective owners. Our deepest sense of gratitude to all of them for making this gigantic project a reality. If you see your picture anywhere in this Blog and don't want it here, send us a message with the details and the link to the picture, and we will remove it right away.)

Bharata Natyam is a classical Indian dance form originating in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.This dance form denotes various 19th and 20th century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers. Sadir in turn, is derived from ancient dance forms that includes some acrobatic Karanas (Dance poses) . Bharata Natyam is usually accompanied by Carnataka Sangeetham ( South Indian classical music). It has its inspirations from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram, the temple of Hindu God Shiva ( Nataraja). Bharata Natyam, as the name depicts is the combination of expression,  music ,rhythm & dance in Tamil.

Bharata Natyam is known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.

In ancient times it was performed as Dasiattam by Mandira Devadasis ( Hindu temple dancers ). Many of the ancient sculptures in Hindu temples are based on Bharata Natyam Karanas (dance postures). In fact, it is the Apsaras (celestial dancers),who are depicted in many scriptures dancing the heavenly version of what is known on earth as Bharata Natyam. In the most essential sense, a Hindu deity is a revered royal guest in his temple/abode, to be offered the sixteen hospitalities, among which are music and dance, pleasing to the senses. Thus, many Ancient Hindu temples traditionally had trained musicians and dancers, as did Indian rulers / kings.

In ancient India, kings often invited Devadasis (temple dancers) to dance in their courts, which created a new category of dancers known as Rajanarthakis ( court dancers) and modified the technique and themes of the recitals. A Devadasi( temple dancer ) had to satisfy her own soul while she danced unwatched and surrendered herself to the Lord, but the dance of the Rajanarthaki ( court dancer ) was meant for entertainment.

In the Natya Shastraas ( Art & Science of Indian classical dance ), Karanas ( dance postures) were meant to spiritually enlighten the spectators.

At present, Bharata Natyam recitals are usually not performed inside the temples, but outside it, and even outside the temple compounds at various festivals.

At present, not only the Hindus but many Christians and Muslims also learn this divinely beautiful art, bringing it beyond the rigid forms of religious boundaries.

























Friday, December 28, 2012

Indian handicrafts artisans : A Powerhouse of Talent, But Living Below Poverty Line

Anyone who requires more information may contact Mala Chandrashekhar at the Email Id :  indianartsandcrafts2008@gmail.com

( All images featured in this Blogpost are the property of their respective owners. Our deepest sense of gratitude to all of them for making this gigantic project a reality. If you see your picture anywhere in this Blog and don't want it here, send us a message with the details and the link to the picture, and we will remove it right away.)


India may be an incredible country but the people who had always toiled and are toiling hard to give the country a beautiful place in the world map are however not shining. Most of the national award winning craftsmen whose exquisite crafts have helped India earn a very high place  in the artistic world around the globe are unfortunately living without even the basic amenities. These craftsmen are fighting hard for their livelihood, health, education and safety of their family members.

The Indian craftsmen are common people, most of them living below the poverty line in India. Most of them take loans from the local moneylenders at an interest rate of 5% or even more for a month for their bread and butter and due to very less earning for their work they find it extremely difficult to repay the loans. This forces  them to shift to other sources of earning, which fossilizes traditional art forms, which have immense aesthetic & spiritual beauty in them.

Since Indian independence, various steps have been taken for preserving the traditional arts and crafts of India . But today Indian craftsmen, who are a powerhouse of artistic genius, are at the crossroads, beset with poverty and illness.

Indian craftsmen are craving for genuine buyers of their masterpieces and this is only  possible through proper marketing of their products, using latest technologies. The Indian government needs to exhibit their works not only through local showrooms but also through national and international museums and international exhibitions around the globe, after creating a rave around the globe through internet, social media etc ."

There are many artisans who are probably the last men alive on earth who know the particular craft form and after them nobody to preserve and continue the art. The new generation doesn't want to learn these crafts, as it takes  tremendous time , dedication and hard work and after learning too there are no rewards of any kind, monetary or otherwise.

Some of the masterpieces  take even 10 years of dedicated work to complete . There was a time in history, when the Indian kings who were great patrons of arts and crafts, patronised these art forms.

Some of the masterpieces of Indian craftsmen are posted below.

Indian craftsmen are craving for genuine admirers and buyers from around the globe. Such great art forms will become extinct from the surface of the earth, unless the world knows about the existence of such treasures. 

This Blogpost is for drawing the attention of those who really care for fine arts and truly value artistic genius.


                                           ( Clay Dolls of Krishnanagar in West Bengal )

                                                Rosewood Dining Table of Karnataka
                               Garden Umbrella : Applique Work / Patch Work of Orissa

                                              Rosewood Dining Table of Karnataka


                                            Clay Dolls of Krishnanagar in West Bengal

                                      Garden Umbrella : Applique Work / Patch Work of Orissa


                                            Clay Dolls of Krishnanagar in West Bengal

                                                 Rosewood Round Table of Karnataka


                                 Garden Umbrella : Applique Work / Patch Work of Orissa


                                              Clay Doll of Krishnanagar in West Bengal
                                                  Rosewood Pooja Gopuram of Karnataka



                                                             Tanjore Painting


                                            Bhogashakthi : Chola Bronze Icon of Tanjore


                                         Bhogashakthi : Chola Bronze Icon of Tanjore


                                        God Brahma with Goddess Saraswathi :Tanjore Painting

                                               Brass Lamp of Tanjore, Tamil Nadu


                                                        Krishna : Chola Bronze Icon of Tanjore

                                                            Baby Krishna : Tanjore Painting

                                        Brass Lamp / Kutthu vilakku of Tanjore, Tamil Nadu


                                          Lakshmi : Chola Bronze Icon of Tanjore


                                          Rosewood Geethopadesham Wall Hanging of Karnataka
                  Krishna imparting the knowledge of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in the battlefield

                                                                  Tanjore Painting


                                        Bhogashakthi : Chola Bronze Icon of Tanjore


                                         Krishna : Shivani Wood Carving of Karnataka
                              Goddess Parvathi : Shivani Wood Carving of Karnataka

                                                         Brass Lamp of Karnataka


                                                   Nataraja : Chola Bronze Icon of Tanjore

                                                              Brass Lamp of Karnataka


                                          Krishna : Shivani Wood Carving of Karnataka

                                      Goddess Saraswathi : Shivani Wood Carving of Karnataka