Thursday, January 26, 2012

An Evening at Sarkhej Roja,Ahmedabad

  Sarkhej Roza was the home of the spiritual leader of Sultan Ahmed Shah named Ahmed Kattu Gang Baksh, who was a Muslim religious leader. It contains a cluster of monuments, the origin of which can be dated back to the times of Mughal rule in Ahmedabad.Read more here

Sarkhej Roza,the most tranquil spaces I have ever come across and I think I could visit it umpteen number of times.The inner most mausoleum forms the wonderful realm of architecture within the Roza.Its truly a sacred world.The architecture is mesmerizing. It is a platform where three distinctive worlds coexist, namely royal, religious and social. The palaces and tombs form part of the royal world, the mosque constitutes the religious realm and the tanks and pavilions have given rise to the social world. The carved stone grills create an atmosphere of tranquility, thereby serving as a great retreat for people seeking peace.  Our Driver Johnny was the one who guided us in time at the Roza.When we reached there the sun had started its descend and the atmosphere was bathed in the golden light.What more could we ask for?

"Adhan" the call for Prayer,could be heard from the  loudspeakers there .People rushing for prayers,some of them relaxing under the neem tree,some enjoying the breeze,some involved in gossip  sessions.There weren't much people there at this time of the year.The reflection of light created beautiful impressions as we rushed from buildings to buildings. The play of lights is wonderful and slow and gradually it envelopes the place.Indeed a blessing to be there.We even got permission to see the  backside of the tank.

Adhan and the  play of light and then you enter the mosque the most sacred among all ,and thats a space on its own ,helping us to see the ultimate goal,The god,the Allah as they say..As we entered ,it was filled with prayers the Namaz,a very simple,faithful and mindless exercise.It filled our mind..We could hear the voice of God in ones soul.It was one of the days when I felt in peace with myself and the surroundings.

as we enter the map of Sarkhej Roja

The Lattice work

sun sets and the wonderful play starts

the shadows grew and grew and they ...

they enveloped the place where we sat

the mood,the sanctity of the environment made us bow down to god

noticing that each work is stark different from the other

shadows and shadows
its greener on the other side,as i panned

beautiful and exquisite
the serenity

as we entered
hear the inner voice,prayers filled the space

as we walked
please take note

inshah allah!

as we walked past the corridors,the old photographs,jaalis and shadows
a meeting room

the great tank,usually where bazzars are there during festival time

light awashed buildings

the tank from the mosque area

wonderful for summers,resembled hindu architecture alot

the tank in its entirety

used to get filled with water

sat here and remembered and rethinked a lot of together times..

Images :Lakshmi Arvind
Pl do not copy nor steal images

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kalamkari of Gujarat/Mata ni Pachedi

India has a rich textile tradition,no doubt and the artist has developed several mediums to express his imagination on to the canvas in many ways.Religious textiles portray the Indian culture to a great extent.Gujarat also has a Kalam kari art of its own and its called Mata ni Pachedi. `Having read about Mata ni Pachedi,before the trip,I was very sure that I wanted to see an artist who does this art,visit him and learn .Our driver Johnny knew each art of gujarat in detail and he took us through some very narrow gulleys in the main town of Ahmedabad to show the artist at work.
This Religious textile Art is done in a cream coloured cloth.They are hangings painted with iconographic representation of  gods and goddesses.They usually form the backdrop behind Goddess Durga in temples .If the devotees wishes come true they offer  it to the lord.During the festival season this art work is in demand in villages .In earlier times,the whole work used to be done by hand.Now they have blocks available.the sides of the cloth is decorated using blockprints and then the inside is handmade.

I think its now getting evolved from religious purposes to objects of decoration.
the  representation of goddess Durga at the artists work place
his fathers photograph

the photographs of all gods at the artists workplace

Goddess Durga
Depicting Ramayana
another form of Goddess

Goddess Saraswathi devi

In the chariot 


artist at work,black colour is coal mixed in oil and kept in tins for days

glory of the Raja

my enthusiastic daughter even captured a video of his work
a glance at his two room house,the kitchen where the vessels are arranged  on shelves

Images and Ideas:Lakshmi Arvind
Pl do not steal the images.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Agashiye",House of MG,Ahmedabad

 We were at "Agashiye", the little restaurant within  the heritage hotel, "The House of Mangaldas", for an authentic Gujarati meal.Each meal was a treat to the eyes and a feast for us.They were an array of Gujarati delicacies  like the meetha dal,pakoda,tamarind chutney,poori,parota,shrikhand,achar and khichadi too .The last day we were about to leave they even gave us complimentary sweets,coz of the everyday visits there and there were complimentary coupons also everytime we went  for the next visit..The food was enjoyable,lipsmacking and the decor was so homely and heavenly..I think this is the first time i featured something like this.

My daughter the 7 year old still says of going back ..

as we walked through the fragrant corridors

walk past a lovely sunlit courtyard

the lovely stone path

urulis and flowers floating
black and white photographs on every walls you walk past,the bamboo shade with holes on the tube lights
the seating outside agashiye
outside agashiye

stone uruli

of blockprints and patch works

the coloured windows
the plate set on the table

loved the light,that fell on the juice

loved the concept of dried leaf on a clay plate and salad on it

the Gujarathi thali..

the amazing homely icecream,they had so many flavours  each particuarly for a day
 Images Lakshmi Arvind
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