Friday, July 25, 2014

Ahalia Heritage Village - Part 1

"Gaghori Bhoroni Choli Radha Rani..."
I can still hear the echo of the Bangla song in Manimalaji's voice. It's still ringing inside me...I can't get over it!

My trip to Ahalia Heritage Village has been nothing but a dream come true. I am back invigorated and feeling miraculous! The warmth and hospitality with which they greeted is something uncommon these days. Everyone who drops here would certainly feel important. The place itself is set in an idlyllic environment where there exists nothing between you and nature. One will certainly feel refreshed!!! Thoughts are sure to get uncluttered and there would definitely be an inspiration over-doze! 

Ahalia Heritage Village is around 40 minutes drive from Palakkad City, en route Coimbatore. They even a bus service from the city at 10:20  every morning from Mangalam Towers near Town Bus stand.

The main reason for the current celebration there is the 'Chitram' Tribal Art Camp which was on from 16 July which concluded today. Artists from Bengal, Odisha, Andra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have come together to colour the walls of Ahalia campus with their mesmerizing murals. The inaugural function was presided over by the well-known artist and photographer Pepitha Seth.

Be sure to be patient as this is indeed a long post with loads of pictures of the Heritage village.

This is an extremely interesting sculpture as this is based on Gandhiji's 3 monkey postures but in here you can see the monkey holding 3 Gandhijis with the same postures.

Different units or camps are scattered in the 3000 acre campus :



The green room or aniyara is situated between the amphi-theatre and the koothambalam. Yesterday when I visited they were preparing the koothambalam as they had a programme coming up that evening with invited dignitaries.

The Kerala mural camp is one that we should never even dream to miss. They are the treasure-house of our rich and vibrant mural culture. Each pillar, each wall is so inviting that one could spend a day for each one of them and this is definitely no exaggeration. 
This is where I was offered sumptuous food and that was a luxury for a visitor :)

Dhanesh holding the artwork of Sujil, an artist who is also in the process of doing a Kerala mural. 

Leaving you with a click of Dhanesh who accompanied me, guiding me patiently through the nook and corner of the camp briefing where ever necessary and offering all the help needed. Indebted to you Dhanesh :) 

Sneak peek of a talented artist & art

This is just the first part of the see what's inside the mural camp and the artists working on the walls as part of the camp, you need to come back...Be sure to check as there are some AMAZING (this is indeed an under-statement!) artists to blow over you. There is an interesting and drooling piece of audio clipping as well...stay tuned :)

Linking it to Eva & Kristin's PPF...Join the fun :)

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Disclaimer: I am not paid to promote Ahalia Heritage Village. It is out of my sheer interest for the place and fascination for the art that I am lovingly engaged in writing this post :)

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the author.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paradesi Synagogue - Mattancherry

India, as we all know, is a mix bag of all religions and this 'Unity in Diversity' has been our strength and weakness :)

Today's 'Temple Saga' reaches Mattancherry in Cochin where one can find a thriving Jewish community in the old quarter of Cochin called the Jew Town. The synagogue in Mattancherry is one of the prominent tourist attractions which was built in 1568. It is adjacent to the Malabar Palace Temple and they share a common wall. The land was offered to the Jewish community by the then Raja of Kochi, Sri Rama Varma.

Simple in construction without the ornate decorations, Paradesi synagogue displays a charm that draws our attention. I think the most striking element here would be the clock with Hebrew inscriptions. 'Paradesi' literally means 'Foreigners' and refers to the mixture of jews from Kodungalloor, Middle-East and Europe.

The synagogue is also a treasure-house of antiques and rarity from the tiles to chandeliers, from gold crown to brass-railed pulpit.

A couple of pictures from Old Cochin

Stamp issued in 1968 to commemorate the 400 Anniversary of the Synagogue

The color prompt was:

Raspberry, Tangerine and splash, smudge or pop of yellow

My net connection was down for the past few days and I am extremely sad to have missed last Friday. Anyways, going with better late than never...I am submitting my post :(

Linking it to PPF & SOC.

Kochi pic and stamp - Courtesy: Google other than paintings and info.

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the author.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Brihadeeswara Temple - Tanjavur

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The colour prompt for this week was :

Red, Royal Blue and a splash, smudge or pop of Light Blue

This week I am staying down South with an architectural marvel, another Dravidian splendor, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1954 and which observed it's Millennium Celebrations in September 2010. It is located in Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu...Any guesses (my brothers and sisters) ??? (and let me also tell you with utmost pleasure that I have been here...thanks to my uncle and aunt who took me there years back during my college vacation. I experienced AWE! I also had the pleasure of watching Sonal Mann Singh mesmerizing the audience with her Odissi [traditional dance form of Odisha]...It was MAGICAL!!!)

Yes, it is the Brihadeeswara Temple, also called the Peruvudiar Kovil or the Periya Kovil (Big Temple) built by Raja Raja Chola 1 of the Chola Dynasty and was built in just 5 years from 1004 to 1009...considering that there were no cranes or any of the hi-fi modern machinery!!! Some interesting factors about this temple are that the Shikharam or the top most part of the tower seen as the circular part of the gopuram or the tower is supposed to be built in single stone weighing 60 tonnes and just imagine how the skilled labourers would have positioned it on top of 216 feet tall tower!!! It is believed that the temple doesn't cast it's shadow inside the temple premises as well and that is SOME kind of engineering and expertise which even the 21st century hi-tech engineers fail to present.

Acrylics, Texture base & Pen
Winsor & Newton Acrylic pad, 300gsm

This mammoth temple was built on the behest of Raja Raja Chola 1 by Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perunthachan. I have noticed that we are unaware of the creators of the many marvels surrounding us. According to Wikipedia he is the ancestor of  Dr.V.Ganapati Sthapati, (Founder of the Vastu Vedic Research Foundation) who was a renowned architect who adhered to the Vastu Shastra tradition. He built the famous 133' granite statue of Thiruvalluvar (of SOC week 1) near the Swami Vivekananda Memorial.

Dr.V.Ganapati Sthapati receiving Shilpaguru Award from the then President of India, Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam

Dr.Ganapati is the brain behind the initiation of The American University of Mayonic Science and Technology. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award.

The chief deity is Lord Shiva, however the Goddess, Lord Subramania & Lord Ganesha shrines were added on in the later periods by different rulers of different dynasty.

A unique kind of painting style evolved during this period...may be that was what later on transformed into the exquisite Tanjavur Paintings.

 Mural found in the temple

 Painting on the roof of the temple

A Few other exemplary murals that has stood the test of time :)

Linking it to PPF & drool over the variety of artworks, please hop over :D 

In case you would like to own this piece - Brihadeeswara Temple, you can drop me a mail...for details please write in to

PS: Please do not forget to leave a comment...I would like to know what and how you feel :)

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Disclaimer: All the information and the images other than my paintings are the result of research in the Net. In case there is any erroneous info please do let me know and I will rectify it. Thanks!

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the author.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Nellaiappar Temple - Tirunelveli (Mixed Media Art)

A 700 AD built temple of Dravidian architecture which is one of the largest temples in South India dedicated to Lord Shiva in Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu) by a Pandiyan King is what I have chosen this week for SOC Week 4. Spread over 14 acres of land it has various mandapams and ambalams for multitude of activities...the most famous being the Manimandapam with musical pillars that produces various pitches when struck. Somavara mandapam has 1000 pillared hall, Vasantha mandapam with a lovely garden, Thaamira ambalam, the Copper hall of Dance and Tamra Sabha adorned with intricate wood work...the temple itself is an architectural splendour.

Color prompt for the week:

Pink, Apple Green and a pop, splash, smudge of Dark Green

Acrylics, texture base & pen, A3 size
Winsor&Newton acrylic pad, 300gsm

The dark green can be seen on the gopuram or the tower like structure...can I call it smudge, SOC girls?!

Linking it to SOC, PPF & Mix it Monthly :)

Please do leave your comments...I would love to hear from you :D

ps: I was unable to make my visits last week...which will dealt with soon...thanks for your visits and patience :)

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the author.