Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ethnic Wall Paintings of Rajasthan, India

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Colourful Kottan Baskets from Chettinadu in TamilNadu, India

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

( All images featured in this Blog-post 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.)

Article on Chettinadu Kottan Baskets underneath the pictures

Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image

Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan Basket : Click here for source of image


Kottan - Palm Leaf Basketry of Chettinadu in Tamilnadu

Kottan baskets are traditional hand woven baskets made in Chettinadu in South India. The craft is almost extinct except for certain organizations working to preserve the beautiful craft. Kottan baskets are made from Palmyra leaves, and were traditionally made by the Aachis of Chettinadu. The 'Aachis' of Chettinad used to make varieties of baskets out of tender palmyra leaves and leaf stems.Palmyra leaves are dried and cut into thin strips. These strips are then dyed in brilliant colours and dried again. The strips are used to weave the base of the basket. 

Kottan products were awarded the UNESCO SEAL for excellence  in 2004. 

Palm leaf Basketry is one of the well-known crafts of Tamil Nadu in India & is the major source of income for the local rural communities. Palm leaf baskets are made of very intricate captivating designs . These products are mainly used for daily activities. The palm leaf basketry is locally called "Kottan" in Tamil Nadu. The local skilled artisans are developing new varieties of designs these days to fulfill the taste of local people and market.

The Kottan baskets had wide and varied uses in day to day life in TamilNadu, most importantly during marriages. 

Mostly women artisans are engaged in making these baskets in traditional way in Chettinadu. The pliable, tender Palmyra leaf has good structural strength & is used to make varieties of decorative baskets. 

Palm leaf basket making is a craft practiced since several generations and has been a culture and tradition in Chettinadu. The tools and raw materials used for making these products are easily available in the local market. Palm trees are abundantly available in the local Karaikudi as well as nearby villages. Artisans use long knives to harvest the leaves and small sized knives to separate the mid rib from the leaves. The strips are dyed with vibrant colors to make the products very attractive. 

Varieties of beautiful products are made using the palm leaf, like for example baskets, fruit baskets, mats, pen stands, flower vases gift boxes etc. The baskets are used as storage containers as well as decorative items.

Earlier, Kottan baskets were mainly used during marriages for packaging gifts and as containers for gifts at family functions and rituals.

The beautiful craft is being revived once again with amazingly beautiful designs and many popular articles of modern utlity are now being made.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Shanti Stupa in Leh, Jammu & Kashmir, India : A Sacred Pilgrim Place for Buddhists in the Himalayas

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

( All images featured in this Blog-post 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.)


Shanti Stupa in Leh : Click here for source of image

Shanti Stupa in Leh : Click here for source of image

Shanti Stupa in Leh : Click here for source of image

Shanti Stupa in Leh : Click here for source of image

Shanti Stupa in Leh : Click here for source of image

Shanti Stupa in Leh : Click here for source of image

Leh is one of the two districts in Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. Shanti Stupa in Leh is the primary attraction for tourists & pilgrims visiting Leh from around the globe. It's a beautiful Buddhist shrine / monastery. Copies of Shanti Sthupa have sprouted in many places in India, but none comes with the awe inspiring backdrop like the one in Leh in high altitude Himalayas. The serenity, tranquility & peace here is unparalleled. An epitome of peace, the Shanti Stupa in Leh is bound to fill our senses with wonder, awe and quietude.
 
Built by Ladakh and Japanese Buddhists, Shanti Stupa features the relics of Lord Buddha enshrined by the current Dalai Lama. The Stupa has two levels. The central relief of Dharma Chakra with deer on both sides can be seen in the first level. One can also see a golden hued statue of Lord Buddha in the Dharma Chakra Mudra here. The relics depicting the birth and death of Buddha can be found in the second level. Shanti Stupa offers an awe-inspiring view of the surrounding landscape of the mighty Himalayas, making it a popular tourist attraction & Buddhist pilgrim place. The Stupa is illuminated beautifully at nights with dazzling lights.


With magnificent Buddhist monasteries, palaces and spectacular landscape, Leh in J&K in India attracts tourists from all over the world. Snuggled in the world’s highest mountains, the Himalayas, Leh Ladakh offers unique topographical features, from golden barley farmlands to snow capped mountain peaks.


Sitting majestically on a hilltop in Leh, is this Buddhist white domed Shanti Stupa. It was built to promote world peace and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. It is considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh in India, with relics of Lord Buddha at its base.


This elegant stupa is situated on a hilltop in Chanspa in Leh in the North Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The beautiful positioning of this Stupa provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding Himalayan landscape. This has become a primary reason for Shanti Stupa to become a tourist attraction, apart from its religious significance.

The original idea to build Shanti Sthupa was an attempt to resurrect Buddhism back in India. In 1984, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, sanctioned the construction of a road to the Stupa in Leh. In 1991, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th and current Dalai Lama, inaugurated the Shanti Stupa.

Shanti Stupa is Leh’s pride. Situated at a height of 4,267 metres (13,999 ft), the Stupa is located 5 kilometres from Leh on a steep hill facing the Leh Palace. The Stupa can be reached by a drivable road or on foot using a series of 500 steep steps to the hilltop.


The Stupa is open for tourists between 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Sunrise and sunset are considered to provide the best views from Shanti Stupa. The Stupa is illuminated with lights at night. The Stupa looks best at night, when it is beautifully illuminated with dazzling lights, sparkling all around making the visitors mesmerized & dumb struck.

Awe Inspiring Palaces of Ancient India : A Few Glimpses of the Architectural Wonders 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.)


Mysore Palace, Karnataka : Click Here For Source Of Image

Mysore Palace, Karnataka Interiors : Click Here For Source Of Image

Mysore Palace, Karnataka Interiors : Click Here For Source Of Image

Mysore Palace, Karnataka Interiors : Click Here For Source Of Image


Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan : Click Here For Source Of Image

Bangalore Palace : Click Here For Source Of Image

Lakshmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner, Rajasthan : Click Here For Source Of Image

Mysore Palace, Karnataka : Click Here For Source Of Image

Mysore Palace, Karnataka

Mysore Palace, Karnataka

Ujjayanta Palace, Agartala, Tripura

Umaid Bhawan palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Umaid Bhawan palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Umaid Bhawan palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan Interiors


Tirumala Nayakar Palace, Madurai, TamilNadu

Tirumala Nayakar Palace, Madurai, TamilNadu : Click Here For Source Of Image

Tirumala Nayakar Palace, Madurai, TamilNadu

Tirumala Nayakar Palace, Madurai, TamilNadu

Tirumala Nayakar Palace, Madurai, TamilNadu

Palaces of Ancient India
 
India’s long history is riddled with tales of conquest and domination. Kingly Rajasthan is studded with an outrageous number of magnificent fortresses and awe inspiring palaces, while Maharashtra, the land of Shivaji, is almost as much of a fort as Royal Rajasthan, with protective masterpieces all over the state. And Old Delhi has been a strategic city for several millennia, with an enormously huge number of forts to show off. The rest of the country has its fair share, too: One almost can’t go anywhere without stumbling on the remains of a fallen ancient empire. Today the artfully constructed forts are serene, crumbling  but still proudly standing with spectacular views.

Mysore Palace

 
Among the grandest of India’s royal buildings, this fantastic palace was the former seat of the Wodeyar Maharajas. The old palace caught fire in 1897; the one we see now was completed in 1912 by English architect Henry Irwin . The interiors of this Indo-Saracenicarchitectural  marvel  is lavish and undoubtedly topnotch with amazingly beautiful carved wooden doors, mosaic floors and a series of paintings depicting life in Mysore during the British period in India.

There are fine collection of sculptures and artifacts. Not to forget the Armoury, with an intriguing collection of 700-plus weapons.

Agra Fort 

 
With the Taj Mahal overshadowing it, one can easily forget that Agra has one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Construction of the massive red-sandstone fort, on the banks of River Yamuna  was started by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565.

Further additions were made, particularly by his grandson Shah Jahan, using his favorite building material – white marble. The fort was built primarily as a military structure, but Shah Jahan transformed it into an amazingly beautiful palace, and later it became his prison for eight years after his son Aurangzeb seized power in 1658.

The Yamuna River originally flowed along the straight eastern edge of the fort, and the emperors had their own bathing Ghats here. It contains a maze of buildings, forming a city within a city, including vast underground sections, though many of the structures were destroyed over the years by Nadir Shah, the Marathas, the Jats and finally the British, who used the fort as a garrison. Even today, much of the fort is used by the military and so is not reachable to the general public.

Continuing south, the huge red-sandstone Jehangir’s Palace was probably built by Akbar for his son Jehangir. It blends Indian and Central Asian architectural styles, a reminder of the Mughals’ Afghani cultural roots.

City Palace Udaipur

 
Surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas towering over the lake, the imposing City Palace is Rajasthan’s largest palace. Construction began in 1599 by Maharana Udai Singh II, the city’s founder, and it later became a conglomeration of structures (including 11 separate smaller palaces) built and extended by various Maharanas, though it still manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design.

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur 


Umaid Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur, India is one of India's most imposing and recent palaces. Umaid Bhavan palace was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh. It is named after him only. He utilized the services of a well-known Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester for the construction of this palace. It contains three hundred and forty seven rooms.

Umaid Bhawan Palace was actually built for the welfare of the people. The purpose was to give employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long period of drought and famine. Another special feature of the palace is the use of a special type of sandstone, called Chittar sandstone, giving it a very special appearance. Umaid Bhavan is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Over three thousand artisans were employed in the construction of this palace.

This palace was converted into a heritage hotel in 1977. The Palace is now segmented into the 'Royal Residence', the 'Heritage Hotel' and the Museum. In a part of the palace the royal family of Jodhpur still lives. In another part of the palace is a well-maintained museum.  Umaid Bhawan is one of the world's largest private residences. A part of the palace is managed as  aheritage hotel by Taj Hotels of India.


Bangalore Palace
 
The Bangalore Palace is an imperial remnant of the bygone era. Located in Bangalore, India, this palace was built by Chamaraja Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore in 1887. Chamaraja Wodeyar visited England and was greatly inspired by the Windsor Castle in London. Keeping the Tudor style architecture of the Windsor Castle in mind Wodeyar built Bangalore Palace in India along similar lines.

Surrounded by beautiful gardens the Palace has towers with gothic windows, battlements and turrets. It is largely constructed of wood.  It's well known for its wood carvings and paintings. The wonderful door panel at the entrance leads to grand interiors of the palace. Situated in the heart of the city, between Jayamahal and Sadashivanagar areas, this Palace is spread over 430 acres. The interiors of the Palace have sophisticatedly carved woodwork, breathtaking floral motifs, cornices and beautiful relief paintings on its ceilings. However the entry to the Palace is restricted & you may just marvel at the exteriors of the monument.

Today the Bangalore Palace belongs to the Mysore royal family and has also undergone many renovations. Various exhibitions, concerts and cultural programs are held in the Palace grounds from time to time.     

Thirumala Nayakar Palace, Madurai

 
Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a 17th-century palace erected in 1636 AD by King Thirumalai Nayak, a king of Madurai's Nayaka dynasty who ruled Madurai from 1623–1659, in India. This Palace is a classic fusion of Dravidian and Rajput styles. The building, which can be seen today, was the main Palace, in which the king lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. In its heyday, Tirumalai Nayak Palace at Madurai was considered to be one of the wonders of the South. This palace is situated 2 km south east of the Meenakshi Amman Temple.

Built in 1636, as a focal point of his capital at Madurai, Thirumalai Nayak intended the palace to be one of the grandest in South India. The design and architecture is a blend of Dravidian and Islamic styles. The Interior of the palace surpasses many of its Indian contemporaries in scale. The interior is richly decorated whilst the exterior is treated in a more austere style.