Showing posts with label Christmas2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas2014. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Christmas 2014 Day 8 of 11, Buddhist circuit, Udayagiri, Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri

As the last day of the year arrived, the plan was to do the Buddhist archaeological circuit around Bhubaneswar. The started with rain arriving in Bhubaneswar.
Looking at the time on hand, we decided to visit three main archaeological sites around Bhubaneswar. These are Udayagiri, Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri.
12:00 PM Left the hotel, quickly got on to NH-5 towards Cuttack.
12:55 PM Reach Cuttack. There are many construction activities going on in Cuttack and it takes some time to get out of city.

There are many detours and traffic snarls. Outside of towns the NH5 is in pretty good shape but once near towns there are many overbridges being made and they slow down the traffic.
Udaygiri situated 102 km north-east from Bhubaneswar. The northern half of the valley had been excavated from 1985-86 to 1989-90. which had brought to light remains of a huge Buddhist Monastic complex protected by a large enclosure wall , a seven metre high stupa having four dhyani Buddhas in all four cardinal direction of the stupa. The site was identified as “Madhavapura Mahavihara” on the basis of epigraphical findings. After gap of 08 years excavations at the medieval Buddhist was resumed in 1997-98 in the southern half of the valley named as Udayagiri-2. The excavation had partially revealed a double storied monastic complex datable to 8th Cent. A.D. and important antiquities images of Buddha, Tara, Manjusri, Avalokitesvara, Jatamukuta Lokesvara and terracotta sealings.

1:40 PM Reached Khosalipur where we turn right towards NH-5A.  NM5A is good four laned road with good surface quality. The turn into NH-5A is hard to notice. One has to just cross the overbridge and turn right next to traffic island.

Ratnagiri Monastery in Jajgir district of Orissa crowning like flat hill-top is affording a panormic view of the surrounding might have been chosen for the Buddhist establishment for its isolated eminence which ensure that monks seclusion for the serene and calm atmosphere necessary for monastic life, meditation, and studies. Excavations conducted by Archaeological Survey of India in late 1960's yielded the remains of an impressive stupa (Stupa 1) surrounded by a large number of Votive Stupas of varying dimensions, two quadrangular monasteries (monasteries 1 and 2), a single winged huge monastery with beautiful carved door jamb and lintel., specious open courtyard, cells and verandah facing the courtyard with a specious sanctum enshrining colossal Buddha. The existence of temple with curvilinear tower is only one of its kind discovered in Orissa.
From the impressive remains and a large number of sculptures, discovered during the excavation, it is clear that the Buddhist establishment of Ratnagiri dating from Circa 5th century A.D. witnessed a phenomenal growth in religion, art and architecture till the 13th century A.D. A large number of stone sculptures, a few bronze and brass images of Buddha and of Buddhist pantheon recovered during excavations tend to prove that Ratnagiri was a great Tantric centre of Buddhism comparable to that of Nalanda in Bihar.
A large number of clay sealings, found during excavations, bearing the legend "Shri Ratnagiri Mahavihariya Arya Bhikshu Samghasya" have helped in identifying the name of Rathagiri monastery. By the end of 13th Century A.D., it was on decline, decadence is discernible i.e. in architecture amd sculptural art of Ratnagiri. Though no longer in an affluent condition the Buddhist establishment at Ratnagiri continued till about the 16th Century A.D.
1:49 PM Reached the place where we need to turn left for Udayagiri and Ratnagiri. The road is undivided and narrow but with really good surface quality. Given that there is not much traffic on the road, it is not a problem at all.
2:04 PM We reach the Udayagiri complex. The place has a large compound which seems to have been converted by some people into a picnic spot There is music being played. Anyway we ignore all of that and have a look at the site.
3:05 PM It takes just about an hours to leisurely go through the complex. If there is intense interest in archaeology then one can spend more time.
The next stop was Ratnagiri, the place is just about 4-5 kilometers from Udayagiri. We reach there in 20 minutes.

3:25 PM By this time we realise that we are running short on time since most monuments close at around 5-5:30 in the area. So we decide to just visit the Ratnagiri monuments but skip the museum that is next doors. This is a large area and requires longer to go through. But we kind of do a quick job of it.

4:05 PM Leave Ratnagiri for Lalitgiri. While on our way back, the google map shows a route that doesn't require on to go back to Udayagiri but unfortunately that path is not in a motorable shape. After couple of about turns, we decide to go back to NH-5A and then find the path to Lalitgiri.

Beautifully carved door.

4:38 PM We were back at NH-5A and continued towards Lalitgiri.
4:45 PM Reached Lalitgiri. The place is not very crowded and there were few tourists there.
We were pretty late, it was already dark, so we very quickly went around the site.

5:20 PM We leave Lalitgiri.
7:15 PM Reached hotel.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Christmas 2014 Day 7 of 11, Konark Sun Temple

The plan for the day was to visit Konark temple. 
11:30 AM We left the hotel, drove on NH-203 and turned left into NH-13 that takes us to Konark.  The road like most road in Odisha that we encountered are good but undivided and two laned making overtaking and dealing with oncoming traffic little difficult.
Konark temple is a classic example of how over the years we have messed up our heritage. The place clearly was a fabulous structure but years of neglect and damage has just meant that the temple keeps of deteriorating.

The carvings on the temple are just magnificent. the picture above is the wheel of the chariot in Konark temple and the picture below is the carving in one of the spokes. Each of the spokes have such intricate carvings. 

There is so much construction going on at the temple and  it seems to have been going on for eternity. 
Because of holidays, the place was super crowded.
3:15 PM Finished with the temple and started back.
There is a Yatrinivas, we decided to go for lunch but were informed that some VIP has booked the place and there is no lunch for us. So we decided to leave back for home. We were also told by friends that there is this place called Pipili where one can get handicrafts items, so we decided to go there before going back to hotel.
5:20PM We reach Pipili and drive through the main streets. The place looks completely closed. We couldn't locate any place that was selling handicrafts. So we head back to hotel.

6:45 PM We reach back to the hotel.

Christmas 2014 Day 6 of 11, Puri To Chilka Lake to Bhubaneswar

 The plan for the day was to visit Chilka Lake at Satpada and then proceed to Bhubaneswar. Since we had not visited the beach, we decided to spend some time on Puri Beach before we left the town.
Puri beach is an interesting place, there is a market on beach which has many souvenir shops right on the beach. The beach also has religious crowd which takes a dip in the beach before/after heading to the temple.
The road running parallel to the beach is called Marine Drive and appropriately so. It is probably closest to the Marine Drive in Mumbai. In some sense it is even better. The road is lined up with hotels and restaurants and the beach even had a group offering Jet-Ski rides for Rs. 250/- a piece.
Here are some of the pictures from the areas surrounding the beach.
Hotels on Marine Drive
Restaurant on Marine Drive
Another hotel with interesting building
11:00 AM We finally leave the beach and start towards Chilka Lake. Puri has all kinds of oneways near the temple. As soon as we start, we are directed into small lanes and roads by the traffic police and we get into a comedy of errors. We are into a lane where our vehicle is stuck and there is traffic both ahead of us and behind of us and everybody is shouting and abusing. There were some nice gentlemen that help us get out of that mess.
12:00 PM We finally find out way and get back on track. We get on to NH-203A that will take us to Satpada. The road to Satpada is narrow but good surface quality and traffic was comparatively less. 
Just before the Satpada parking there is a state bank of india branch. They don't have a working ATM yet but if you reach at the branch timings, you can use the debit card to withdraw money.
1:30 PM We reach Satpada and chilka lake parking. After reaching here, we realise that our decision to leave late from Puri was not probably the smartest one. 
We are told by the boat guys there that the boat to bird sanctuary takes almost 4-5 hours and it may be too late for us to go for that. We settle for the next biggest boating. All the boating stalls seem to have same published rate and one has to pay Rs. 1/- as jetty fees per person. The boating was interesting, we saw some dolphin and some birds.
It is a prudent idea to buy some items to eat and water bottle because there is nothing to eat once you are in the lake and some people do feel little motion sickness in the boats.
Like most places in India, the boating was nice and sad, there is crowd of people shouting, whistling and doing all kinds of unruly activities. There is also a ambulance boat that we saw. I am not sure if it is in use or just a show piece.

3:25 PM We come back from the boating and we are really hungry. We find a Panthanivas near the lake and decide to go for lunch there.  We go there and ask the waiter to get us whatever he can get us quickly. He gets the food in five minutes. Meanwhile our neighbouring table has three NRI families and they start fighting with the waiter. Their complaint was why were we served before them. The waiter tried to explain to them that what we ordered was all ready and what they ordered had to be made. In any case, we get out of that place by 4:30 PM.
Our stop for the night was Bhubaneswar. We start on our journey back. To go to Bhubaneswar from Chilka Lake one has to go all the way back to Puri and then go to Bhubaneswar. The good thing is that we don't have to enter the Puri town.
6:00 PM We reach back to Puri and continue on our way to Bhubaneswar. We continue on NH-203 which is also known as Jagannath Sadak. It gets dark very quickly in this part of country. Around 5:10pm one has to drive with headlights on.

7:30 PM We reach Hotel Mayfair Lagoon in Bhubaneswar. Here is my review of the property.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Christmas 2014 Day 5 of 11, Konaseema to Puri

The destination today was Puri and it was a long drive. We had to start quite early. We had to quickly get on to NH-5 and continue our drive. Following was the route that we took.
5:20 AM We got ready and left the place. We started without any breakfast and had planned on finding breakfast somewhere along the way.
6:15 AM We reach NH5.
6:23 AM We crossed Godavari bridge. It is really long and straight bridge.  The bridge is littl;e longer than 2 kilometers.
6:45 AM Crossed Rajahmundri
7:40 AM Crossed Annavaram
7:54 AM Crossed Tuni
8:25 AM Crossed Yellamanchilli
8:55 AM Crossed Anakapalle. Google maps suggested that we take SH 38 which is kind of a bypass to Visakhapatanam. For us, this worked out better because while returning we drove through the city and that takes too much ot time. Only problem is that there are no restaurants on SH38. So it you don't want to take a break, it is better to go through SH38. If you want restaurants then you have to continue on NH5 which goes right through the city.

9:44 AM Crossed Visakhapatanam
10:25 AM Stopped at a small town called Thallavalasa and had breakfast there. The place was nothing to talk about but they were cooking up hot dosas and Idli so we ate there and then moved on.

10:50 AM Started on our onward journey.
11:07 AM Crossed Srikakulam
As you get closer to the border, all of a sudden the traffic becomes very crazy. There are many local two wheelers and you have to very careful of them. They are all over the road and don't easily give the way.

12:48 PM Crossed Ichchapuram
1:15 PM Crossed Berhampur or Brahmapur. It seems that original name was Brahmapur but British spelt it like Berhampur. I think recently it has been changed back to its original name.
2:05 PM Once you enter Odisha, there are very few options for stop and food. We found a small hotel called Maa Narayani Restaurant. It was ok place, the toilets were just ok. Not very clean but manageable. The food was decent. It was like a rush hours and they told that making rotis takes too much time so we have stopped making rotis right now. We found some dal, vegetables and rice. Around half an hour stop and then we proceeded for our onwards journey.
3:31 PM Turned right towards Puri on to New Jagannath Road which meets NH 203. This is a good road but not divided and two laned so one has to be slow for oncoming truck traffic. The road is good, scenic but under construction.

The toll on the road is also pretty steep, around Rs. 100/-. The toll receipt was a pre-printed one and printed in Odia so I can't figure out which one is for which amount.
Road connecting NH-5 to Puri is an interesting drive. The surface is good, but narrow and you can encounter a street market blocking almost the complete road and you find spaces that are totally empty and scenic drive.

4:46 PM We reach a road block. I am not sure whether it is permanent or because of the fact it was a Sunday. We are arbitrarily asked to turn towards some village road. It looked like that the sole purpose of the traffic police was to somehow divert the traffic away from the temple. After a really long and tiring sequences of detours we reach near the temple.
5:36 PM We find that there is no parking available near the temple so we decide to drive to our hotel and then come back for temple. Another things that we realised that the hotel Sterling Holidays Golden Sand that we book is not an appropriate choice for people intending to visit the temple. It is too far and in an very isolated area where one can't walk to. Here is my review of the hotel.

6:10 PM We reach hotel and checked in.
We decided to visit the temple straight away. Reached temple at around 7PM. A nice visit to the temple and then sumptuous prasad and we were ready to call it a day.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Christmas 2014 Day 2 of 11, Hyderabad Local Sighseeing

We were staying in Hyderabad for the day so decided to do some local sightseeing. We had no plans made earlier so we started late and decided to cover whatever we can.
1:15 PM We left for Salarjung Museum. 2:10 PM We reached the museum. Being a public holiday the museum was really really crowded and there was no parking available. We had to wait for almost 15 minutes before we could park and get into the museum. There were many children's school group which had arrived in the museum and it was really crowded.
This museum is different than many other museums in India. Not much is related to the popular history. It is more about the interests of ruling family. It is an extremely large museum and takes easily 3-4 hours to get through the place.
The Museum
The Museum is divided into six blocks which are as follows.

  1. Ground Floor Central Block
    1. Founders Gallery
    2. Indian Bronzes and Textiles
    3. Indian Sculptures
    4. Mirror arts of south India
    5. Indian textiles and Mogul glass
    6. Children's Section
    7. Ivory Carving Gallery
    8. Veiled Rebecca
    9. Arms and Armour
    10. Metal Ware
    11. Modern Indian Paintings
    12. Indian Miniature Paintings
  2. Ground Floor Eastern Block
    1. Far Eastern Wooden Furniture
    2. Far Eastern Wood carvings
  3. Ground Floor Western Block
    1. Bronze Sculpture
    2. Marble Sculpture
  4. First Floor Eastern Block
    1. Chinese Gallery
    2. Far Eastern Porcelain Gallery
    3. Japanese Gallery
    4. Far Eastern Statutory Gallery
  5. First Floor Central Block
    1. Toys and Dolls Gallery
    2. Flora and Fauna Gallery
    3. Children's Section
    4. Arabic and Persian Manuscripts Gallery
    5. Indian Silver Gallery
    6. Carpet Gallery
    7. Egyptian and Syrian Gallery
    8. Jade Gallery
    9. Bidri ware Gallery
    10. Kashmir Gallery
    11. Utility ware Gallery
    12. Western Furniture Gallery
  6. First Floor Western Block
    1. European Painting Gallery
    2. European Glass Gallery
    3. French Gallery
    4. European Clock Gallery
    5. European Porcelain Gallery
We could not really see all of it. But we could see most of it by the time the museum was closed. Here are some of the stuff that we could see. Here is some the information that is displayed in the museum.
Indian Sculpture
The history of lndian Sculpture goes back to a very remote period. The Harappan art of about 3rd millenium B.C. shows a very high degree of proficiency in the plastic art which would suggest a much earlier development of this art. The perfect modelling with full anatomical details of the birds and animals and of human forms exhibit the greatness and ingenuity of Indian sculptor in 3rd millennium B.C.

The earliest evidence of stone carving is found from the high monolithic stone pillars erected for writing the Ashokan inscriptions. The beautifully carved animals such as the lion, bull and horse etc. exhibit the mastery of Ashokan sculptors in the art of stone carving. The smooth and lustrous polish employed on These pillars reflect the quality of work and high standard attained by the Mauryan artisans. The stone monuments of the Sunga period are found from Bharhut, Sanchi, Bodhgaya and other places. Although the massiveness of volume and majestic proportions of the Ashokan art are not found in the art of Sunga age yet, the railing pillars, coping stones and beautifully carved stone slabs represent the mastery of carving stone in bas-relief. The entire panorama of the Sunga stone art is dedicated to Buddhism where the events from the life of the Buddha are carved in the absence of the figure of Buddha. The narrative themes carved in low-tone are abounding with the organic forms of Nature, such as the floral scrolls, creeper designs and other floral motifs. The first architectural fragment from Bharhut in the gallery is a broken stone slab carved with the lotus medallion. This can be dated to first century B.C. A human head prominent cheeks and the sunken eyes with typical Sunga head-gear (turban), hewn out of buff coloured stone is also exhibited which is datable to first century B.C.
The first major centre of carving of stone figures of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses was established at Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. The massive figures of the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Pantheon, carved in spotted red sand stone, from Mathura reflect the high advancement in the art of stone carving of the Kushan Era. The figures are carved both in round and relief. The art of Mathura draws inspiration from the earlier centres like Sanchi and Bodhgaya. Yet, the sculptors of Mathura soon attained mastery over the new medium. The figures carved in round and relief depict innumerable scenes from the daily life. The sculptors, however, have successfully carved the most lively and beautiful figures of feminine beauty. The sensuous feminine figures with bulging out breasts and heavy hips are carved in Tribhanga pose represent the established norms of beauty of the Kushan period. A number of Bacchanalian scenes with beautiful ladies offering wine to their male counterparts and sporting with them are often depicted on the raling pillars. Although, the Mathura sculptures are still devoid of perfection, cemmetry and anatomical details yet, they are full of life.
Kaushambi near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh was another noted center producing icons relating to the Buddhist and Hindu Pantheons. A number of carved stone panels belonging to Gupta age are exhibited in the gallery. The buffcoloured sand stone of Koushambi has its own visual charm. A number of carved stone slabs from kaushambi are also exhibited in the gallery.
While the studios of Mathura and Kaushambi were busy producing remarkable figures of the Hindu and Buddhist Gods and Goddesses in North India, the world renowned Buddhist art centers like Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda were witnessing a great art activity in the Deccan. The soft, greyish limestone, popularly known as Palna marble, was used in fashioning the male and female figures of the Buddhist divinity. The thin, elongate and proportionally modeled human figures from Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda reflect the unfailing skill and ingenuity of the Deccani sculptors.
A number of other Buddhist art centers along the bank of the river Krishna, had cropped up and the beautiful icons of Buddhist in Nagarjunakonda idiom were being produced at various centers during the rule of lkshvakus in 2nd-3rd centuries A.D. An excellent standing figure of Buddha from Nelakońdapally is exhibited in the gallery to show the perfection and the mastery which the Andhra sculptors had attained in the art of stone carving.
The Kushan Dynasty of North lndia was supplanted by the Guptas. The powerful rulers of the Gupta dynasty brought almost the whole of Northern lndia under their control. The stable political conditions, peaceful atmosphere and the improved economic conditions ushered an era of allround development during the Gupta rule. The sculptural art of Gupta period represents the high watermark and perfection in the art of stone carving. The most lyrical forms, accurate modelling and fine treatment of the sculptures of the Gupta Age exhibits maturity and ingenuity of the Gupta sculptors. A mukhalinga from Kaushambi, a Yaksha with his two consorts, the figure of Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhudevi and a frieze representing Sapta Matrikas are some of the Gupta sculptures exhibited in the gallery,
Nandi from Kakatiya Period
Further down to South in Tamil Nadu, the powerful monarchs of Pallava Dynasty were ardent devotees of Lord Vishnu. The worship of Shiva was equally popular in South India. The Pallava rulers, due to their matrimonial alliances with the Vishnukundin kings of Andhra, had initially imbibed the iconographic forms and other art traditions from the Andhra region. Yet, the art of the Pallava period exhibits some of the finer elements which were developed during 8th century A.D. The beautiful slender forms with sharp features, long tapering head-gears and good treatment are the well known characteristics of the Pallava sculptures. During the rule of Cholas, who succeeded the Pallavas in South, the same art traditions of earlier period were continued. The figure of Goddess Vaishnavi exhibited in the gallery, belongs to the Pallava period. The other sculptures like Chandikeswara, Surya and Shiva belongs to the Chola period.
Seshashayin form of Vishnu
A number of sculptures of the Kakatiya period of Andhra history are also exhibited here.
A figure of Vidhnu reclining on the Serpent God, Sesha represents the Seshasayin form of the Lord. The two beautiful images of the Jain TÄ«rthankaras from Kopbal, Mysore carved out of black Basalt, represent the exquisite workmanship of the Kakatiya sculptors. A number of other sculptures like Nandi figures are also datable to the Kakatiya period.
Buddha in white marble
The gallery also comprises of a few Jain sculptures made of white marble. A beautifully carved Prabhavali, exhibiting the flying Gandharvas and other finely carved decorative motifs, is datable to 13th century A.D. An inscribed figures of Parsvanath in white marble con be attributed to the Rajastani workmanship of 15th century A.D. There are a few more Jain sculptures carved in white marble which are datable to 18th century A.D.

Wood Carving in South India

Since time immemorial, wood has been the chief medium of building construction and decoration in South India. The extant wooden remains in the Buddhist shrines of south-western India such as Bhaja and Karie would prove that wood was universally employed for erecting the Buddhist and Hindu shrines prior to the advent of Christian era.

The carved stone panels from Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh also depict numerous examples of residential structures laid with thatched wooden roof.
Apart from the magnificent edifices, the wooden figures of Hindu gods and godesses were meticulously carved to decorate temples in whole of South India. Every Vaishnavite temple of South India used to own a beautifully carved wooden ratha to move the Utsava-Vigraha. Thus the wood carving is the most ancient and traditional arts of South India.
During the late medieval period, wood was employed for manufacturing the household furniture to meet the swelling needs of aristocracy. The art of wood-carving was also practiced to manufacture intricate carved doors, lintels, ceilings of the residential houses along with the household furniture.
The beautiful cabinets, screens, chairs, tables made of rose wood and the majestic figures of divinity carved in Sandal wood-showing perfect chiseling and exquisite workmanship of the carpenter s art, had become the fashion of the day. The noted centers
of wood-carving in South India were lying in Mysore, Coorg and Madras.
The beautifully carved and high backed chairs of Malabar are widely known for their skilled chiseling, intricate designs and art motifs.
The early scriptures relating to Hindu Iconography furnish detailed descriptions of various types of sacred trees and plants which could be used to carve divine figures. Thus, wood was an universally accepted media to carve the idols of Hindu gods and goddesses in South India during the early centuries of Christian era. This fact has been borne out by an epigraphic evidence from Nagarjunakonda where a wooden eight armed figure of Vishnu was enshrined in one of the temples belonging to the 1st - 2nd Century A.D.
The art of carving beautiful idols of Hindu divinity and so also the human and animal figures to decorate temples and private houses was  largely practiced in Mysore, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In order to satisfy the popular demand of local inhabitants, various centers of manufacturing wooden toys also grew up in different parts of South India. The beautiful wooden toys of Tirupati and Kondapally are widely known for their perfect suggestive quality and artistic elegance.
The Kondapally toys of Andhra Pradesh have a striking individuality. The bulk of punki wood used in toy making a Kondapally is soft and the craftsmen, who are said to have originally migrated from Rajasthan produced beautiful toys out of that. A special feature of Kondapally toys is that they derive motifs and pattern from the rural life. Apart from mythological figures, the peacock and elephant with Ambari on are the favorite themes of Kondapally toys. The toys from Tirupathi are made of red sandal wood which is strong and has natural ox-brown colour. The Tirupati toys are executed in free bold style.
Phulkari literally means "Flowering Work" and might therefore be applied to any embroidery but the term is invariably associated with a typical embroidery popular with Jats of Punjab. There was a time when no Jat girl was regarded accomplished unless she was proficient in this art.

Phulkari is worked in silk floss on cloth which is especially woven for the purpose. The designs are almost exclusively geometrical in a restricted variety of colors. The stitch which is simple darn, is worked entirely on the wrong side. The embroiderer plots out the most artistic design simply by counting the threads from tbe back, while the pattern takes shape on the right side, unobserved by the worker.
There are three such types of phulkari, the first being the true phulkari where the pattern is diapered at intervals, over the cloth. The second is called  Bagh where the whole surface is decorated with a connected pattern. Depending upon the motif used in the work the varieties are called Shalimar Bagh, Chand Bagh, Mircha Bagh, Dhunia Bagh etc. The third type is known as Chobe, and here the edges along are embroidered while the center is left plain. The Shishadar Phulkaris in which a striking effect is produced by the insertion of small dises of mirror int he design held in position by button hold stitches, have some what a quaint appearance.
The center of this interesting art is Rohtak in Punjab and the surrounding regions. It may be produced anywhere in the country, as far south south as Madras. The styles has suffered in recent times and good examples are rare these days because no one has patience to work on the reverse side and the practice of penciling the design before it is worked has definitely been an adverse influence.
The showcase also has on display two sherwanis in Himaru work. In this type of brocade, silk is used for making patterns. Though woven at all silk weaving centers, the important center is in Aurangabad.
Painted Fabrics Textiles served the cause of religion as well. Temples claimed for their rituals the fines creations of the craftsmen. Only the perfect, without blemish, could be offered for the god. To satisfy this demand, craftsmen worked near the main religious centers, fulfilling the needs of the temple and of the pilgrims who thronged there. Among the richest expressions of this tradition were the temple cloths made in many centers in South India, Gujarat, and Rajasthan.
Nathdwara in Rajasthan center of the Srinathji cult, another from of Krishna cult became a center for the production of Pichhawais, a temple cloth hung at the back. The designs on Pichhwai were executed on cloth, freehand or with wooden block. Color and also gold leaves were later applied on this adhesive. The themes usually revolve around the Krishna legend and depicted cows, cowherds and milk maids.
The Telangana scrolls on the other hand were carried on a visual aid by the itinerant village story tellers who specialized in relating the stories of the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the puranic legends and myths. The technique of painting on cloth was quite similar to miniature painting tradition though miniatures were painted on hand made paper.
Temple hanging were also produced in the Kalamkari technique though here we have on display some curtains executed in the Kalamkari technique. In the temple hangings the dyes and mordants are applied freehand with a bamboo brush called Kalam. THe patterns on furnishings produced in Kalamkari technique involve the same technical process as temple hanging using special vegetable dyes, resits and mordants but the design on furnishings is repeated with blocks.
Embroidery or the decoration of woven fabric with the colored red threads by means of needle is probably on of the oldest arts of the world. In India it dates from the remotes period of history. Embroidered garments and needles are mentioned in Vedic texts and the art of embroidery flourishes in all parts of India down to this day.
The medieval opulence is reflected most in gold and silver embroidery on both heavy velvets, satins and airy nets and chiffon. Gold and silver embroidered garments were mostly used for formal occasions and marriages as is evident from two bridal dresses displayed here. The furnishings of a room also consumed this heavy and dainty work as is evident from the daree and curtains on display here. Heavy velvet was also used for masnads and elephant coverings. The efficiency of the embroiderer is evident in the peacock design and the Shikargah scene on the display here.
Kamdani is another form of gold embroidery which was extremely popular. This is done with flattened silver or gilt wire on lighter materials with the threaded needle pressing the wire on the cloth at every stitch. A striking glittering effect is often produced with the help of salma or sequins
For making gold and silver thread called Kalabatoo, the following method is used. For gold thread a piece of silver about the length and thickness of a man's finger is gilded atleast three times with the purest gold, all impurities having been most carefully discharged from the silver earlier. The piece of gilt wire is beaten out to the size of a stout wire and is then drawn through successive holes in a steel plate until the wire is literally as fine as a hair. The gilding is not disturbed by this process and the wire finally appears as if or purest gold.
THe adjoining show case has on display a number of patkas or kamarbands. They are waist bands. Soldiers used them and kings and emperors presented them to their officers and nobles in recognition of their service. The Patkas had borders and pallu anu were either embroidered or printed or had patterns woven in. On display here are patkas from Banares, Aurangabad and Surat.
Walking Stick
The story of the walking stick dates back to very early times. Walking sticks have been constant companions to humans for time immemorial sometimes as a staff for support, sometimes as an aid for the old and sometimes as a weapon for the young.
It actually started as a staff held by people of authority like chieftains of tribes and village heads. Shepherds who tended sheep and cattle held staffs or sticks to keep the animals together. In the early era, even Prophets hold wooden staffs as a means of support; the staff of Prophet Moses is a Biblical
As time passed the staff transformed into a scepter which was held as a symbol of authority and power by kings and still later these scepters were decorated with gems and inlaid with precious stones to symbolize the status of its master. Slowly and surely the staff or the walking stick became an important aspect of ones life and people of all ages carried them. Thus, it became obligatory to carry a walking stick, be it for aid, style or self defense it was there to stay.
A change was brought about when in the 17th & 18th centuries walking stick took an important place as an object of fashion for Europeans and others who carried walking sticks as show piece.
The sticks varied from person to person, a wealthy person would carry a walking stick decorative enough to flaunt his position, while the others with lesser means would use a simple, plain stick as per their stature.
With walking sticks holding a center stage, eminent jewelers of that period took time to make them look beautiful with inlaid settings of precious and semi-precious stones to make them more and more adorable and presentable for the rich, a glimpse of which is being presented, for display in the Walking Sticks Gallery of the Salar Jung Museum.
Musical Clock
In this gallery a variety of walking sticks are on display. They are made out of cane, Malacca cane, wood, Sandal wood, ivory, fish bone, jade, glass, leather etc. some are decorated with semiprecious hilts also. These Walking sticks are from the personal collection of the Salar Jungs.
Musical Clock
Musical Clock, Cooke and Kelvey Company, England, 19th Century AD. M No. 125/LXXI
The English bracket clock said to have been manufactured in England and assembled in Calcutta in the late 19th Century AD.  It has been acquired by the Salar Jung III, Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan (AD 1889-1949) from the Cooke and Kelvey Company, probably in the early 20th Century AD. It has more than 350 parts. The clock contains a mechanism by which a small toy figure of a bearded man comes out of the enclosure three minutes early to every hour and strikes the corresponding hour(s) on the gong to end of every 60th minute and goes back inside. Another toy man who is a blacksmith is seen holding a hammer and striking the seconds without any break. Enriched with nicely wrought metallic mounts, the huge mechanical clock has three dials for the day, date and month in addition to chiming every 15 minutes. This musical clock one of the most attractive objects in the museum.
Indian Miniature Paintings
This gallery presents a panorama of Indian miniature painting bringing out clearly its origin, evolution and final extinction between the fifteenth and early twentieth centuries. The tradition, had its origin in the illustration of hand written books but later on artists were commissioned to make independent paintings as well which were kept in albums. These paintings are not meant to adorn the walls of residences but were held in the hand and observed closely.

The miniatures displayed in this gallery commence with the Western Indian School of painting
comprising of book illustrations on paper belonging to the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century and include a few examples of Non-Mughal paintings. The keen interest of Mughal emperors in the art of painting transformed the character of pre-mughal paintings. Thus the next section has on display the Mughal paintings. The Sultans of the Deccani Sultanates also patronized the art of miniature painting and as such a separate section has on view examples of Deccani Style of painting. 
This is followed by Rajasthani and Pahari schools of art and certain other stylistic variations of late medieval times. The regional variations of Major schools like the Deccani and Rajasthani schools have been grouped separately to give an idea of the sub-schools to the visitors.
As the miniature painting was meant to be contemplated by devotees or princely patrons it abounds
in detailed and graceful treatment of its subject matter. The bright pure colors were derived from
metallic, mineral or vegetable pigments bound by a glue or gum and applied to fine hand made paper.
The use of gold provided richness to the color scheme and was often used in works meant for rich
patrons. Most of the surviving early miniatures were made for illustrating the religious books of the adherents of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu faiths. However there is evidence to show that secular paintings were also made from early times. On view here are miniatures showing historical personages, saints, yoginis, illustrations from love poems and religious books, animals and birds alone and also intricately entwined in fanciful composite form.
These pictures bring out some important features of Indian miniatures for example, overall patterning,  the interplay of bright unmitigated colors and also the interplay of two and three dimensional forms, the tilting of the ground plane so that each element of the painting can be seen with equal clarity and a love for symbolism and idealism.
A recurrent theme needs elucidation. Several of the Deccani, Rajasthani and pahari paintings
 displayed here are pictures of a Raga or Ragini. A Raga or Ragini is a musical mode using a fixed combination of the notes of an octave. Musicologists had devised a family of thirty six such musical modes with six of them as males called the Ragas and thirty as their wives or the Raginis. Other systems of classification are also known with a much larger family including sons. These Ragas and Raginis were provided with a form and the poets composed poems describing the form in great detail. The painters took their inspiration from these poems and produced the visual image.
The last section of this gallery has on view certain later styles of art which have their own identity. In Orissa for example miniatures continued to be painted on palm leaves even though paper was being 
 used in the rest of the country for producing hand written books. The Paithan painting on display here are actually illustrations which were used by story tellers as visuals. The miniatures of Delhi Kalam also need an explanation.
The miniature painter often made several versions of the same painting. For this they used perforated membrane by a master craftsman. This device called the 'Charba' became the property of hereditary craftsmen and in this way several generations of painters reproduced painting originally done by their fathers and forefathers. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century such paintings were produced in large number at Delhi and thus came into existence the Delhi Kalam. These miniatures cannot be classed as copies even though they are not originals. 
With the advancement of the printing technology. the dismemberment of princely states and consequently the disappearance of the princely patron and also with the advent of modern art. the tradition of miniature painting has become extinct.
Indian Miniature Painting is one of the finest expressions of our culture. The painters absorbed diverse influences and truly symbolize our composite culture. The diversity of the styles prevailing in the different parts of the country also reveals an essential unity.
Rajasthani Painting 
Unlike the Mughal painting which were essentially court arts, the tradition of miniature
gpainting in Raiasthan had its roots in the soil of the land beyond the courts. The inspiration came from the Bhakti cult of Vaishnavism and Krishna Lila and religious texts like Ramayana and Mahabharat.
Literary works of Jaideva, Behari, Bhushan and Mati Rama also provided the themes for Raiasthani
painting. Thus while the patrons in Raiasthan too were kings and nobles the subject matter of Rajasthani painting reveals a wide variety. The different regions of Rajasthan have also their own individuality in the matter of style.
Although remaining within the framework of Raiasthani tradition, the miniatures from Malwa display
certain characteristics which endows them with a distinct individuality. The Malwa region comprises of Gwalior, Raghogarh, Raigarh, Indore, Uiiain and Mandu in Central India.
The early Malwa miniatures have the simplicity of folk paintings. The characters stand out against
brilliant patches of background color. A simple flat cupola-like architecture, wavy clouds with a
broad, white band, one or two peacocks or monkeys and generally not more than three figures are
some of the characteristics of the Malwa paintings of the middle of the 17th century. All these characteristics can be seen in miniature which illustrates Ahilya Uddhar. Lord Rama released sage's wife Ahilya from a curse which had turned her into stone. Raga Dipak on display here is of the third quarter of the 17th century. Well defined generalized forms, dramatic visual impact and brilliant colors are some of the main characteristics of Malwa paintings of the second half of the seventeenth century and all of these can be seen in the visualization of the Raga Dipak. Most Malwa pictures have for their themes religious stories, Nayaka, Nayika bheda and Ragas and Raginis. 
The Sisodias of Mewar resisted the Mughal suzerainty even while the other states of Rajasthan surrendered to the might of the Mughals under Akbar. In the realm of art also Mewar kept alive its pre mughal art tradition while the Mughal influence made its impact in other Rajasthan states. 
On display here are five Mewar paintings which include illustrations from Bihari Satsai in highlighting the romance of Radha and Krishna in brilliant colours but simple composition. The illustrations form part of a manuscript which was completed in I719 A.D.
Bundi and Kotah _
The small Rajput kingdom of Bundi and Kotah, in Southern Raiasthan, were ruled by cousins, different branches of the Hara clan and there is much in common between the earlier paintings of these two centres. During the 17th century the Bundi rulers were frequently occupied with the Imperial forces in the Deccan wars, but at home, all was peace and prosperity. The themes popular with the painters were ragamalas, the romance of Radha and Krishna, portraits and illustration of religous texts. 
The Bundi example here is the illustration of the Kakubh ragini with well defined forms of a girl and peacock. Another example of the late 18th century depicts girls on a swing celebrating the Teej festival of the rainy season.
The late 18th century illustrations from Kotah on display here include the illustrations to a Hindi literary text dealing with the romance of Radha and Krishna, a Raga painting and portraits.
Amber and Jaipur
Amber or Jaipur came in contact with the Mughals and developed amicable relationship with them, early in the life of Akbar. In 1562, the raja of Amber offered his eldest daughter in marriage to the Mughal emperor and the princess eventully became the mother of Jahangir. Naturally Mughal artists frequented Jaipur court and the painting from this center reveals a pronounced Mughal influence. The picture music party executed in late 19th centrury reveals this pronounced Mughal influence especially in the treatment of tree and foliage and the outdoor scenery. However miniatures were also painted in the traditional style, the examples of which are the Ragini paintings from Amber.
The Raiasthani painting is noted for its diversity of styles. Separate panels have been provided here for paintings from Jodhpur and Bikaner. A composite panel gives an idea of the styles prevalent at Pali, Sirohi,  Alwar, Malpura and Deogarh. The style associated with Klshangarh is well known for its upturned eyes and  extremely fine and elegant features. The picture of Radha and Krishna on display is typical of the Kishangarh style.
 The farthest extension of Raiasthani painting was in Bundelkhand. Afew illustrations notable among which is “Krishna and Manini Radha“ provide the finishing touch to the account of Rajasthani painting in this gallery.
Blue and White Porcelain
In long history of world ceramics, there has been no single ware more appreciated and imitated than Chinese Blue and White porcelain. As a ceramic tradition it has the longest continuous development in ceramic history and has acquired worldwide reputation unmatched by any other Chinese art form. It is perhaps the best known category of all decorative arts. In its more than six hundred years of active production from the 14th century to the present, it has constantly introduced new ideas of decoration and technique. Chinese blue and white porcelain formed an important and popular export ware and has been imitated in  Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and East Europe and America.
Blue and White ware are porcelains with underglaze cobalt blue painted decorations. It was during the 7th century in China that true porcelain was perfected for the first time. Porcelain is a hard translucent ceramic ware, usually with a pure white body, fused at high temperature with the aid of a high proportion of feldspar which causes it to ring when struck.
The famous Chinese blue and white porcelain underwent its major early development in 14th century. The blue pigment from cobalt was painted directly on the dried clay body, which was then covered with a glaze and the piece was fired at a temperature between 1280 to 1300 C, causing the glaze to become transparent. The blue decoration underneath this glaze is therefore referred to as underglaze blue. The color tone of the blue depends on the cobalt itself, and on conditions during firing. If the exact temperature is not attained at each firing, piece made at the same time and with the same material can differ in color. Finer quality wares were first fired, then painted and glazed, and then fired again. The majority of Blue and White wares were fired only once, after being painted and glazed.
The area of the world known as far east including China, Taiwan and Japan and in a broader sense also including countries like Thailand and Combodia has primarily contributed to the development of porcelain. Chinese invented porcelain during the rule of Sung in 10th century. The lustrous and colorful pottery was popularly known as China ware. During 13th century Venetian traveler Marcopolo was fascinated by what he saw in kilns in China. He compared the whiteness of this newly invented pottery to that of porcella a white sea shell. From then on the name porcelain became established and denotes in particular the pottery which has been prepared out of Kaolin (white china clay) and petuntse (white stone) and fired at very high temperature for fusion, glazed and finally decorated with various colored enamels.
Seated Buddha
The Buddha image from Burma (Myanmar) is different from others.
The elongated ears and distinctive eyes are some of the typical features of Buddha sculptures made in Mandalay, the 19th century capital of Burma. The Buddha is shown in bhumisparsha-mudra, the earth touching posture representing his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya Bihar. 

The museum closes at around 5pm and we were promptly chucked out at this time. Even though we could have spent another couple of hours to complete the place.
We decided to drive to Golconda fort from the museum. Even though the fort closes at 5pm (sunset), there is a light and sound show and we though that we will watch that. It took us around 45 minutes of drive time to reach the fort and we were there at 6:15pm. There was really a large crowd gather in the line for the ticket for light and sound show.
We got the ticket and the show was to start at 7pm. The entry to the show was at best chaotic. There was almost a mob of people waiting to enter while the previous show ended and they wanted to get out. Nobody would give way to the other. After almost half and hour we were able to get to our seats.
The light and sound show is good, not in the same league as Jaipur or Redfort in Delhi. The other problem is that they don't allow any kind of photography of light and sound show.
Finally the show ended and we started back for the hotel. We reached back to hotel at 9pm.