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Exhibition on Rama Katha miniatures opens in Delhi

 
A two-month-long exhibition on "Rama-Katha -- The Story of Rama through Indian Miniatures" opened at the National Museum in the capital today.
 
The exhibition, which will run until October 13, was inaugurated by Union Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch.
 
Rama-katha, the story of Rama, is one of the most popular themes in the religious literature of India. 
 
The earliest source of Rama-katha is ‘Ramayana’ (the journey of Rama), attributed to sage-poet Valmiki, created around 5th-4th century BCE. The text, in Sanskrit, consists of around 24,000 shlokas (verse-couplets), divided into seven kandas (cantos). The text of Ramayana has undergone many revisions and modifications, and the earliest surviving manuscript of the work is less than 1,000 years old. 
 
An official press release said the exhibition consists of 101 masterpieces of the Ramayana theme paintings, from the collection of National Museum.
 
It attempts to let the visitor have an idea of the different styles of Indian miniature painting, reflecting on the interpretation of the same theme across stylistic genres.
 
All major styles of Pahari painting, namely Basohli, Guler, Chamba, Mandi, Kangra, Nurpur and Bilaspur are on display. Rajasthani styles represented are Mewar, Bundi, Kota, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Kishangarh and Deogarh. There are representations from Central Indian styles of Malwa, Orchha, Datia and Raghogarh, besides specimens of Provincial Mughal style from Bundelkhand. Deccani from Bijapur and classical folk style of Kalighat are also on display. 
 
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The release said that some of the outstanding miniature paintings on display are: The portrait of Rama, (Basohli style, Pahari, circa 1730); Sage Narada requests Valmiki to write the story of Rama, (Kangra style, Pahari, early 19th century); Rama breaks lord Shiva’s bow in the court of king Janaka, (Provincial Mughal style, Orchha, Bundelkhand, early 17th century); Wedding of Rama and Sita(Shangri Ramayana folio, Mandi style, Pahari, mid 18th century); Bharata returns to Ayodhya with Rama’s padukas, (Jaipur – Datia mixed style, Rajasthan mid 18th century); Rama, Lakshmana and the golden deer, (Kalighat style, Bengal, late 19th century); Setubandhanam: Rama and Lakshmana, with their army of monkeys and bears, cross the bridge to reach Lanka, (Guler style drawing, Pahari, circa 1770); Angada in the court of Ravana, (Provincial Mughal, Orchha, Bundelkhand, Central India, early 17th century); Hanuman, with Dronagiri mountain, Raghogarh style, (Central India, late 18th century); Ravana, sad and pensive, on his golden throne, (Kangra style, Pahari, early 19th century); Agni Pariksha- The fire ordeal of Sita, (Kangra style, Pahari, circa 1800) and Mother earth receiving her daughter Sita back to her womb, (Kangra style, Pahari, early 19th century). 
 
The exhibition will remain on view for the public from 16th August, 2013 to 13th October, 2013 except on Mondays. 
 
The exhibition will later travel to the Royal Museum of Art and History, Brussels, Belgium, where it will be on display for a duration of six months from 20th November, 2013 to 18th May, 2014. 
 
NNN
 
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