Friday, August 1, 2014

Ahalia Heritage Village - Part 2

For those who had not visited Hues n Shades last week or the first timers, read Part 1 before you proceed :) This post is indeed going to be a long post with an array of pictures...

Nature's lap and a haven for the tranquil, serene, green loving souls - Ahalia Heritage Village - has offered more than I had expected. Continuing our journey, here are a few more pictures that you won't be able to resist...

Let me begin with Devan Madangarly incredible artist himself. The mural below is his offering. There are such varied nuances to it that one could spend a whole day watching it! The tribal elements are massively prominent and I could think of nothing else but this 'tree of life'!

 The gateway to the Painting Gallery

Remember the Kerala Mural Camp from my previous post? This is how it looks inside...look at each wall and one would just stand there, jaws dropped!!! I was totally in awe of the art displayed here! 


An old, forlorn and futile bullock-cart revived to take the center-satge :)

The happy and hard-working girls make these for the different hospitals in the campus and for home decor on demand.

These are the works of Selvan, a skilled craftsman from what I see, who was unfortunately on the leave the day I visited as he was sick. Did you notice the Oscar Award model in the first pic??? It's made out of plaster of paris. The pic in the right end is from the root of a tree!!!

Moving on to the Tribal Mural Camp which was my prime purpose to visit Ahalia -

 Warli Mural (Tribal art from Maharashtra)

It is such an intricate work and the different patterns and elements are striking...A few hours of the day isn't enough to cover all these eye-candy!

Manimala Chitrakar 

 Folk artists - Husband and wife duo - from Bengal/Kolkata

Manimalaji's husband, Mr.Deep Chitrakar, a PhD holder, didnot miss even the slighest of detail about the mural of Mata Manush. He even went on to explain the psychology of artists and the influence of physhe on colours used and the various places he visited, what he found common  among the artists everywhere and so on. It was a delight talking to him and hearing the wise words of the rich artist in person...first-hand experience!
Artist from Odisha

 Artists from Andra Pradesh

 Artists from Nilgiris (district headquarters being Ooty), Tamil Nadu

After this drooling treat for the senses which was complete with Manimalaji's song that she sang with her pata scroll of Radha-Krishna as she unfurled it; the scroll and the tale (just click below at the video link), I eventually as if in a dream floated towards the Kerala mural camp beside the library where the folk tale of Parayi (Parayipetta Pandhirukulam)and her twelve sons was being born on the twelve walls from the hands of twelve talented young mural artists - Unni Amakkavu, Devan, Harikrishnan, Sujil, Sasi Kothachira, Binil, Anoop Ramakrishnan, Abhilash, Satheesan, Ramachandran, Sreerag and Santhosh.

Unni Amakkavu, the artist in the top left picture was kind enough to accompany us and explain the tale pictured in each mural.

Devan, the artist in the top left picture, is from Guruvayur mural institute and a gifted left-handed artist, with whom I had the opportunity to have a chat while having lunch. I couldn't get to know all the artists though. Hari and Sujil, these were the names that repeatedly came my way from Dhanesh, my guide. They are self-taught artists and I must they have done some incredibly fine jobs. The down left picture in the above frame is by Hari and the down right is by Sujil.
 Works of Hari

 Works of Sujil

This is the display area of the artworks of different artists at the Ahalia Eye Hospital .

 Finally these are the artworks I bought from the artisans :

Cherial painting I bought from Madhuji

Warli I bought from Janu and Manakiji

Santhal painting bought from Manimalaji

Finally, here's the video clip of Manimalaji...not a complete one though. I fiddled with my new mobile and the first part got cut. This starts after the first stanza I believe, but magical nevertheless... please do give her your ear and you will find it bewitching & the environment was such...I felt honoured when she offered to sing the song with pata scroll & I was literally in goosebumps...was it the weather or the song??! Definitely the Song :) Immediately she soared to the height of becoming one of my favourite artists. 

"Gaghori Bhoroni Choli Radha Rani..."

Sorry, the video clip isn't getting loaded!!! I reduced the size with Windows Movies Maker, still it's not getting loaded. I have been it till 1 am yesterday and the whole of today!!! The original file is MPEG Movie, 448 MB...reduced it to 68.8 MB, Windows Media Audio/Video file. Any tips to load it here, please let me know. 

As they say, last but not the least - The name I should not forget to mention and unfortunately I couldn't click a picture of, is the Director of Ahalia Heriatge Village, Mr.Vijaya Kumar Varma...whose brilliant and organized efforts is clearly visible in those surroundings and it's smooth functioning.

Note: Ahalia has free bus service from Mangalam Towers, Town Bus Stand, Palakkad to Ahalia Campus. The timings are 8:30 am, 10:50 am and 2:20 pm.

Linking it to Eva and Kristin's PPF...catch some amazing artists over there :)

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Ahalia Heritage Village - Part 1

"Gaghori Bhoroni Choli Radha Rani..."
I can still hear the echo of the Bangla song in Manimalaji's voice. It's still ringing inside me...I can't get over it!

My trip to Ahalia Heritage Village has been nothing but a dream come true. I am back invigorated and feeling miraculous! The warmth and hospitality with which they greeted is something uncommon these days. Everyone who drops here would certainly feel important. The place itself is set in an idlyllic environment where there exists nothing between you and nature. One will certainly feel refreshed!!! Thoughts are sure to get uncluttered and there would definitely be an inspiration over-doze! 

The main reason for the current celebration there is the 'Chitram' Tribal Art Camp which was on from 16 July which concluded today. Artists from Bengal, Odisha, Andra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have come together to colour the walls of Ahalia campus with their mesmerizing murals. The inaugural function was presided over by the well-known artist and photographer Pepitha Seth.

Be sure to be patient as this is indeed a long post with loads of pictures of the Heritage village.

This is an extremely interesting sculpture as this is based on Gandhiji's 3 monkey postures but in here you can see the monkey holding 3 Gandhijis with the same postures.

Different units or camps are scattered in the 3000 acre campus :



The green room or aniyara is situated between the amphi-theatre and the koothambalam. Yesterday when I visited they were preparing the koothambalam as they had a programme coming up that evening with invited dignitaries.

The Kerala mural camp is one that we should never even dream to miss. They are the treasure-house of our rich and vibrant mural culture. Each pillar, each wall is so inviting that one could spend a day for each one of them and this is definitely no exaggeration. 
This is where I was offered sumptuous food and that was a luxury for a visitor :)

Dhanesh holding the artwork of Sujil, an artist who is also in the process of doing a Kerala mural. 

Leaving you with a click of Dhanesh who accompanied me, guiding me patiently through the nook and corner of the camp briefing where ever necessary and offering all the help needed. Indebted to you Dhanesh :) 

Sneak peek of a talented artist & art

This is just the first part of the see what's inside the mural camp and the artists working on the walls as part of the camp, you need to come back...Be sure to check as there are some AMAZING (this is indeed an under-statement!) artists to blow over you. There is an interesting and drooling piece of audio clipping as well...stay tuned :)

Linking it to Eva & Kristin's PPF...Join the fun :)

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Disclaimer: I am not paid to promote Ahalia Heritage Village. It is out of my sheer interest for the place and fascination for the art that I am lovingly engaged in writing this post :)