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By Prakhar Patidar
Ramayan; one of the two great epics in Hinduism is the tale of good and evil that has not only forged some of the ways of Hinduism but has inspired generations with the ideals of life. The story of Rama, the righteous kind of Ayodhya who lived beyond his years to become a god with masses of believers has not only been told and retold in various ways but has been adapted to different artforms. In not so fortunate circumstances, it has been at the centre of political and communal unrest too.
Such has been the following and massive influence of this epic that it lives on in the essence of a religion, its people and the stories and art they produce. National Museum of India as a part of their online endeavours provides us with a great opportunity to appreciate Ramayana's visualisation through miniature painting art from the comfort of our homes.
Currently live, this exhibition features Ramayan depicted through the internationally known Rajasthani miniature painting artform. Miniature painting was introduced to India by Mughals. Adopted by the local artists, it metamorphosed into Rajasthani miniature: a style that utilised the best of the miniature style and are lauded for visual aesthetics created by perfect detail. When looking at these paintings, one is in awe of the minute details and intricate patterns created using bold colours. Preparing colours for these paintings is an elaborate process that can take up to weeks and uses vegetables, minerals, stones along with real silver or gold.
This virtual exhibit called RAMAYAN: VISUALISATION IN INDIAN MINIATURE ART, curated by Dr. Kanak Lata Singh under the guidance of Shri Raghuvendra Singh and Shri Subrata Nath, allows the viewer a virtual walk-through the exhibition through well done digitisation of the art. It comprises 49 virtual miniature paintings (17th - 19th century) illustrating different stages of Lord Ram's life such as his learning days with sage Vaishishtha, Sita's swayamvar, encounter with Surpanakha and more. Though the exhibition takes some time to load, the artworks have been digitised well enough for the viewer to be able to enjoy the details these paintings are known for.
If you love Indian art or like to revisit Ramayan or looking for a culturally rich afternoon with your family, this one is definitely for you. It opens into a 360 view of the gallery with an entrance into 'Hall 3' and 'Hall 4'. One can navigate through it as if in a video game and enjoy the miniature paintings.
You can visit the exhibition here: https://nmvirtual.in/Virtual_Tour/Ramayan/
- A 2,000 years old “bog butter” weighing 22-pounds recently discovered
- The confounding fact is that it could also be “theoretically… still edible”
- Such methods of preserving things in bogs were surprisingly common back in those days
An enormous lump of “bog butter” weighing 22-pounds, which is believed to be buried almost 2,000-year-ago, was recently discovered in Co Meath, Ireland. But why would one bury it with intent to preserve it for so long? There is only one possible reason – Ancient butter experts believe that it was once offering to the gods.
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Bog butter it as a “creamy white dairy product, which smells like a strong cheese.” The massive find, while not unusual, has been enclosed in a refrigerated case and given to the National Museum, where it will be preserved, said an atlasobscura report.
Such methods of preserving things in bogs were surprisingly common back in ancient times. Without salt, butter would spoil quickly, but the cold, low-oxygen environment of the bog could probably act as an unreal refrigerator. To ensure the protection of Bog butter, it is sometimes found enclosed in wooden containers or animal skin. Bog was even used by ancient people to preserve dead bodies.
The confounding fact is that it could also be “theoretically… still edible” according to Andy Halpin, one of the Irish National Museums’ assistant keepers. Although, it won’t be advisable to taste it before proper examination and there is little possibility of it tasting good. Also, if it’s true that it was an offering to God then one would have to figure out whether or not to eat the butter meant for Gods.
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Archaeologist Ross MacLeod commented on the quantity of butter discovered in Galway. Speaking to the Irish Times he said, “It would have been a substantial loss to the family that buried the butter in the bog that they never recovered it. Perhaps the person who buried it died or forgot where it was left…That might have been stored up by a family during the summer and put into the bog for use during the cold winter months. Its loss could have been a tremendous one for some family a long, long time ago.”
-By Pashchiema, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema
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By NewsGram Staff Writer
New Delhi: Udyog Bhawan metro station of the Delhi Metro will be developed into a hub of art and culture after National Museum and the Delhi Metro signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday.
Press release from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said, “As per the agreement, the Udyog Bhawan metro station on the Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre (Yellow Line) corridor will be developed as the gateway to the National Museum. Art works and artifacts will be displayed at the concourse area (both paid and unpaid areas) of the station.”
“While National Museum will arrange, display as well as maintain the art works, artifacts etc, DMRC will provide the necessary space and other ancillary requirements such as cabling, wiring, civil work etc. The displays will also be periodically changed by National Museum so that the visitors to the station get to see new artifacts and art works from time to time,” it added.
The agreement was signed at the Metro Bhawan on Thursday between DMRC’s executive director (operations), Vikas Kumar, and National Museum director general Sanjiv Mittal in the presence of DMRC managing director Mangu Singh and other senior officials.
DMRC has associated with many other government bodies/organizations such as the culture ministry, Delhi Tourism, India Habitat Centre, the Indian Council of Historical Research as well as independent artists for setting up display panels, art works etc at the metro stations across the network.
This MoU is a continuation of the Delhi Metro’s efforts to utilize its premises for the promotion of Indian art and culture.
With inputs from IANS
New Delhi, Three years after it was lambasted by a parliamentary panel for failing to maintain the National Museum of Natural History, the environment ministry is all set to construct a new, state-of-the-art facility in the capital.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has invited bids for the construction of a new museum building complex at Bhairon Marg, behind the Old Fort and opposite an international expo complex that will have modern facilities like an IMAX theatre as well as an open-air seating for 500.
Also to do its bit for conserving energy, the new building will have to achieve LEED India Platinum Rating as well as the GRIHA 5-star rating. Spread across 6.5 acres, the museum is expected to be built at a cost of Rs.250 crore within 43 months after the commencement of its construction.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) plaque is a US green building certification programme that recognises best-in-class building strategies and practices, while GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) is India’s national rating system.
The Rs 209 crore Indira Paryavaran Bhawan that houses the office of environment ministry is India’s first ‘Net Zero Building’ that produces its own energy and has achieved the LEED India Platinum Rating as well as the GRIHA 5 star rating.
“We have invited online bids-eligibility bid, technical bid and financial bid-from eligible consultants and architectural firms for the consultancy services (to build the museum),” a ministry official said.
Noting that the required services have to be planned at minimum cost, maintenance and lowest consumption of energy and water, the official said that the complex will also house auditoriums, offices, underground parking, permanent and temporary galleries and eco-classrooms, among many other features.
Delhi got its first National Museum of Natural History on June 5, 1978, coinciding with the World Environment Day.
Situated at Tansen Marg in Lutyen’s Delhi, the museum owes its genesis to then prime minister Indira Gandhi, who declared that the country needed such a museum to depict its flora, fauna and mineral wealth to promote environmental awareness among the masses.
However, the Lok Sabha’s Public Accounts Committee, under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s chairmanship of Murli Manohar Joshi, had in a scathing report in 2012 pulled up the environment ministry over the “pathetic functioning” of the museum.
It had recommended that the government set up a permanent state-of-the-art museum which at present is operating out of a rented building owned by an industry lobby.
The committee had also sought the involvement of students in surveying fauna and flora in their vicinity and in afforestation, along with disseminating environmental awareness and heightening environmental concerns across the country.