Friday, January 29, 2016

Return Visit to the Indian Museum

We experience the festive atmosphere of colorful market stalls, food carts, and balloons on the walk leading to the entrance gate of the Indian Museum, Kolkata on our return visit.

Many school groups are in attendance...

This fine young gentleman is my escort and interpreter today.

On our way to see the Indian paintings, we find a formidable marble sculpture of Queen Victoria

This statue dedicated in 1877, happens to be from the year Victoria started learning the Hindi language. View Queen Victorias Hindustani diary.

Nearby is this bronze relief sculpture of John_Anderson_(zoologist) the first superintendent of the Indian Museum.

The museum recently celebrated its bicentennial. Incredible! Banners are hung throughout the hallways.

Unfortunately the Painting Gallery doors are padlocked on this visit, so we will explore some other areas. First a look into the stone and mineral room. 

Entering the room feels like stepping back into time. The minerals are displayed in grand wooden cabinets that appear untouched for a century or more.

Apothecary jars filled with samples are lined up neatly on the shelves.

An elegant marble buddha is out of place, unlike anything else in the room, and in a case mounted high on a column.

I wish I could draw with all this graphite!

These labels remind me that a friend has asked me to bring a rock from India home for her.

A large curious pile of rubble in the corner is baffling because no source is evident.  It must be intentionally stored here.

Amongst the rubble is an amazing rock formation splattered with paint.

Nearby a dark, intimate room contains a beautifully crafted model Stupa housing relics of the buddha.

Pre-Mauryan and Mauryan terracottas are tastefully arranged another gallery. 

The Mauryan Empire 322 BCE - 185 BCE spanned the time between Alexander the Great's departure until 50 years after Emperor Ashoka's death.

One can sense the artist's touch in this clay relief sculpture- bridging the gap of time.

Character in each terra cotta head is sensitively expressed.

The vast collection of fossils and bones is astounding.

The architectural proportions of this long gallery are perfect.

Another room is devoted to human evolution.

We exit a back door to see a special exhibit in ABC Hall, another building on the museum grounds. 

In ABC Hall, we learn the hall is named after the renowned mathematician Sir Asutosh Mukherjee who established Asutosh College affiliated with the University of Calcutta.

The special exhibition is a photography show by Benoy K. Behl and focuses on the worship of Hindu deities in Japan.

Many of the photographs show depictions of Saraswati, the goddess of learning and the arts.

Leaving ABC Hall, we pass through this charming alleyway...

stopping to chat with the dogs...

A mammoth clay Ganesh graces the courtyard of the museum surrounded by armature. 

I am unsure if it is a work in progress.

The courtyard is full of active children.

Many approach to ask why I am visiting from America.

I talk a while with these particularly delightful young women.

Today's tour is complete. Time to say farewell to the Indian Museum.