India has a rich and multicultural heritage which goes back many centuries. And Ahmedabad is home to a host of this heritage. To celebrate the World Heritage Day, which was on 18th of April, an exhibition is organised on 20th and 21st of April titled “A Visual Introduction to Indo-Islamic Art”. It is organised by a city based organisation called Virasat-e-Hind.
Virasat – e- Hind is the collaborative effort of 3 individual- Jitu Mishra, Shailja Shah and Abrar Ali Saiyed,. All 3 of them have different backgrounds but their love of heritage brings them together. Mr. Mishra is an Archaeologist trained at Deccan College, Pune. Ms. Shah received her education at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Dr. Saiyed has a PhD. from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
The organization focuses on 3 core activities related to heritage, they are: restoration and conservation of built heritage, education and heritage walks. As part of their activities the exhibition aims to educate the citizens on the richness of the Indo-Islamic art traditions.
The Sarkhej Roza Committee granted the organization permission to have the event at the monument. Many of the members of the trust were present at the inauguration on the morning of the 20th of April and the President of the Committee Mr AbrarAli S.Saiyed Spoke gave a short speech.
Mr. Mishra the curator of the exhibition talked about the rich tradition of Indo-Islamic art in the country its influences and its influence. The amalgamation of cultures makes India a remarkable place for arts and aesthetics. He also added that the exhibition, with its selection of 60 images, was a humble attempt to show some part of it.
The exhibition celebrates the rich artistic and aesthetic traditions of Islamic Art in India. The images have been clicked by Mr. Mishra during his travels through the country. Different corners of the countries find representation here. They include images from Bidar, Dholka, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Delhi, Champaner, Daulatabad and Ahmedabad. One can see examples of artistic and architectural elements like tiles, domes, pillars, jaalis and chhatris from different parts of the country.
The photographs also depict the different styles, techniques and art forms prevalent in the country. A book on the Exhibition was also launched; also available were books on Bidar and the Islamic Art of Ahmedabad.
The exhibition also had a display of Art and Craft created by local women on display. Self Employed Women’s Association(SEWA) and Shama School for Girls displayed their work. The beautiful work done by the women of the community is available for purchase.
Participants from varied walks of life visited the exhibition. School children from local schools as well as Anand Niketan visited the exhibition. One could see that the local community was stimulated by the exhibition. This was a great thing as often local communities are not involved in such events as pointed out by Dr. Saiyed. Hats off to the Virasat-e-Hind team!
The exhibition is open till the 21st of April. One should definitely visit it, not only to see to see the brilliant exhibition but also to enjoy the majestic and opulent Sarkhej Roza.
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