vadodara

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Nandalal Bose mural at Vadodara Palace.

The muraldepicts the life of bhakti saint Mirabai, Lord Krishna’s legendary devotee and a mystic poet. Born in 1498 in Rajasthan, she wrote about 1,300 passionate devotional prayers dedicated to Krishna during her lifetime.

In the first frame Mira is seen in full Marwari dress, deep in meditation [top]. In the second frame she gazes beyond a lake, her mind elsewhere. She is next shown leaving her home dressed in a white sari and with an ektari in her hand, in the company of other devotees [middle image]. The last frame has her at the Dwarkadheesh Temple where according to legend she dissolved and merged with the idol of Krishna inside [above].

Photos and text by Rama Arya

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Gangavatarana - descent of Ganga. Nandala Bose mural from Vadodadar Palace,

The story of Gangavatarana, descent of the River Ganga, is mentioned in various ancient Hindu scriptures including the Ramayana written by the Hindu sage, Valmiki. The descent is associated with Lord Shiva, the Lord of Destruction.

Replete in rich iconography, Shiva is represented here with three faces symbolising the three aspects of time: past, present, and future. His five hands hold the trident, a bowl of nectar, poison, conch, and a damaru. The sixth hand is extended in a consoling gesture. A garland of human skulls resembling flowers drapes around his arms and waist.

To the right of Shiva is Brahmas Kamandalu, a vessel for carrying water. From it ganga jal cascades over Shiva’s head, down to his feet. Ganga herself is shown in multiple forms. Firstly over Shiva’s head, secondly in the middle as Bhogavati, the Ganga which flows underground and Mandakini, the Ganga which remains in heaven, and lastly kneeling down at Shiva’s feet.

 Photos and text by Rama Arya

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Nandalal Bose mural at Vadodara palace.

Battle of Kurukshetra fought between the cousins, Kauravas and Pandavas. The central frame [top] shows Krishna persuading Arjun to fight on the lines of the Bhagwad Gita. To its left, Abhimanyu, ordered by his uncle Dharma to break the chakravyuha set by Dronacharya is shown surrounded by the Kaurava army, fighting valiantly without any weapons [this blog post’s title picture]. In the right frame [above], Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari lament the death of their sons, their bodies burning, turning into ashes.

Text at photos by Rama Arya

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SAD MORNINGS :: INDIA VLOG 3

It’s the third in the #TBGINDIAVLOGS series! This time, we’re off to a not-so-great start. Subscribe for more! 

May I introduce you my all-time favourite Indian princes...

Soma Asman Kadar, Prince of Bengal

Obligatory elephant riding scene:

Hakim Atawari, Prince of Jaipur

Obligatory elephant riding scene:

Niram Mata Singh Patel, Prince of Vadodara

Obligatory elephant riding scene:

Seriously though, why are Indian princes in mangas always the “selfish af, pushy af, rich af, competent & intelligent af, sociable af, pretty af, sometimes annoying but actually everyone’s low-key fave, E/ton college graduate or student, elephant-riding handsome character” and why do I fall for this stereotype everytime?? D:

‘Indian and Lesbian’ asserts this poster made by Vikalp in Vadodara, Gujarat. Posters asserting the rights of sexual minorities are few and far between and this one, in several languages, has been widely used.

Scanned from Poster Women (2006).

On Kaladesh and pronounciations

Hi friends,

A lot of requests have come in asking me to share how to pronounce a few of the words and names in Kaladesh, so I thought I’d do that this week to help prepare for the prerelease weekend. If i have time, i might even record a video! For now though, what follows is an introduction to how Indian languages work, and then a guide to pronouncing the handful of words in Kaladesh that are indic descended. For the safety and security of your browsing experience, I’ve included a cut.

Keep reading