Tuesday, January 19, 2016

* Ethnic Wall Paintings of Rajasthan, India

A brief write-up on Rajput Paintings is posted right below the following images. Please don't miss reading it.

( Disclaimer : 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. But at the outset, I just want to let my dearest readers know, that the noble purpose of this Blog, is to promote 'The Glorious Cultural Heritage of India' worldwide, to every nook & corner of the planet, and I would immensely love to see every single one of us, of Indian origin, passionately participating in this Mega-Project. I am right now in the process of adding the web-links to the sources of the innumerable images in this Blog. Till the work reaches completion, I would request the readers to use 'Google Image Search' to trace the source / multiple sources of these images on the web. So Long, Mala Chandrashekhar )


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source


Ethnic Wall Painting of Rajasthan : Image Source

Rajput painting, also called Rajasthani painting, evolved and flourished in the Royal courts of Rajputana in India. Each Rajputana kingdom evolved a distinct style of painting, but with certain common features. Rajput paintings depict a number of themes like the events of epic Ramayana etc. Miniatures in manuscripts or single sheets to be kept in albums were the preferred medium of Rajput painting, but many paintings were done on the walls of palaces, inner chambers of the forts, Havelis as well; particularly the Havelis, forts & palaces of Shekhawati kings

The colours for these paintings were extracted from certain minerals, plant sources, conch shells, and were even derived by processing precious stones. Gold and silver were also used.

While there exists a plethora of themes in Rajput paintings, a common motif found throughout Rajput works is the purposeful manipulation of space.

Outside of a purely artistic standpoint, Rajput paintings were often politically charged and commented on social values of the time. Mewar's rulers wanted these painting to portray their ambitions and establish their legacy. Therefore, paintings were often indicative of a ruler's legacy or the changes made by them for the betterment of society.

Both of these factors clearly distinguish Rajput paintings from Mughal paintings. While, from a chronological standpoint, both of these cultures clashed with one another, Rajput paintings only superficially adopted Mughal fashion and cultural standards.

In the last decades of the 16th Century, Rajput art schools began to develop distinctive unique styles of their own combining indigenous as well as foreign influences like Persian, Mughal, Chinese and European. Rajasthani painting consists of four principal schools that have within them several artistic styles and substyles that can be traced back to the various princely states that patronised these artists.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

* Colourful Kottan Baskets from Chettinadu in the South Indian State of TamilNadu

A brief write-up on Kottan Baskets, is posted right below the following pictures of these baskets.

( Disclaimer : 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. But at the outset, I just want to let my dearest readers know, that the noble purpose of this Blog, is to promote 'The Glorious Cultural Heritage of India' worldwide, to every nook & corner of the planet, and I would immensely love to see every single one of us, of Indian origin, passionately participating in this Mega-Project. I am right now in the process of adding the web-links to the sources of the innumerable images in this Blog. Till the work reaches completion, I would request the readers to use 'Google Image Search' to trace the source / multiple sources of these images on the web. So Long, Mala Chandrashekhar )


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 baskets are traditional hand-woven baskets made in Chettinadu in South India. The craft is almost extinct now 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 the South Indian state of Tamilnadu & 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. This traditional craft of palm leaf basketry is locally called "Kottan" in Tamilnadu. The local skilled artisans are developing new varieties of designs these days, to fulfill the taste of local people and the market.

These Kottan baskets had wide and varied uses once upon a time, in the day to day life of people 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 has been 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 locally. 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 festivals.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

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

A brief write-up on Shanti Stupa, Leh, is posted right below the following images of the Holy Shrine of the Buddhists. For more images, with high resolution, and reviews of the tourists, have a look at the Tripadvisor Page of Shanti Stupa.

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

( Disclaimer : 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. But at the outset, I just want to let my dearest readers know, that the noble purpose of this Blog, is to promote 'The Glorious Cultural Heritage of India' worldwide, to every nook & corner of the planet, and I would immensely love to see every single one of us, of Indian origin, passionately participating in this Mega-Project. I am right now in the process of adding the web-links to the sources of the innumerable images in this Blog. Till the work reaches completion, I would request the readers to use 'Google Image Search' to trace the source / multiple sources of these images on the web. So Long, Mala Chandrashekhar )



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 Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. 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 the 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 Mighty Himalayas, Leh in Ladakh offers unique topographical features, from golden barley farmlands to snow-capped mountain peaks.
 

Shanti Stupa  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.

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.

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 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.


For an enjoyable trip to Leh, contact 'Jammu & Kashmir Tourism' 

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

A brief write-up on India's Majestic Palaces & their grand architecture, is posted right below the following pictures of India's Ancient & Medieval Palaces.

( Disclaimer : 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. But at the outset, I just want to let my dearest readers know, that the noble purpose of this Blog, is to promote 'The Glorious Cultural Heritage of India' worldwide, to every nook & corner of the planet, and I would immensely love to see every single one of us, of Indian origin, passionately participating in this Mega-Project. I am right now in the process of adding the web-links to the sources of the innumerable images in this Blog. Till the work reaches completion, I would request the readers to use 'Google Image Search' to trace the source / multiple sources of these images on the web. So Long, Mala Chandrashekhar )



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 Royal fortresses and awe-inspiring Palaces, while Maharashtra, the chivalrous land of Shivaji, is almost as much of a fort as Royal Rajasthan, with several 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 own fair share as well. One almost can’t go anywhere in India, without stumbling upon the remains of a fallen Ancient Empire. Today the artfully constructed relics & forts are supremely serene, but still proudly standing with spectacular views. Here are some of the grand palaces & forts of the medieval India

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-Saracenic architectural  marvel  is lavish and undoubtedly top-notch, with amazingly beautiful carved wooden doors, artistic mosaic floors and a series of paintings depicting the life in Mysore, during the British period in India.

There are fine collections of sculptures and artifacts displayed in the Palace ; 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 the Holy 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 grand Fort was built primarily as a military structure, but the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan transformed it into an amazingly beautiful Palace, and later the same Palace (Fort) became his prison for eight years, after his ambitious son Aurangzeb seized power of the Mughal Empire in 1658.

The Holy Yamuna River originally flowed along the straight eastern edge of the Fort, and the Mughal 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 Indian Military and so is not reachable to the general public.

Continuing South, the huge red-sandstone Jehangir’s Palace was probably built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar for his son Jehangir. The Palace blends both Indian and Central Asian architectural styles, reminding us of the Great Mughals’ Afghani cultural roots.

City Palace Udaipur :

 
Surmounted by Balconies, Towers and Cupolas towering over the lake, the imposing City Palace of Udaipur 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 managed to retain a surprising uniformity of design.

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur :


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

Umaid Bhawan Palace was actually built for the welfare of the local people of Rajasthan. 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 look. Umaid Bhavan is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Over three thousand artisans were employed in the construction of this Royal Palace.

A part of 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 present day Royal family of Jodhpur still lives. In another part of the Palace, is a well-maintained MuseumUmaid Bhawan is one of the world's largest private residences today. A part of the magnificent Palace, is managed as  a Heritage Hotel today, by the Taj Group of 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.