“Buddha Miniature Sculpture” found in Karnataka
What is the News?
A miniature sculpture of the Buddha has been found in Badagabettu village in Udupi district of Karnataka.
About Buddha Miniature Sculpture:
Source: The Hindu
- The sculpture is made out of soft sandstone. It is around nine centimetres high, five centimetres wide and two centimetres thick.
- Style: The sculpture is in the Gupta style. It looks like a replica of the Sarnath Buddha.
- The Buddha is seated on a lotus pedestal in Dharma Chakra Pravartana Mudra.
- Below the seat, six disciples are seated on either side of the Dharma Chakra.
- The Lord wears clothes and earrings. A small Ushnisha(three-dimensional oval at the top of the head) is also shown on the top of the head. In the back of the head, a beautifully carved round lobe is seen.
- On the top corners, two Yakshas and on either side of his back, two-winged horses have also been carved out.
Significance of this discovery:
- Traditionally, ancient Tulu Nadu was said to be ruled by the Kadambas of Banavasi. The Guptas and the Kadambas of Banavasi had matrimonial relations.
- Hence, the discovery of the Buddha sculpture is not an uncommon thing. But, it has thrown open a new chapter in the history of the Udupi district and in the study of Buddhism in South India.
Source: The Hindu
Climate Change impact on Cave Arts of Sulawesi Island of Indonesia
What is the News?
A new Australian study has suggested that climate change may be accelerating the degradation of Pleistocene-era rock paintings located in the Sulawesi Island of Indonesia. It is the world’s oldest cave art.
About the study:
- Australian and Indonesian archaeological scientists conducted the study.
- The scientists examined around 11 caves and rock-shelters in the Maros-Pangkep region in Sulawesi Island of Indonesia.
- These are Pleistocene-era rock paintings dating back to 45,000-20,000 years ago.
Which are those ancient cave arts of Indonesia? Some important artworks include:
- Firstly, the world’s oldest hand stencil (almost 40,000 years ago): It was created by pressing the hand on a cave wall and spraying wet red-mulberry pigments over it.
- Secondly, the world’s oldest depiction of an animal (almost 45,500 years ago): The animal depicted is a warty pig painted on the wall.
- Lastly, one of the caves contains what researchers describe as possibly the earliest known narrative scene in prehistoric art depicting a hunting scene.
Key Findings of the study:
Salts on Rocks:
- The researchers studied the flakes of rock that have begun to detach from cave surfaces.
- It found salts such as calcium sulphate and sodium chloride on three of the cave samples.
- These salts also form crystals on rock surfaces, causing them to break.
Change in Temperature and Humidity:
- The artworks made with pigments are decaying due to a process known as haloclasty.
- Haloclasty is a type of physical weathering caused by the growth of salt crystals. It occurs due to repeated changes in temperature and humidity, caused by alternating wet and dry weather in the region.
- Indonesia has also experienced several natural disasters in recent years, which have quickened the process of deterioration.
- Firstly, Researchers have recommended regular physical and chemical monitoring of the sites to reduce environmental degradation.
- Secondly, preservation efforts undertaken at the French and Spanish prehistoric cave art sites such as Lascaux and Altamira should also be implemented here.
Source: Indian Express
Webinar on “Khajuraho Temples” Under Dekho Apna Desh
What is the News?
The Ministry of Tourism organizes a webinar on “ Khajuraho Temples of Architectural Splendour” under Dekho Apna Desh.
About Dekho Apna Desh webinar
The Ministry of Tourism launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ webinar series in April 2020. Its objective is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations in India. It is also an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
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About Khajuraho Temples:
- Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh.
- Built by: the Chandella rulers between AD 900 and 1130.
- Situated in: within the Vindhya Mountain range in Central India.
- UNESCO Site: The temple got the status of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1986.
- Style: The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
- Temples: The temples are categorized into three groups that are Eastern, Western and Southern.
- To name a few temples are Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Brahma Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Matangeshwar Temple, Parsvanath Temple.
- Significance: These temples are famous for intricate & exceptional carvings and surprising architectural skills. The first documented mention of Khajuraho was made in 641 by Xuanzang, a Chinese pilgrim.
- Later, Khajuraho temples also found mention by Abu Raihan al Biruni in AD 1022 and the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta in AD 1335.
- Government Initiatives: The Ministry of Tourism included Khajuraho Temples as one of the sites under the “Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative”.
- Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative announced in Budget 2019-20. It aims to develop the selected sites into world-class tourist destinations to serve as a model for other tourism sites.
Note: The 10th-century Bhand Deva Temple in Rajasthan was built in the style of the Khajuraho monuments and is often referred to as ‘Little Khajuraho’.
Prime Minister calls for e-marketing of “Channapatna toys”
What is the News?
The Prime Minister has called upon to explore the possibility of e-marketing of Channapatna toys across the country and the world, during the India Toy Fair 2021,
The PM advised the artisans to make use of advanced information technology(IT) technology to popularize toys across the world.
About Channapatna Toys:
- Channapatna toys are a particular form of wooden toys (and dolls). Artisans of the town Channapatna in Karnataka manufactures them.
- In Kannada, Channapatna is also called “Gombegala Ooru”, which means toy town in English.
- Origin: The origin of these toys can be traced to the reign of Tipu Sultan. He invited artisans from Persia to train the local artisans in the making of wooden toys.
- The Father of the Channapatna toy is Bavas Miyan. He is known for his commitment to helping the local artisans with the art of toy-making and bringing in new technologies to improvise the toys.
- Wood Used: The Channapatna toys are made of specific wood, called “Aale Mara or the ivory wood”. Vegetable dyes are used for colors that are safe to use and environment-friendly.
- GI tag: This traditional craft is protected as a geographical indication(GI) under the World Trade Organization(WTO).
Other Traditional Indian Toys of Different States:
- Kerala- Kathakali dance dolls, animal-shaped toys, and Woodcraft Toys
- TamilNadu- Thanjavur Thalaiyatti Bommai , Choppu saman Toys
- Punjab- Folk toys, Handwai, Chankana, Lattu, Ghuggu
- Telangana: Nirmal Toys
- Madhya Pradesh– Adivasi Gudia Hastashilpa (Dolls), Betel Nut’s Toys, and Tin Toys.
- Uttar Pradesh- lacquered toys and miniature utensils Toys.
- Jammu & Kashmir- Walnut wood carving toys
- Chhattisgarh- Clay & Terracotta, Dhokra Metal Casting, Wood Carving, Metal Craft toys.
- Daman & Diu- Tortoise Shell toys and crafts,
- Andaman & Nicobar Island- Timber Toys, Coconut shell toys
Source: The Hindu
Social media is giving a boost to the “Kinnal craft”
What is the news?
Social Media has given a boost to the artisans of the Kinnal Craft and their wooden dolls. It allowed them to advertise their products online and sell them.
- Kinnal Craft or Kinhal Craft is a traditional wooden craft local to the town of Kinhal or Kinnal in Koppal District, Karnataka. The craft was awarded the Geographical Indication tag in 2012.
- Artisans: The traditional artisans of the craft are known as chitragars. They use a local variety of wood called Polki Marran which grows in and around Jabbalgudda village (near Koppal).
- Origin: The craft dates back to the 15th or 16th century. It is thought to have gained prominence and patronage under the Vijayanagara Empire, and later, the Nawabs of Koppal. The intricate carvings on the famous Hampi chariot are believed to be the handiwork of the Kinnal artisans.
- Colours Used: The craft is painted using water-colours or enamel, the signature colours of Kinnal are red, green, yellow and black.
- Themes: The themes are mainly mythological — idols of deities including Hanuman, Garuda, Gowri and Durga are among Kinnal’s signature creations.
- Many of the artisans are also involved in making larger idols for the local village festivals, or ooru habba, along with paraphernalia such as palanquins, cradles and chowkis.
- Significance: Kinhal toys also have a signature gold and silver colour which is done using a special technique called “Lajawara” method. It is prepared by hand-beating sheets of tin which results in a powder that when processed further yields silver and then gold paint. It is a very expensive and tedious process.
Source: The Hindu
PM Praises “Pattachitra Painting”
What is the News?
The Prime Minister has praised the Odisha pattachitra painting in the Mann Ki Baat.
About Patachitra Painting
- Pattachitra or Patachitra Painting: The name Pattachitra has evolved from Sanskrit words patta meaning canvas and chitra meaning picture.
- It is a traditional, cloth-based scroll painting based in Odisha and West Bengal.
- Based on: These paintings are based on Hindu mythology. They are especially inspired by Jagannath and the Vaishnava sect.
- Colours: All colors used in the Paintings are natural. Material like Gum of tree, shells, and lam soot, etc. are used for making the color.
- Paintings are made fully in the traditional way by Chitrakaras, i.e. Odiya Painter.
- Style: The style is a mix of both folk and classical elements but leaning more towards folk forms. The dress style has Mughal influences.
- Popular Themes: Some of the most popular themes represented through this art form are
- Thia Badhia – depiction of the temple of Jagannath;
- Krishna Lila – enactment of Jagannath as Lord Krishna displaying his powers as a child;
- Dasavatara Patti – the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu;
- Panchamukhi – depiction of Lord Ganesh as a five-headed deity.
- Pattachitra has been a component of an ancient Bengali narrative art. It originally served as a visual device during the performance of a song.
- Based on: The paintings are mostly based on mythological, religious stories, folklore, and social. The artist of the Bengal Patachitra is called Patua.
- Colour: Use of natural color is one of the characteristics of the Bengal Patachitra.
- The Kalighat Patachitra, the last tradition of Bengal Patachitra is developed by Jamini Roy.
- Buddhist Literature: Bengal Patachitra is referred to in the Buddhist literature in Haribansha(1st century A.D), Abhigyan Shakuntalam(2nd century A.D) and Malavikagnimitra (4th century), Harshacharita (6th Century).
Source: Hindustan Times
World’s oldest known cave painting (a wild pig image) found in Indonesia
News: Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known animal cave painting in Indonesia – a wild pig – believed to be drawn 45,500 years ago.
Source: Indian Express
- About Cave Painting: The cave painting uncovered in South Sulawesi in Indonesia consists of a figurative depiction of a warty pig, a wild boar that is endemic to this Indonesian island.
- Technique used: The researchers used a technique called uranium-series dating to analyse a mineral formation that overlapped part of the image and that must have formed after the cave art was produced. The mineral formation is at least 45,500 years old suggesting the artwork itself could be much older.
- Significance: The painting provides the earliest evidence of human settlement of the region.
- Is it the oldest human produced art? The painting may be the world’s oldest art depicting a figure, but it is not the oldest human-produced art. In South Africa, a hashtag-like doodle created 73,000 years ago is believed to be the oldest known drawing.
The proposal to demolish the Louis Kahn’s IIMA building is an act of cultural vandalism
Synopsis- IIMA decision to demolish historic dormitories designed by architect Louis Khan, this would constitute an act of cultural vandalism.
- Louis Kahn, a world-famous architect, called in 1960s to Ahmedabad to design various buildings, and the IIMA was one of the iconic structures built by him.
- Works of this excellence belong to both national and universal heritage.
- However, the administration of the Indian Institute of Management decided to demolish 14 dormitories on the IIMA campus as they turn unsafe.
- It led to the protests in the campus and reconsideration of the decision.
Why the proposal to demolish the dorms of IIMA represent as cultural vandalism?
Having supported the restoration of the entire campus for years, the administration claimed that as this work was not ‘satisfactory’ the whole lot should be pulled down, which is an act of cultural vandalism against an architectural masterpiece which is not only of great importance to India but to the world.
- Current laws in India provide national heritage protection only to buildings and sites more than 100 years old. This leaves Kahn’s IIM- Ahmedabad in extremely vulnerable positions.
- capitalism, political corruption and land speculation pose threats to ancient and modern works of quality.
Fortunately, many organizations and individuals both within the country and abroad have written to the institute, urging the management to reconsider the decision.
What is the significance of Louis Kahn IIMA Architecture?
Kahn built two projects on the Indian subcontinent, the Assembly Complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (IIMA). Both reflect his response to the cultures, climates and traditions of their respective places.
Significance of IIMA building-
- The complex is built mainly in brick, with some interventions of concrete for lateral bracing and tie bars.
- With its interweaving of space and form, light and shade, orthogonal and diagonal geometries, the dormitory complex is a virtuoso demonstration of Kahn’s immense skill as a designer.
- A citadel of learning, replete with cylindrical towers, shaded streets and squares, it is not unlike a tight-knit Indian fortified town.
- First, there is a need to reshape national heritage laws to protect 20th-century buildings.
- Heritage should be assessed on the basis of long-term quality rather than the cut-off date of a hundred years.
- Second, IIMA Director and Board need to live up to their responsibilities by restoring and protecting Kahn’s work in its totality, so that the future generations may be inspired by it.
Thus, the leaders of IIMA should be persuaded to complete the restoration of Kahn’s buildings at the highest possible level, and perhaps attain the same World Heritage status
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The signature of Kahn and other foreign architects on Indian cities
Source: The Indian Express
News: A controversy has erupted over a decision by the Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Ahmedabad to bring down 18 dormitories built by legendary American architect Louis Kahn on the old campus and replace them with a new building.In this Context, let us look at the contributions of different architects on Indian Cities,
- Antonin Raymond & George Nakashima: Golconde, India’s first reinforced concrete buildings built between 1937 and 1945 in Puducherry was designed and completed by them.
- Otto Königsberger: He was the chief architect and planner of Mysore State between 1939 and 1948.Later, he was commissioned by Tata & Sons to develop the industrial township of Jamshedpur in the early 1940s.He also later designed the master plan for Bhubaneswar(1948) and Faridabad(1949).
- Albert Mayer and Mathew Nowicki: They designed the city of Chandigarh.
- Le Corbusier: He was a Swiss-French architect.He designed many of Chandigarh’s civic buildings from courts to housing.He is often called the “father of modern Indian architecture”.
- Patrick Geddes: He wrote town planning reports from 1915 to 1919, for 18 Indian cities including Bombay and Indore.
- Frank Lloyd Wright: He was an American architect.He never built a structure in India but his influence was unmistakable.His students, Gautam and Gira Sarabhai were the founders of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
- Buckminster Fuller: He is known for his geodesic domes – large-span structures made of a network of triangles. Gautam Sarabhai inspired by Fuller designed the Calico Dome in 1962 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat at the same site that served as a mill shop.
- Joseph Allen Stein: He was an American architect.He is known for designing important buildings in India most notably in Lodhi Estate in Delhi nicknamed Steinabad after him.He is also famous for being the architect of the scenic Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode’s campus.
- Louis Kahn: He was an American architect.He designed the old campus of IIM Ahmedabad.The plan’s most distinctive features are the numerous arches, and square brick structures with circles carved out in the façade.
Who are the Tharu tribals?
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Uttar Pradesh government has embarked upon a scheme to take the unique culture of its ethnic Tharu tribe across the world.The intention is to put Tharu villages on the tourism map and to create jobs and bring economic independence to the tribal population.
- Tharu: They are an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai in southern Nepal and northern India.
- Origin: The word tharu is believed to be derived from sthavir, meaning followers of Theravada Buddhism.
- Worship: They worship Lord Shiva as Mahadev, and call their supreme being “Narayan”, who they believe is the provider of sunshine, rain, and harvests.
- Occupation: Most of them are forest dwellers and some practice agriculture.
- Language: They speak various dialects of Tharu, a language of the Indo-Aryan subgroup, and variants of Hindi, Urdu and Awadhi. In central Nepal, they speak a variant of Bhojpuri, while in eastern Nepal, they speak a variant of Maithili.
- Theravada Buddhism: The name means ‘the doctrine of the elders’ – the elders being the senior Buddhist monks.It is strongest in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. It is sometimes called ‘Southern Buddhism’.