Didarganj Yakshini

Didarganj Yakshini


This museum in Bihar houses a 2300-year-old sculpture carved out of a single stone

In their pitch, a little booklet called "I Am The Bihar Museum", a prose-poem invites the viewers to find a "special place and time within my many spaces, artifacts, stories and collections."

It says "the people of Bihar forget where they came from. I am here to remind them, to remind you, constantly preserving, constantly kindling the flame."

Art requires a story, he says.

And then, he refers to the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci at the Louvre museum in Paris, where it is seen by six million people every year.

Annotated as life-size portrait, DaVinci's painting at the Louvre in Paris dating back to 500 years ago is perhaps a masterpiece but the highly polished Yakshi, a 5 feet 2 inches statue at the newly built Bihar Museum, could hold more intrigue in her timeless mystery.

The Chauri bearer stands against the dark red backdrop, illuminated by lights that accentuate her unworldly curves. The silent guardian, the Yakshini, an earth spirit, is the beloved of many and is believed to be 2,300 years old.

"The Didarganj Yakshini is the Mona Lisa of Bihar. Even better," says Anjani Kumar Singh, the chief secretary of Bihar, as he talks about the leap of faith for the state with the new Bihar Museum, which is built at a cost of Rs. 500 crore and is possibly the biggest museum in terms of scale in the country and the wide ranging collection from historical to contemporary art.

Anjani Kumar Singh, the chief scretary of Bihar, is the man behind the implementation of the Bihar museum project and is himself an art collector. Photo: Yasir Iqbal

"We must sell our stories. We must promote our heritage and our culture," says Anjani Singh, an IAS officer believed to be behind the massive museum project in Bihar that opened its doors to public on October 2, 2017.

The Didarganj Yakshi, carved out of a single piece of sandstone. Photo: Yasir Iqbal

The sandstone sculpture dating back to about 2,500 years ago and discovered 100 years ago at the banks of the Ganges, stands in isolation of her stature as the one who meets the standards of beauty as described in the Pali and Sanskrit treatises. It is believed that the most prized collection of the Bihar museum is this statue, which belonged to the times of Emperor Ashok. As per the museum records, the sculpture was found by Ghulam Rasool in 1917 in Didarganj where villagers used the underside of her submerged back in riverside mud to wash clothes as recorded by the then commissioner of Patna EHS Walsh records.

"Imagine the vision of the artist to have carved her out of a single piece of sandstone," says JPN Singh, the Bihar Museum director.

JPN Singh, the Additonal Director of the Bihar Museum, says the Diaspore section is an ode to the indentured labourers from Bihar

When the international museum as it is commonly called for its "strange" architecture designed by a Japanese firm was inaugurated on October 2, and doors were opened to the public five years after it was conceptualized, India's 25 top living artists, including Himmat Shah, Subodh Gupta, Jatin Das and Arpana Caur, had walked in its corridors looking at their own works displayed in galleries alongside those that housed the ancient artifacts from so many centuries ago.

The Bihar museum will display 25,000 artifacts in its historical galleries. Photo: Yasir Iqbal

With Rs 100 as ticket price, the crowds are swelling even on weekends. The museum is still work in progress and in the pipeline is a restaurant with curated Bihari dishes among other things. The Bodhi tree logo carved in wood at the entrance is the favorite selfie spot for the visitors.

"Imagine a village woman coming and looking at contemporary art," says acclaimed artist Subodh Gupta, whose installation will soon be part of the new museum. "Other states and the government of India must learn from Bihar."

In 2010, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had been at the erstwhile Patna Museum when he was told what he witnessed wasn't even 20 percent of the collection of the museum. Because of limited space constraints, only about a fifth of almost 49,000 artifacts including thousands of palaeoliths, microliths and neoliths from different parts of Bihar, could be displayed. In India, around 1814, the first museum was built by the British in Kolkata and then in 1906, the second in Chennai. The Patna Museum or Jaadughar as it is commonly known was built as the third museum and opened to public in 1928.

After the visit, the CM decided to build a state-of-the-art museum and got together an international jury to select a design.

"The Bihar Museum is an investment in the future of Bihar," says Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

In July 2013, the foundation stone for the museum was laid.

In 2011, Maki and Associates was announced as the winner of an international competition for designing the Bihar Museum at Bailey Road and while the first phase was inaugurated in 2015, the doors were opened to the public to all its galleries on October 2, 2017. The government even called the top artists to participate in a camp for four days to make art on Gandhi to commemorate the Champaran movement and Gandhi Jayanti. Among them, Debanjan Roy, a Kolkata-based artist, painted a canvas with a "sad Gandhi" and used miniature style on a blue background to evoke the dark times we live in.

"This is a canvas that asks if non-violence was brace or not for Gandhi through his sad portrait," Roy says.

From 2010 onwards, Singh went as the nodal officer to observe all the museums of the world and says he felt that museums must have a connect to the society. For instance, he says, that Louvre and St. Petersburg museums are housed in "given buildings" and the museum on Bihar was envisioned also as a museum of architecture.

"We did not want to copy anyone," he says. "The Japanese design was simple and functional and it was ground floor plus one. The Japanese have a flair for keeping things simple. Cor-ten steel was used for the walls and a lot of people think the iron is rusted but it is an act by design."

There was no advisory committee and he had searched on internet for famous contemporary artists then and written to them. Anjani Kumar himself is an art collector for the last eight years and is almost a connoisseur.

"We had to draw a line because it was public money and I'd rather buy children ice cream than buy expensive artwork with public money because the display is going to help artists with a wide audience," he says.

Maki & Associates (Tokyo) with OPOLIS in Mumbai were in a close race with Foster & Partners who were awarded 75.59 percent against Maki's 77.56 per cent. The Cabinet of the Government of Patna approved the selection of Maki & Associates on 24th Jan, 2012. The Japanese design firm finalized a "campus" approach, which was complex and yet functional and organized, and includes an entrance pavilion, exhibition galleries, and administrative building, etc. The education area is located in a separate building located in the garden and gallery spaces are organized around a courtyard with the dispersed approach adopted to allow for flexibility in design.

Canada-based Lord Cultural Resources, the world's oldest cultural planning consultancy with more than 1800 museum and cultural planning assignments under its belt, were also roped in as the master planning consultants for this project.

Among the five chosen design firms out of list of 26 were Coop Himmelb(l)au (Vienna) with ARCHOHM, Foster plus Partners (London) with C. P. Kukreja & Associates, Maki & Associates (Tokyo) with OPOLIS, Snohetta (Oslo) with Spacematters, and Studio Daniel Libeskind (New York) with Morphogenesis chosen by an international jury comprising of Anjani Kumar Singh, who was then the Principal Secretary, Department of Human Resource Development and Nodal Officer for the project, artist Subodh Gupta, Dr. Martin Roth, Director, Victoria & Albert Museum, UK, Roisin Heneghan, Heneghan Peng Architects, Ireland, and Prof. Neelkanth Chhaya, Dean, School of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad.

The design by Foster was beautiful, Anjani Kumar says.

"It had this roof like an egg holder you see in the market to play on the light and shadow but we wanted a simple structure that would show the tenacity of Biharis," he says.

And with this museum, we are looking into the future, he says.

"History must be experienced," he adds.

Built on a "campus" of 5.3 hectares, the museum provides 24,000 square meters of built area and uses unusual material like weathering steel for exterior cladding, which again is symbolic of metallurgy and India's prominence in international steel industry. With five sections, including multiple history galleries, a contemporary art and temporary exhibition gallery, a regional art gallery that is a tribute to the culture of Mithila, Bhojpur, Magahi and Angika areas, a diaspora gallery that focuses on the migrations history of indentured labourers and their subsequent relocation, and a children's gallery, it is perhaps one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by a state.

An installation in bronze by Sanjay Kumar. Photo: Yasir Iqbal

The collection ranges from Bodhisattvas statues, sculptures of Gandhar style to the artifact chest of Lord Buddha, which contains the ashes of Buddha, discovered in Vaishali. Now, the next museum in the pipeline is coming up in Vaishali to be carved out of stones for which 73 acres of land has been acquired and a Delhi-based architect firm is designing the museum which will house the ashes of Buddha. It is estimated the the museum will cost the state exchequer more than Rs. 300 crores.

According to the additional Museum director JPN Singh, the ashes were discovered in Vaishali in 1959 and it was brought to the Patna Museum.

"Every year, 2-3 lakhs tourists come to Bodh Gaya from all over. A museum in Vaishali with Buddha's ashes will be yet another tourist attraction," Singh says. "It will have a meditation center and artifacts related to Buddhism."

He says there are 25 museums in Bihar, which makes it a state with the most museums and these are rich museums.

"This museum is an experience museum and is in the complex structure category," he says. "The existing trees were not cut and the building was designed to accommodate them."

The chief secretary says Bihar doesn't need to be bothered by the stereotypical projections on to itself of an ailing state, deprived of cultural and historical contexts.

A poor state can dream big, he says.

At least three PILs have been filed in the Patna High Court asking the government to justify the logic of the expenditure behind the museum. In 2015, the Patna High Court directed the state government to submit an affidavit in this regard during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a man named Ashok Kumar, which questioned the utility of constructing the museum utilising public funds. Five colonial style bungalows had to be demolished, including the one which was state accommodation for the income tax commissioner, to build the museum that stands out amidst the worn down buildings and the new glass and cement structures that define the landscape of Patna.

51-year-old Dulari Devi is a native of Madhubani and a state award winner for her painting. Her work is among the 17 chosen ones for the Regional Art Gallery at Bihar Musueum. Photo: Yasir Iqbal

In many ways, given the volatility of politics and the claims for granting Bihar the status of a special state, the museum is an unjustified expense for many. But then, it is important to claim the past legacy, says Anjani Kumar.

"After independence, no museum has been made like this. The glass has come from Scotland and Germany, the fabricator from Singapore. While it is a historical museum, the other sections are very important. We believe that after Jharkhand was carved out of the state of Bihar, we could develop Bihar as an art and culture hub as we owned world class artifacts. The imagination is that we can hold a biennale," he says, referring to the mammoth convention hall, which is again worth about Rs. 500 crores and has a capacity of at least 10,000 people. This is our way of making Bihar an art destination," he says.

The museum has been registered as a society because such institutions cannot flourish under bureaucracy, according to Singh.

In November 2015, Anjani Kumar, whose sprawling government quarters at Circular Road, is a museum in itself with works from Himmat Shah to Kalal Laxma Goud's charcoal landscapes, wrote to 25 top living contemporary artists including the Satish Gujral and Subodh Gupta, the native of Bihar and considered the god of contemporary art. In fact, in 2012, the first public art display of his work was in Bihar during centennial celebrations, which was a 26-foot cactus made of thousands of stainless steel utensils at the Rajdhani Vatika eco-park in the capital. The artist had said the work was symbolic of the endurance of the people of Bihar. Singh invited the artists to donate their artworks against an honorarium payment of Rs. 5 Lakhani each for the contemporary section of the museum conceived in 2010. The contemporary art gallery has works ranging from Jatin Das to Arpita Caur and Himmat Shah. Outside the galley, an installation in bronze by the other famous export from the state Sanjay Kumar, who like Subodh Gupta graduated from the Arts and Crafts College in Patna in the, is yet another commitment to the state by its artists.

"I said I wanted the artworks because we would display it to public. I told the artists that here they could be viewed by the world rather than being just confined to galleries and homes of art collectors," Singh says.

In an open area, a plaque with an impression of the huge installation inspired by the idea of the Rangoli by Subodh Gupta stands. So far, the biggest installation by the artist who grew up in Khagaul and has often been hailed as India's Damien Hirst by the stalwarts in art who probably don't understand the nostalgia quotient of his work , Gupta is currently working on it and says the government will only cover the cost of the installation.

"For my state, I decided to do it," he says.

The herd of fish made by Jamui-based local craftsperson Pranmohan Sah, an auspicious symbol in Bihar, is hung with wires and seems like they are floating in space. At the regional art gallery, perhaps one of the more interesting spaces in the new museum, there are about 17 works to celebrate he culture and crafts of Bihar.

In a corner, Dulari Devi, 51, stands with the sari pallu drawn over her face. Hailing from Ranti, a small hamlet in Madhubani, she was Dulari Devi was awarded the Bihar State Award for Excellence in Art (2012-13) and a painting commissioned by the museum now hangs along with others celebrating the varied craft of her region.

A terracotta installation, inspired by the folklore of Sama-Chakeba, by Rajat Ghose. Photo: Yasir Iqbal

"This canvas took me a year to finish and I have painted the scenes of our traditional Kamala Puja," she says.

Born in a community of fisher folk, she used to work as a house help at the residence of the famous Mithila painter Mahasundari Devi and watching her paint made her happy. She started assisting with filling colours and in time, she developed her own style. "They sold their paintings and I wondered if one day I could sell my paintings and earn money," she says.

She had been about 12 yeas old at the time and she enrolled in Sewa Mithila project to learn the craft.

The folklore and he tradition is forever preserved in her massive painting.

"We have a river called Kamala and we worship Lord Koylavir who once prayed for the wellbeing of fisherfolk to the river goddess and asked her not to flood us," she says. "It is a full moon night when we worship the river and the gods and use chillum, khaini, alcohol, etc for the puja."

All these are depicted in her painting in the Bharni style which according to Gupta is a masterpiece in itself.

"We have to push our crafts to the national and international level," says Anjani Singh.

In the room, there is an Aadi Shakti version made in papier mache by Sharad Kumar, who learned from stories told to him by his grandmother about the significance of the primeval deiti. And then, a terra-cotta installation inspired by the folklore of Sama-Chakeba, the daughter and son of Lord Krishna where the daughter was turned into a bird and later brought back to self by her brother, is in contrast with another terra-cotta installation, which is a parallel version of the same mythology but here Sama and Chakeba are lovers.

Ghosh, a senior of Gupta, who won the national award for his sculptures and terra-cotta work in 1984, is one of the most mysterious artists from Bihar. He has remained in Patna most of his life and is among the lost artists who never found patronage or support for their craft. In 2012, along with Gupta, Ghosh had made a nine-tonne iron and steel sculpture of Raja Shailesh, the king of Dusadh community in Mithila, at the same park for the Bihar Divas celebrations. A 1978 alumni of Patna College of Arts and Crafts, Ghosh says the museum is a beacon of light for artists in Bihar.

"It is a leap of faith for us," he says.

In the diaspora gallery, musical instruments, it seems, are floating in the air. This part is an ode to the indentured labourers from Bihar, who settled in countries like Mauritious, Guyana, the Caribbean Islands, etc.

In November, when the chief minister and the chief secretary visit Mauritious, they would bring back artifacts to put in the diaspora museum.

"We must do all we can," he says.

At his residence, the stone sculptures by Himmat Shah are illuminated by the numerous lamps. The canvases are innumerable.

When he retires, he plans to open a private museum.

"Two rooms will be dedicated to the museum," he says. "As Biharis, we have to prove ourselves all the time. Now, we take over."


8 cultural practices of Harappan Era that has still been continued till today

Harappan or Sarasvati-Sindhu Valley civilization dates to at-least 5000 years. While almost all the ancient civilization has totally disappeared and it’s rare to even find a trace of them. It may come as a shock to see that there are many Indian cultures that are a continuity of this age-old Harappan era. It certainly makes India one of the oldest survivor of ancient civilization and here are 8 of its examples.

1. Tilaka

A Tilaka is an auspicious decorative jewelry worn by young girls and women in India. Especially worn by Hindu women, they wear it on their forehead. The origin of Tikka can be found in ancient times but has lost this significance in modern life and is mostly worn all over the world as an accessory. However, it is surprising to know that it has its origins in Harappan civilization.

Today, we can still find many Harappan terracotta figures wearing a turban-like headdress and tilaka on the forehead, which can be found from the book ‘Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization’. Furthermore, sculptures of a woman from Bharhut stupa which dated to 200-100 BCE wearing tilaka on the forehead and similar headdress are also seen. Similarly, modern Hindu women from north-western states are also famously wearing similar Tilaka as a local fashion.

2. Bangles

Bangles which is also known as Kangan, are an important ornament for all married as well as unmarried women in India. Since ancient times, there is a tradition of making bangles, from various metals, glass, conch, sealing-wax, and ivory.

The culture of wearing bangles, especially wearing them all over the arms by women can be traced to the Harappan culture. It is a common practice to wear Harappan bangles by the Harappan ‘dancing girl’ is widely found in sculptures. Also, Mauryan Didarganj Yakshini is also seen wearing the same sort of bangles on her arm. As a result, modern woman from North-West India wearing same bangles on her hand.

3. Waist chain

Waist chain or belly chain is commonly known as Kamarband or Udhyanam or Odyanam. It is normally just a simple chain or crafted jewelry worn around the waist. It is believed that woman used to decorate their hip by wearing ornamental jewelry ever since thousands of years or more. As seen in sculptures and paintings from the time dating back to the ancient civilization, waist chains worn by Hindu women can be traced to the Harappan tradition.

Some examples of it can be seen in the Harappan terracotta figure who is seen wearing waist chain, that is taken from the book ‘Excavations at Harappa’. Sculpture of a female from Mathura dated to 100-200 CE can also be seen wearing same waist chain as seen in the other Harappan figure. Due to which, its a definite result of the follow up of the ancient Indian tradition that different Modern waist chains are worn by Indian women.

4. Anklets

Anklets are anything worn around the ankle as a fetter, ornament, or a support. They are also known as ankle bracelets and foot bangles which have been worn by women throughout the history. Aside from functioning as foot adornments, they have been a part of the tradition of Indian women.

Special sort of Anklets can be traced back to the Harappan culture which Hindu women can be seen wearing even today. Its examples can be taken from the book, ‘The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati’. Furthermore, the sculpture of a woman from Mathura which dated to 100-200 CE can also be seen wearing similar anklets. Hence, modern Rajasthani women are found wearing same anklets.

5. Swastikas

Although, a reverse swastika is a symbol used by of one of the most hated men on Earth. The real Swastika has been an important symbol for the Hindus for thousands of years. Even to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance – on Hindu temples, on the cover of ancient books and in fact almost everywhere such as buses and taxis.

The mysterious symbol is a widespread ancient icon all over the world, but particularly in India, it was a common symbol which still remains a sacred symbol since the ancient era of Harappan civilization. Thus we can even see Swastikas, in the book ‘Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization’.

6. Bathing platforms

Bathing is an everyday need. Even if not every day, everybody bathes. While some bathes under a simple tap, some prefer some bathing platforms. Even today, especially in villages and communities, people have platforms or tanks that can be seen in many Hindu temples as well. We can trace the origins of this tradition to the Harappan civilization, where bathing platforms like the famous ‘Great Bath’ have been found. The Great Bath of Mohenjo Daro has been famously mentioned in ‘Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization’ and many other books. A similar tank from Nagarjunakonda site also dates to 200-300 CE. Such platforms are found in many modern Hindu temples as well.

7. Yogic practices

Yoga is an age-old wisdom tradition that helps us move from constriction to expansion, from fear to love, and from separation to unity. At its core, yoga means union, the union of body, mind, and soul the union of the ego and the spirit the union of the mundane and the divine.

It is so obvious that there are ancient roots of Yoga. However, it may come as a surprise to see most of the basic Yogic meditative postures mentioned in Harappan civilization. An example of it is a terracotta figurine with folded hands in ‘Namaste’ posture which can be seen in the book, ‘Excavations at Harappa’.

8. Fire altars

Fire, also known as Agni, is celebrated in the Vedic hymns and kindled upon earth to carry prayers and offerings to the highest heavens. Great rituals, such as Yagnas, often involve several fire rituals.

Even common domestic rituals of the householder such as daily rites, marriage rites, and funeral rites took place at the fire altar. Laying and ritually kindling the fire altar was the job of Brahmin priests.

However, bricks were made for fire altars are found in Harappan sites which clearly indicates the presence of Vedic rituals in Harappan civilization. This is another continuity from the Harappan era where no Vedic ritual was possible without making use of fire altar. Hence we can see fire altar at the Kalibangan site of Harappan civilization and also fire altar from Lothal site of Harappan civilization which is taken from the book ‘The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati’.

Therefore, it is our duty to protect and safeguard the ancient traditions passed down from an ancient civilization. Many of the modern Hindu or Indian traditions can be dated back to thousands of years, ever since the mighty and legendary Harappan era.


Bihar Museum Biennale, a curation of nostalgia

Though largely an online event, the Biennale has a physical presence at the Bihar Museum in Patna.

Monica Arora

As a curation of memories, museums are custodians of objects that carry with them auras of a bygone era. Therefore, museum spaces have a unique sanctity in terms of the repository they carry. As an ode to museums situated in India and abroad, the Bihar Museum Biennale is the first museum biennale in the world. Conceived by Anjani Kumar Singh, the nodal officer of the Bihar Museum and adviser to the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, along with the CM, this is a one-of-its kind attempt to present the art housed within museums and make art more accessible to the masses.

Owing to the pandemic, the biennale was shifted from March 2020 to 2021 and this year, it is taking place largely as an online event from March 22-28 and has a diminished physical presence at the Bihar Museum in Patna.

Lifesize 5&rsquoX 2&rdquo tall statue of Didarganj Yakshini at the Bihar Museum.

Art historian and curator Alka Pande, the project director of the biennale, elaborates: &ldquoThe inspiration has been the state of Bihar. As an art historian, I have always believed that Bihar has been an integral part of Indian history. It was the seat of the origin of the Maurayan Empire and Emperor Ashoka was the voice of peace and integrity for ancient India.

&ldquoThis was the state where cultural emblems such as the Ashoka Pillar and the Ashok Chakra originated. The first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad, had said, &lsquoThe history of Bihar is the history of India.&rsquo The seamless transformation from Patliputra to Patna has been the story of Indian politics, humanism, and religion,&rdquo she says.

Twelve Indian museums and six international ones are participating. These include the Assam State Museum City Palace Museum, Udaipur Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal Kanha Museum of Life and Art, Madhya Pradesh Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi Museo Camera, Gurugram Museum of Art & Photography, Bengaluru Museum of Goa, Panaji National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi Piramal Museum, Mumbai, and Virasat-e-Khalsa, Anandpur Sahib. The National Museum of Columbia, the Museo Marino Marini in Italy, the National Museum of Interventions in Mexico and several international museums are also represented.

International speakers such as British art historian Neil MacGregor director of Digital at the Tate, UK, Hilary Knight Scientific, Curatorial and Collections management director at Louvre, Abu Dhabi, Souraya Noujaim, and many others are an integral part of this cultural extravaganza that draws to an end today.

As Pande elucidates, &ldquoThe event includes two days of international conferences, and four days of master-class sessions, most of which are bilingual. These are designed in order to connect people and cultures with the interdisciplinary aspect of visual arts. With the inclusion of national and international museums at the biennale, the museum is then perceived as a melting pot of ideas and cross-cultural learnings.&rdquo

The Bihar Museum essentially comprises the history galleries and the art gallery, besides the contemporary Children's Gallery. For Pande, &ldquoIt is a repository of the rich artistic treasure of Bihar. For instance, the Didarganj Yakshini, a majestic 5&rsquoX 2&rdquo tall statue, is an epitome of the power, grace and beauty of the Indian woman. Three chests depicted in the exhibits of Sher Shah Suri depict the copper paisa, the silver rupiah and the gold mohurs that he created. Plus the enamouring Kurkihar bronzes are part of the hidden treasures of the Bihar museum.&rdquo

The Bihar Biennale has set a benchmark in virtual art viewings, particularly in context of the world turning from physical to virtual post-pandemic. As Pande says, &ldquoThe dynamism of the ever-evolving white cube space will acquire an even more vibrant dimension when observed as the virtual.&rdquo


Curation At The Cost Of History: A Tale Of Two Bihar Museums

The making of the two Bihar museums shows how their acquisitions as well as the taxonomies of display has been designed to present a visual narrative of a preconstructed version of the historic past.

“Bridge to the past Gateway to the future” is the watchword of the newly opened Bihar Museum at Patna. This has been conceived to celebrate Bihar’s ancient past and inculcate a sense of pride in modern day “Biharis.” Yet the irony of the situation is that the point of conception of this modern museum is also one of dissolution of a chapter of Bihar’s heritage. After all, the core collection of the new museum has been built by appropriating the most prized artefacts of the historic Patna Museum, such as the Didarganj yakshini, Kurkihar bronzes and 18th century Daniell prints.

The combined province of Bihar and Orissa was carved out from the Bengal Presidency in 1912 with its capital at Patna. The Patna Museum was soon established in 1917 to preserve antiquities found in the state, in their natural surroundings, as also to present a visual history of the region and project its artistic and cultural heritage. Prior to its establishment, all archaeological artefacts found in Bihar were carted off to the Indian Museum, Calcutta. With the establishment of the Patna Museum, there was a concerted drive to recover these “exiled” objects and display them in the new museum. The founding of the Patna Museum thus marked an important moment in the politics of provincial reconfiguration, Bihari nationalism and heritage making.

The present Chief Minister of Bihar and top bureaucrats of the state, in investing Rs 500 crore in a state of the art Bihar Museum, whose collection is being built by scavenging from the core collection of the Patna Museum, probably do not realise the heritage value of the latter.Neither do they seem to be aware of an erstwhile museum by the same name which at a certain juncture in history had similarly attempted to formulate an “official” version of the religious, cultural and artistic heritage of Bihar.

Altering provenance
The first Bihar Museum, established in the late 19th century by A.M. Broadley in Bihar Sharif (located about 15 kilometres south of Nalanda) was not just the oldest museum in Bihar but also one of the oldest in India. Broadley was the district magistrate of Bihar Sharif in the 1860s and was one of the earliest surveyors and explorers of Bihar. Broadley, like his colonial contemporaries, was on a mission to identify Buddhist sites in the region based on the travelogues of Chinese scholars Faxian and Xuanzang and to add to the existing knowledge of the life of the historical Buddha. During the course of his amateur excavations, Broadley collected many sculptures and architectural fragments , with which he established a museum at the collector’s bungalow at Bihar Sharif.

Broadley, being the district magistrate, had the economic means and a large labour force, including prisoners, to help excavate these sites. On some days, as he himself recorded, he could dig four archaeological sites and temples in just half an hour. He gathered valuable Buddhist relics which lay buried at the core of the stupas, dismantled shrines and carried away any slabs, inscriptions, sculptures and doorways which interested him. He did not just pick up loose fragments or stray sculptures but actually broke down structures to add to his collection. With this assortment of artefacts, he established a large, open air museum at his official residence. He published his findings from archaeological sites as The Buddhistic Remains of Bihar in the Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1872 and later as an individual volume by the same name. He recorded the collection of at least 686 artefacts from his excavations, though he gave no details on the original find spots, “letting his desire for additions to the collection triumph more careful work.”

In the pursuit of building a museum, he moved the artefacts from their original provenance and context, thus tampering with significant archaeological evidence. The Broadley collection continued to move around over time, their excavation and collection just the first step in their displacement. In 1891, the Government of Bengal decided to transfer the contents of the Bihar Museum to the Indian museum in Calcutta, where some of these sculptures were displayed while others were stored in the museum’s reserve collection. P.C. Mukherji of the Indian Museum was entrusted with the task of removing the Broadley collection from “Behar” (meaning Bihar Sharif) to Calcutta and to assist in their arrangement and cataloguing at the Indian Museum.

During this transfer many objects were damaged and broken, so much that subsequently, different fragments of the same sculpture landed up in separate museums. Such is the case of a particular image of Vishnu whose one arm is now in the Patna Museum and the rest of the image is in the Indian Museum. The much larger impact of this relocation was that in the labels and original accession registers of the Indian Museum, the source of these sculptures was listed as “Bihar” indicating the erstwhile Bihar Museum and not the site where they were found, thus resulting in a permanent loss of information about the original provenance of the objects. Towards the end of the 19th century, Theodore Bloch assumed the post of First Assistant to the Superintendent of the Indian Museum and wrote the museum’s new registers. He once again recorded the origin of these 686 artefacts as Bihar, referring to Bihar Sharif, thus obliterating the original provenance and identity of these artefacts.

A large part of the Broadley collection travelled around the world with different identities, history and provenance. Once the Patna Museum was founded, a significant portion of this collection was transferred there from the Indian Museum. These sculptures are still listed in the Patna Museum catalogues as from the Broadley Collection. ’ The Indian Museum registers also show that some pieces were given to other fledgling museums in India. Objects from the erstwhile Bihar Museum are now found in museums across the world such as at Cleveland Museum of Art, the Rockefeller Collection, New York and in the Museum fur Indische Kunst, Berlin, to name a few.

The nomenclature of these artefacts is often confusing on account of Broadley’s limited knowledge of the identity, provenance and faith of many sculptures. For instance, Vishnu and Surya have often been classified as Buddha and the Buddhist goddess Tara as Buddha’s mother, Mayadevi. This confusion might also have been deliberate since Broadley had set out with the agenda of identifying the Buddhist elements of the region. Most sculptures of the Broadley collection can be dated between the 9th and the 11th centuries, but in a few sculptures, older artistic styles are also evident. Clearly Broadley visited some fairly early sites during his excavations, which takes the history of the region further back into antiquity.

Broadley and other amateur surveyors and collectors like Francis Hamilton Buchanan and Alexander Cunningham (who later became the first director general of the Archaeological Survey of India) significantly altered the fate of hundreds of sculptures and antiquities from Bihar. Their haphazard excavations not only left the ruins to the ravages of treasure seekers from neighbouring villages but destroyed crucial archaeological evidence. The sculptures clearly came from different sites and the knowledge of the original source and archaeological context of these sculptures could throw significant light on the religious history of the region and the evolution of iconography. It could also bring forward many sites in Patna and other districts in Bihar, which would shift focus from a Buddhist centric history of the region, focussing on Nalanda, Rajgir and Bodh Gaya, to other archaeological sites that may have not been identified or sufficiently explored.

History repeating itself?
The two Bihar museums, Broadley’s museum in Bihar Sharif and the present one in Patna came about in vastly different times and circumstances. The new Bihar Museum has state of the art facilities of display, cataloguing, climate control and more so, a building exclusively designed to provide museum goers with an enriching visual experience. Broadley’s Bihar Museum did not just lack a building, with artefacts displayed in the open, but it also lacked a scientific display, nomenclature and labelling, thus defying the modern day idea of museums and curatorial practices.

However, what binds the two museums together across time is how they acquired the artefacts that comprise their core collections. The making of the two museums shows how their acquisitions as well as the taxonomies of display has been to present a visual narrative of a pre-constructed version of the historic past. While Broadley was looking for Buddhist remains, he gathered what he felt were good examples of Buddhist artistic feats, all other evidence being only circumstantial. At one point he records, “I rarely found a single figure which I can confidently assert to be purely Hindu,” despite the presence of a considerable number of sculptures of Hindu divinities in his collection.

As a colonial officer, Broadley adhered to the British version of India’s past which divided Indian history into successive Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim periods. Buddhism was regarded as the original religion of India while Hinduism, as a phenomenon that came much later, was understood as esoteric and degenerate and its icons “monstrous” and “obscene”. Within this colonial discourse, any relic that did not suit the vision of a pristine Buddhist past was discarded and treated as merely incidental.

Much like Broadley’s museum, the new Bihar Museum has been constructed by tearing down older heritage structures. The land for the new museum was acquired by demolishing at least five colonial style bungalows, which were built on Bailey Road in Patna sometime in the early 1900s. While the Lutyens bungalows in New Delhi, which were built later, have been protected by heritage laws, the bungalows in Patna which were designed by the Australian architect J.F. Munnings did not meet the same fate. This clearly reflects the current government’s understanding of what constitutes heritage and is hence worthy of being preserved.

The process of acquisition and collection of artefacts for the new Bihar Museum is also similar to the older one – the museum is selectively acquiring from the Patna Museum artefacts from before the year 1746. This selective acquisition of artefacts can present only a partial and particular version of the state’s history. In a manner similar to the colonial fashion, the brand new galleries of the Bihar Museum will once again showcase the “glory of Bihar” through a sequential arrangement of relics as Buddhist-Mauryan-Gupta-Pala-Sena-Mughal or alternatively as Buddhist, Jain, Hindu and Muslim. The history of the region has been reduced to a succession of dynasties, fragmented histories and a linear evolution of its artistic and cultural heritage.

The post-18th century history and artefacts of Bihar including those from the period of the freedom struggle have been side-lined and will be displayed in the old Patna Museum. The Didarganj yakshini, the Bihar Museum’s most coveted object stands in a newly painted gallery, but starkly isolated and devoid of any historical and temporal context. She has travelled the world as an ambassador of Indian art and yet the present government in a rather unimaginative, colonial fashion has labelled her as the “Mona Lisa of Bihar.” The Bihar Museum in its attempt to consolidate a “Bihari identity” and appeal to “Bihari diaspora” has erased the moment when the state was first carved out and the crucial role of the Patna Museum in crystallising its provincial identity.

Any discussion of the history of Bihar till date is focussed around the themes of its Buddhist past and the glories of the Mauryan empire. Several pieces from Broadley’s Bihar Museum after several centuries of relocation have again arrived at a new home at the new Bihar Museum. But the identities which Broadley attempted to establish through his Bihar Museum continue to define the paradigms within which the region and its history are still being projected. A distorted history is repeating itself. #KhabarLive


Didarganj Yakshini - History

Yaksh reliefs. Bharhut, 2nd century BCE

Mathura Yaksh, 1st-2nd century CE

Image of Yaksh from Parkham Mathura, 3rd-2nd century. Mathura Museum.

Yaksh (Yakha, Yakkha) is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu mythology, Jain and Buddhist mythology. The feminine form of the word is yaksi or yakshini (Pali: yakkhi or yakkhini).

General character :

In Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology, the Yaksh has a dual personality. On the one hand, a yaksh may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains but there is a much darker version of the yaksh, which is a kind of cannibalistic ogre, ghost or demon that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers, similar to the rakshash.

In Kalidas's poem Meghadut, for instance, the Yaksh narrator is a romantic figure, pining with love for his missing beloved. By contrast, in the did actic Hindu dialogue of the Yaksaprasnah ("questions of the Yaksh"), a dangerous cannibalistic Yaksh, the tutelary spirit of a lake, threatens the life of the epic hero Yudhisthir.

The Yakshs may have originally been the tutelary gods of forests and villages, and were later viewed as the steward deities of the earth and the wealth buried beneath.

In Indian art, male Yakshs are portrayed either as fearsome warriors or as portly, stout and dwarf -like. Female Yaksh, known as Yakshini, are portrayed as beautiful young women with happy round faces and full breasts and hips.

In the state of Kerala, in South India, Yakshis are depicted as vampire enchantresses.

The Kirats are Limbu, Rai, Yakkha, Sunuwar and Lepch tribes of Eastern Nepal.

Yaksha in Mahabharat :

The banks of river Narmada is described as the birth place of yaksh king Kuber (Vaisravan), where his father Visravas, who was a sage, lived. It is also a territory of Gandharvs. (Mahabharat: 3,89). Gokarn, Karnataka is also mentioned as a place of yakshs and Pisach Kingdom, and Kinnara Kingdom and the great Nagas Kingdom and Siddhas and charans and gandharvs. (3,85)

Van Parv, Mahabharat / Book III Chapter 174 tells us Pandvs journey twelfth year of their sojourn in forests having arrived reach Saraswati River. The holy fig, the rudaraksh, the rohitak, the cane and the jujube, the catechu, the sirish, the bel and the inguda and the karira and pilu and sami trees grew on the banks of the Saraswati. Wandering about with contentment in (the vicinity of) the Saraswati which was, as it were, the home of the celestials, and the favourite (resort) of Yakshs and Gandharvs and Maharshis, those sons of kings lived there in happiness."

Yaksh in Buddhism :

In Buddhist countries Yaksh are known under the following names: Chinese language Pinyin, Japanese language: nihongo|Yasha|, Burmese language: ba-lu.

In Buddhist mythology, the Chinese language Pinyin are the attendants of Vaisravan, the Guardian of the Northern Quarter, a beneficent god who protects the righteous. The term also refers to the twelve heavenly generals who guard the Buddh of Medicine.

In Mahavansa:

Mahavansa / Chapter 10 writes.Ten years after his consecration did Pandukabhaya the over the whole of the island of Lanka. With Kalavel and Cittaraj, who were visible (in bodily form) the prince enjoyed his good fortune, he who had Yakkhas and Bhutas for friends. Between the king Pandukabhaya and Abhaya were seventeen years without a king.

Yakshs in Jats :

The prakrit form of the sanskrit word Yaksh is Jakh. Some of the jat clans having possible linkages with the Yakshs are Jakhar, Jakha, Jakhaudia.

Jakhar :

The Jat historian Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria) writes that Jakhar is derived from Yaksh. This tribe Jakhar claim Jakha or Jakhu, known as Yaksh or Yakshu in Sanskrit, to be their most ancient eponymous progenitor. Hukum Singh Panwar further writes that Yakshs were one of the tribes who fought the last battle of Dasrajna War (the battle of ten kings) under the leadership of Dasa Raja named Bheda against Bharats tribes on the banks of Yamuna. The other tribes were Ajas, Sigrus, Alinas, Pakthas, Bhalan, Sivas, and Visanin. M.L. Bhargava writes that after the defeat on the Yamuna River they migrated to the Oxus (Geek name) valley and gave the name to valley as Jaksha or Jaaksh. He opines that Budakhsis and their city Badakshan are known after the combined name of Bheda, the leader of the Yakshas and that of the latter, Bheda is also a Jat clan.

Jakh is a Jat gotra in Churu and Jodhpur districts in Rajasthan.

Jakhaudiya, Jakhaudia gotra of Jats are found around Delhi. This gotra originated from place name Jakhaud. This village was founded by one of seven sons of Maharaj Anangpal.

Yaksh in Jainism :

23rd Jain tirthankar Parshvanath is always represented with the hood of a snake shading his head. The Yaksh Dharanendra and the Yakshi Padmavati are often shown flanking him.

Yaksh Kingdom :

Yaksh Kingdom refers to the territory of a tribe called Yakshs who were one among the Exotic Tribes of Ancient India. They had kinship with another similar tribe viz. Rakshash. Yaksh king Vaisravan (also known as Kuber, Kuver etc) and Rakshash king Ravan were both sons of the sage Visrava Paulastya. Kuber is sometimes mentioned as a Rakshash king. Kubera ruled a Yaksh kingdom of enormous wealth near the Kailash mountains. Pandavs visited this place during their forest life, by mounting the Himalayas with the help of Rakshasa Ghatotkacha and his friends.

Didarganj Yakshi :

Didarganj Yakshi

The Didarganj Yakshi (or Didarganj Chauri Bearer) is sometimes considered as one of the finest examples of Mauryan art in the 3rd century BCE. Alternatively, it is rather dated to the 2nd century CE, based on the analysis of shape and ornamentation. The treatment of the forelock in particular is said to be characteristically Kushan.

The sculpture is currently located in the Bihar Museum in Bihar, India. It is 64" tall, carved out of a single piece of stone. This life-size standing image is tall, well-proportioned, free-standing sculpture is made of sandstone with well polished surface, a characteristic usually associated with Mauryan polish. The Flywhisk (chauri) is held in the right hand whereas the left hand is broken. The lower garment create a somewhat transparent effect. The Didarganj Yakshi is estimated to date from ca. 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century CE. It was excavated on the banks of the Ganges River, at the hamlet of Didarganj Kadam Rasual, northeast of the Qadam-i-Rasul Mosque in Patna City, on October 18, 1917 by the villagers and by the noted archaeologist and historian, Professor J N Samaddar[21] Professor Samaddar, with the help of the then president of Patna Museum Committee and member of Board of Revenue, Mr. E. H. C. Walsh and Dr. D. B. Spooner, the noted archaeologist, retrieved the figure in Patna Museum, Patna.

Mandarachal :

Vijayendra Kumar Mathur has written… Mandarachal (AS, p.688): ‘Shvetam Girin Pravekshyamo Mandaran Chave Mountains, Yatra Manivarau Yaksh : Kuberashasthava Yaksharat’ - Mahabharat 139,5.

In this quote, Mandarachal is mentioned in connection with the visit of the Pandavs to Uttarakhand, which makes it look like a hillock near Badrinath or Kailash in the mountain Himalayas. Vishnu Puran temple mount by 02/02/16 Ilavrit to east of Purven Mndronam Dkshine Gandmadn 'mandarachal was in mythology kshirsagar. There is also a description in the story of Manthan (churning). According to this legend, at the time of Samudra Manthan, the gods and the demons made Mandrachal churner.

Selection :

Varan selection ( AS , Pk833) - a town where described = Buddhacharit 21.25 redress named Chairman of the Buddha had religious initiation. Its cognition is uncertain. (De Waran)]

History :

Vijayendra Kumar Mathur wrote . Hatak (AS, p.1018): Mahabharat is the place mentioned in the sabha Parv, which is called the country of the Yakshs. On this, Arjun had won in the context of Digvijay of the north direction - this place will be located near the alka of Meghdoot of Kalidas. Mansarovar was near here - it was the present state of Mansarovar and Kailash located in Tibet. Here there was colony of Guhayaks (Yakshs) and Gandharvs. Mr. B.C. Hatak is presently stuck (Pakistan) in LA . N.L. According to De Hoon Is the name of the country.

Didarganj Yakshini :

President Vijender Kumar Mathur has articles . Didarganj (AS, Pk438) a historical place which is located near Patna in Bihar province. A beautiful statue of a Yakshini was obtained from Didarganj in 1917 . That idol is holding a skin in his hand. Hence it has been called Chamaragrahi Yakshini. In the opinion of scholars, this statue is of Mauryan periodis. The composition of the idol is very beautiful and its posture is very natural. The sculpture depicts the body part-suffix with utmost liveliness. The upper part of the idol is unclothed and in the lower part it is wearing a sari. One hand of the idol is fragmented and the other is holding a skin. The idol is graceful around the neck, hanging waving above the athletic chest. The marking of the gravity of the weakened lumbar and macro buttocks is also ingenious. Presently this idol is safe in the museum of Patna.

References in Mahabharata

Yaksha territory

The territory of Yakshas under Kuber is mentioned as the region surrounding the Kailash mountains and Lake Manasarovar lake (Tibet) in the Himalayas.

Pandavs Expeditions :

Expeditions of Pandavas (3: 139) guided by sage Lomasa :

Lomasa said, now hast thou left behind the mountains Usiravija, Mainak and Swet, as well as the Kala hills, O son of Kunti , O bull among the descendants of Bharat, here flow before thee the seven Gangas. This spot is pure and holy. Here Agni blazeth forth without intermission. Now wilt thou see the play-ground of the Devas , marked with their footprints, as we have passed the mountain Kala. We shall now ascend that white rock — the mountain Mandara , inhabited by the Yaksh, Manibhadra and Kuvera, king of the Yakshs. O king, at this place eighty thousand fleet Gandharvs, and four times as many Kimpurushs and Yakshs of various shapes and forms, holding various weapons, attend upon Manibhadra, king of the Yakshs. In these regions their power is very great. And in speed they are even as the wind. They can, without doubt, displace even the lord of the Devas from his seat. Protected by them, and also watched over by the Rakshashs, these mountains have been rendered inaccessible. Here are fierce ministers of Kuvera and his Rakshash kindred.

Section 3: 152 describes Pandava Bhim's expedition to this territory :

Bhim saw in the vicinity of the Kailash cliff, that beautiful lotus lake surrounded by lovely woods and guarded by the Rakshashs. And it sprang from the cascades contiguous to the abode of Kuvera. And located on the rocky elevation this expanse of excellent water was exceedingly fair. That unearthly receptacle of waters was covered with celestial Saugandhik lotuses. And this lake was the sporting region of the high-souled Kuvera, the king of the Yakshs. And it was held in high regard by the Gandharvs the Apsaras and the celestials. And it was frequented by the celestial sages and the Yakshs and the Kimpurushs and the Rakshashs and the Kinnaras Hundreds and thousands of Rakshashs, named Krodhavas were guarding that lake, wearing uniforms and armed with various weapons.

Ashtavakra's expeditions :

Section 13:19 describes sage Ashtavakra's expedition to this territory :

The illustrious Ashtavakra set out on his journey. He proceeded more and more towards the north and at last reached the Himavat mountains peopled by Siddhas and Charanas Arrived at the Himavat mountains, that foremost of Brahamans then came upon the sacred river Vahuda whose waters produce great merit. He rested for some more time by the side of that lake in the course of the Vahuda whose shores he had reached. Refreshed by such rest, he set out from that region and then proceeded towards Kailasa. He then beheld a gate of gold. He saw also the Mandakini and the Nalini of the high-souled Kubera, the Lord of Treasures. Beholding the Rishi arrived there, all the Rakshashs having Manibhadra for their head, who were engaged in protecting that lake abounding with beautiful lotuses, came out in a body for welcoming and honoring the illustrious traveler.

More information on the region :

Section 5: 111 :

Because all the treasures of the north stretches in a line towards the east and the west, therefore is the north sometimes called the central region. Hither, is the asylum, known by the name of Vadari Badrinath . It was here, on the breast of Kailasa, that Kubera, was installed on the sovereignty of the Rakshashs, the Yakshs and the Gandharvs. It is in this region that (Kuvera's gardens called) Chitrarath lie and it is here that the asylum of (the Munis called the) Vaikhanasas is situate. It is here, that the celestial stream called Mandakini, and the mountain Mandara are to be seen. It is here that the gardens called Saugandhi-kanak are always guarded by the Rakshashs. Here are many plains covered with grassy verdure, as also the plantain forest, and those celestial trees called the Sautanakas. It is in this region that the mountains of Kailash lie, the abode of Ailavila (Kuvera). It is here that the ten Apsaras known by the name of Vidyutprabha had their origin. Here, in this quarter, at a place called Usiravija, by the side of the golden lake, king Marutta performed, a sacrifice.gold mines of Himavat exhibit themselves to the illustrious and regenerate Rishi Jimuta and hence known by the name of the Jaimuta gold. At (14:16) Pandavs were mentioned as mining this gold.

The region, called Mandakini, of king Vaisravan is attained by those highly blessed persons for whom are every joy and comfort. There Gandharvas and Yakshas and Apsaras live (13: 102).

The spot where Ganga rusheth past, cleaving the foremost of mountains which is frequented by Gandharvas and Yakshas and Rakshasas and Apsaras, and inhabited by hunters, and Kinnars, is called Gangadwar (3:90).

Delicious and cooling breezes murmuring through forests of tall Mandaras, and bearing fragrance of extensive plantations of jasmine, as also of the lotuses on the bosom of the river Alak and of the Nandan-gardens, always minister to the pleasure of the King of the Yakshs. (2,10).

On the south of Nishadh is the Varsha called Hiranmaya where is the river called Hiranwati. There, liveth that foremost of birds named Garuda . And the people there, are all followers of the Yakshs, wealthy, and of handsome features (6: 8).

Brahma-vodhya, and Vrihadvati were mentioned as rivers of Yaksh regions (6: 9).

Arjuna had encountered Yakshs in Khandava forests.

Karna had encountered Yakshs in Mahendra mountains.

Yakshs were mentioned to be dwelling on the northern banks of river Saraswati (9:37).

King Vaisravan (Kuber) :

The banks of river Narmada is described as the birth place of Yaksh king Kuvera (Vaisravan), where his father Visravas, who was a sage, lived (MBh 3,89). King Vaisravan or Kubera was the ruler of Lanka Kingdom which was guarded by hosts of Rakshash. He had a chariot called Pushpak capable of going everywhere according to the will of the rider. And the kingship of the Yakshs and the sovereignty over sovereigns were also his (2,272). Rakshash Ravan defeated Kuber in battle and obtained from him the sovereignty of Lanka. That adorable Being, leaving Lanka and followed by Gandharv Kingdom, Yakshs, Rakshasah and Kinnar Kingdom, went to live on mount Gandhamadan (near Kailash, Tibet). And Ravan forcibly took from him the celestial chariot Pushpak.

The lord Kuber of body resembling pure gold, seated on his car of great splendor, and accompanied by numerous Yaksh came there. And the lord of treasures, possessed of great beauty, came there to see Arjun , illuminating the firmament with his effulgence. (3:41).

At (3: 160) is mentioned an encounter between Pandav Bhim and the Yaksh army. Here Krodhovas Rakshasah were mentioned as part of Kuber's army. Maniman is mentioned as a friend of Kuber and a leader of the army. Kuber came to see Bhim the destroyer of his army.

Kubera is sometimes mentioned as Ailavila (5: 139).

Kubera had a son named Nalakubera (9:47).

Sthunakarna :

Another prominent Yaksh found mention in Mahabharat is Sthunakarna. He dwelt in a forest close to the Panchal Kingdom. He converted Shikhandini, the daughter of Panchal king Drupada into a male by exchanging his male sexuality with her. Here the Yaksh is addressed as a Guhyak, the one who dwells in caves or in hidden places.

There was a dense and solitary forest that was the haunt of a very formidable Yaksh called Sthunakarna. From fear of that Yaksh men never went into that forest. And within it stood a mansion with high walls and a gateway, plastered over with powdered earth, and rich with smoke bearing the fragrance of fried paddy. Entering that mansion, Sikhandini, the daughter of Drupad, began to reduce herself by foregoing all food for many days. Thereupon, the Yaksh named Sthun, who was endued with kindness, showed himself without her (5,194).

Mystification of Yakshs :

At (3: 310) of Mahabharata is a conversation of a Yaksh and Pandav king Yudhisthir. Here Yaksh is described as an invisible voice from the sky, coming from the top of the trees, in a dense forest.

Manibhadras, and Vaisravan (Kuber), the king of the Yaksh were worshipped by travelers who travel through lonely territories, for protection against dangers. Manibhadra is one of the warrior in the Yaksh army of Kuber. Gandharvs were also part of his army (3:65).

At (3: 229) this is more clear : - The man who beholds devas while sleeping, or in a wakeful state soon turns mad, and the spirit under whose influence these hallucinations take place is called the Dev spirit.

When a person beholds his dead ancestors while he is seated at ease, or lying in his bed, he soon loses his reason, and the spirit which causes this illusion of sensible perception, is called the ancestral spirit.

The man who shows disrespect to the Siddhas and who is cursed by them in return, soon runs mad and the evil influence by which this is brought about, is called the Siddha spirit.

And the spirit by whose influence a man smells sweet odor, and becomes cognisant of various tastes (when there are no odoriferous or tasteful substances about him) and soon becomes tormented, is called the Rakshash spirit.

And the spirit by whose action celestial musicians (Gandharvs) blend their existence into the constitution of a human being, and make him run mad in no time, is called the Gandharv spirit.

And that evil spirit by whose influence men are always tormented by Pisachs, is called the Paisach spirit.

When the spirit of Yaksh enters into the system of a human being by some accident, he loses his reason immediately and such a spirit is called the Yaksh spirit.

It is known that excepting the first forty seconds the gray twilight preceding night fall hath been appointed for the wandering of the Yakshs, the Gandharvs and the Rakshash, all of whom are capable of going everywhere at will (1,172).

Other references :

The Yakshas, milking the Earth, got the power of disappearance at will (7,67).

The royal Kuvera, the chief of the Yakshs and the Rakshash, is the lord of the treasury of Indra (12: 289).

Rishi Yaksh of great intelligence succeeded in restoring the Niruktas which had disappeared from the surface of the Earth and sunk into nether regions (12: 342).

Mankanak is mentioned as a Yaksh and one of the gate keepers of Kuber (3:83).

Manibhadra is mentioned as the king of Yakshs at (3:64).

At Kusasthali once there was held a conclave of the Devs . And surrounded by grimvisaged Yakshs, numbering 300 maha-padmas, carrying various weapons, Kuber attended that conclave. (3: 160).

The great Yaksh Amogha with his attendants — the Jambhak Yakshs and other Rakshash were mentioned as army men of Kartikeya, in his battle with Asura Mahisha (3: 230). (Mahisha himself was the son of an Asura in his wife belonging to the Yaksha tribe).

Garud had encounters with the Yakshs viz. Aswakrand of great courage, Rainuk, the bold Krathanak, Tapan, Uluk, Swasanak, Nimesh, Praruj, and Pulin.

Shiv is mentioned as the friend of Kubera (12: 284).

List of Exotic Tribes :

Devs (Rudras, Maruts, Vasus, Adityas )


Bihar Museum Biennale, a curation of nostalgia

As a curation of memories, museums are custodians of objects that carry with them auras of a bygone era. Therefore, museum spaces have a unique sanctity in terms of the repository they carry. As an ode to museums situated in India and abroad, the Bihar Museum Biennale is the first museum biennale in the world. Conceived by Anjani Kumar Singh, the nodal officer of the Bihar Museum and adviser to the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, along with the CM, this is a one-of-its kind attempt to present the art housed within museums and make art more accessible to the masses.

Owing to the pandemic, the biennale was shifted from March 2020 to 2021 and this year, it is taking place largely as an online event from March 22-28 and has a diminished physical presence at the Bihar Museum in Patna.

Art historian and curator Alka Pande, the project director of the biennale, elaborates: “The inspiration has been the state of Bihar. As an art historian, I have always believed that Bihar has been an integral part of Indian history. It was the seat of the origin of the Maurayan Empire and Emperor Ashoka was the voice of peace and integrity for ancient India.

“This was the state where cultural emblems such as the Ashoka Pillar and the Ashok Chakra originated. The first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad, had said, ‘The history of Bihar is the history of India.’ The seamless transformation from Patliputra to Patna has been the story of Indian politics, humanism, and religion,” she says.

Twelve Indian museums and six international ones are participating. These include the Assam State Museum City Palace Museum, Udaipur Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal Kanha Museum of Life and Art, Madhya Pradesh Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi Museo Camera, Gurugram Museum of Art & Photography, Bengaluru Museum of Goa, Panaji National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi Piramal Museum, Mumbai, and Virasat-e-Khalsa, Anandpur Sahib. The National Museum of Columbia, the Museo Marino Marini in Italy, the National Museum of Interventions in Mexico and several international museums are also represented.

International speakers such as British art historian Neil MacGregor director of Digital at the Tate, UK, Hilary Knight Scientific, Curatorial and Collections management director at Louvre, Abu Dhabi, Souraya Noujaim, and many others are an integral part of this cultural extravaganza that draws to an end today.

As Pande elucidates, “The event includes two days of international conferences, and four days of master-class sessions, most of which are bilingual. These are designed in order to connect people and cultures with the interdisciplinary aspect of visual arts. With the inclusion of national and international museums at the biennale, the museum is then perceived as a melting pot of ideas and cross-cultural learnings.”

The Bihar Museum essentially comprises the history galleries and the art gallery, besides the contemporary Children’s Gallery. For Pande, “It is a repository of the rich artistic treasure of Bihar. For instance, the Didarganj Yakshini, a majestic 5’X 2” tall statue, is an epitome of the power, grace and beauty of the Indian woman. Three chests depicted in the exhibits of Sher Shah Suri depict the copper paisa, the silver rupiah and the gold mohurs that he created. Plus the enamouring Kurkihar bronzes are part of the hidden treasures of the Bihar museum.”

The Bihar Biennale has set a benchmark in virtual art viewings, particularly in context of the world turning from physical to virtual post-pandemic. As Pande says, “The dynamism of the ever-evolving white cube space will acquire an even more vibrant dimension when observed as the virtual.”


Ajivika Sect

  • It was founded by Goshala Maskariputra (a friend of Mahavira, the 24 th Tirthankara of Jainism) and was contemporary of Jainism and Buddhism.
  • Ajivika sect is based on the philosophy that the affairs of the entire universe were ordered by a cosmic force called niyati (Sanskrit: “rule” or “destiny”) that determined all events, including an individual’s fate.

Sculptures

  • Two of the most famous sculptures of the Mauryan period are those of Yaksha and Yakshi.
  • They were objects of worship related to all three religions – Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
  • The earliest mention of yakshi can be found in Silappadikaram, a Tamil text.
    • The torso of the nude male figure found at Lohanipur at Patna.
    • Didargunj Yakshi was found at Didargunj village at Patna.

    Maurya Court Art

    During the Maurya era, excellent stone sculpture comes into full being all at once. The stone was now used all over the country for sculpture as well as architecture. Further, bright polish was imparted to the stone surface during Maurya era. Mauryan art is notable for bright mirror like polish as well as a huge variety of its creations. This art is visible in stone pillars, railings, parasols, capitals, animal and human sculptures and several other motifs besides.

    However, the best specimens of Maurya court art are the huge number of monolithic columns with their majestic animal capitals. Generally speaking, each column consists of two parts, the shaft and the capital. The shaft, circular in section and slightly tapering, is made from a single block of stone and has a graceful and elegant proportion. The capital, monolithic like the shaft, was divided into three parts by an inverted lotus, often called ‘bell’, abacus and a crowning sculpture in the round.

    The surface of both the shaft and the capital was chiselled with extraordinary precision and accuracy. The bell was decorated with highly stylized longitudinal lotus-petals with sharp and thin ridges in the middle and wide and roundish border moldings.

    Stone pillars were erected all over the Mauryan Empire with inscriptions engraved on them. The top portion of the pillar was carved with capital figures such as bull, the lion, the elephant, etc. Every capital figure stands on a square or circular abacus. The abacuses have been decorated by stylized lotuses.

    The important places where the pillars have been found are Basarah-Bakhira, Lauriya- Nandangarh, Rampurva, Sankisa and Sarnath.

    These pillars were carved in two types of stone viz.

    • Spotted red and white sandstone from the region of Mathura.
    • Buff-coloured fine grained hard sandstone usually with small black spots quarried in the Chunar near Varanasi.

    The uniformity of style in the pillar capitals suggests that they were all sculpted by craftsmen from the same region. They were inscribed with edicts of Ashoka on Dhamma or righteousness. The animal capital as a finely carved life like representation. Noteworthy are the lion capital of Sarnath, the bull capital of Rampurva and the lion capital of Laurya Nandangarh.

    Examples of Maurya Court Art

    Lion Capital at Sarnath
    • The Mauryan pillar capital found at Sarnath popularly known as the Lion Capital, which is now our national symbol, is considered to be the finest example of Mauryan sculptural tradition.
    • The capital originally consisted of five component parts:
    • The shaft, which is broken in many parts now
    • A lotus bell base
    • A drum on the bell base with four animals proceeding clockwise
    • The figures of four majestic lions
    • The crowning element, Dhammachakra, a large wheel, was also a part of this pillar. However, this wheel is lying in a broken condition and is displayed in the site museum at Sarnath. Chakras were also made on the circular drum under the feet of the lions.
    • The capital without the crowning wheel and the lotus base has been adopted as the National Emblem of Independent India.

    The four voluminous roaring lion figures firmly stand on a circular abacus which is carved with the figures of four animals – a striding elephant, a galloping horse, a walking bull and a prancing lion. Four lions placed back-to-back face the cardinal directions, indicating the spread of dharma. These are formal and stylised and are reminiscent of the Persian tradition.

    The four lions on the Sarnath pillar originally supported a large chakra, or wheel. The chakra is an important symbol of cosmic order in Upanishadic thought. In Buddhism, it represents the Dhammachakrapravartana (the first sermon by the Buddha), which has become a standard symbol of this great historical event in the life of the Buddha.

    Four other animals were also shown proceeding clockwise around the drum, suggesting the movement of the wheel of dharma. Unlike the lions above, these animals are made in a highly naturalistic manner.

    The precision with which this capital has been carved shows that the Mauryan sculptors had considerable mastery in the sculptural techniques.

    Pillar at Vaishali

    The Asokan pillar at Vaishali is different from the earlier Ashokan pillars because it has only one lion capital. Location of this pillar is contiguous to the site where a Buddhist monastery and a sacred coronation tank stood. The lion faces north, the direction Buddha took on his last voyage.

    Asoka Pillar at Allahabad

    In Allahabad there is a pillar with inscriptions from Ashoka and later inscriptions attributed to Samudragupta and Jehangir. The pillar is located inside the Allahabad Fort. It is assumed that the pillar was first erected at Kaushambi an ancient town some 30 kilometres west of Allahabad that was the capital of the Koshala kingdom. The Ashokan inscription is in Brahmi and is dated around 232 BC.

    Pillars at Lauriya-Areraj and Lauriya-Nandangarh

    The column at Lauriya-Nandangarh, 23 km from Bettiah in West Champaran district, Bihar has single lion capital. The hump and the hind legs of the lion project beyond the abacus. The pillar at Lauriya-Areraj in East Champaran district, Bihar is devoid of any capital.

    Critical evaluation of Maurya Court Art

    The most important function of the Mauryan pillars was to impress and over-awe the populace with the power and majesty of its rulers. This is evident from the compactness of the solid animal figures, their exaggerated forms and their conventional appearances, also the most imposing stateliness of the columns. But this renders Mauryan court-art to be individualistic in its essential character and ideology. It lacked deeper roots in the collective social will, taste and preference and was, therefore , destined to have an isolated and short life, coeval and coexistent with and within the limits of the powerful Mauryan court. That is the reason that Mauryan court-art, with all its dignified bearing, monumental appearance and civilized quality, forms but a short and isolated chapter of the history of Indian art.


    8 cultural practices of Harappan Era that has still been continued till today

    Harappan or Sarasvati-Sindhu Valley civilization dates to at-least 5000 years. While almost all the ancient civilization has totally disappeared and it’s rare to even find a trace of them. It may come as a shock to see that there are many Indian cultures that are a continuity of this age-old Harappan era. It certainly makes India one of the oldest survivor of ancient civilization and here are 8 of its examples.

    A Tilaka is an auspicious decorative jewelry worn by young girls and women in India. Especially worn by Hindu women, they wear it on their forehead. The origin of Tikka can be found in ancient times but has lost this significance in modern life and is mostly worn all over the world as an accessory. However, it is surprising to know that it has its origins in Harappan civilization.

    Today, we can still find many Harappan terracotta figures wearing a turban-like headdress and tilaka on the forehead, which can be found from the book ‘Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization’. Furthermore, sculptures of a woman from Bharhut stupa which dated to 200-100 BCE wearing tilaka on the forehead and similar headdress are also seen. Similarly, modern Hindu women from north-western states are also famously wearing similar Tilaka as a local fashion.

    Bangles which is also known as Kangan, are an important ornament for all married as well as unmarried women in India. Since ancient times, there is a tradition of making bangles, from various metals, glass, conch, sealing-wax, and ivory.

    The culture of wearing bangles, especially wearing them all over the arms by women can be traced to the Harappan culture. It is a common practice to wear Harappan bangles by the Harappan ‘dancing girl’ is widely found in sculptures. Also, Mauryan Didarganj Yakshini is also seen wearing the same sort of bangles on her arm. As a result, modern woman from North-West India wearing same bangles on her hand.

    3. Waist chain

    Waist chain or belly chain is commonly known as Kamarband or Udhyanam or Odyanam. It is normally just a simple chain or crafted jewelry worn around the waist. It is believed that woman used to decorate their hip by wearing ornamental jewelry ever since thousands of years or more. As seen in sculptures and paintings from the time dating back to the ancient civilization, waist chains worn by Hindu women can be traced to the Harappan tradition.

    Some examples of it can be seen in the Harappan terracotta figure who is seen wearing waist chain, that is taken from the book ‘Excavations at Harappa’. Sculpture of a female from Mathura dated to 100-200 CE can also be seen wearing same waist chain as seen in the other Harappan figure. Due to which, its a definite result of the follow up of the ancient Indian tradition that different Modern waist chains are worn by Indian women.

    Anklets are anything worn around the ankle as a fetter, ornament, or a support. They are also known as ankle bracelets and foot bangles which have been worn by women throughout the history. Aside from functioning as foot adornments, they have been a part of the tradition of Indian women.

    Special sort of Anklets can be traced back to the Harappan culture which Hindu women can be seen wearing even today. Its examples can be taken from the book, ‘The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati’. Furthermore, the sculpture of a woman from Mathura which dated to 100-200 CE can also be seen wearing similar anklets. Hence, modern Rajasthani women are found wearing same anklets.

    Although, a reverse swastika is a symbol used by of one of the most hated men on Earth. The real Swastika has been an important symbol for the Hindus for thousands of years. Even to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance – on Hindu temples, on the cover of ancient books and in fact almost everywhere such as buses and taxis.

    The mysterious symbol is a widespread ancient icon all over the world, but particularly in India, it was a common symbol which still remains a sacred symbol since the ancient era of Harappan civilization. Thus we can even see Swastikas, in the book ‘Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization’.

    source
    Bathing is an everyday need. Even if not every day, everybody bathes. While some bathes under a simple tap, some prefer some bathing platforms. Even today, especially in villages and communities, people have platforms or tanks that can be seen in many Hindu temples as well. We can trace the origins of this tradition to the Harappan civilization, where bathing platforms like the famous ‘Great Bath’ have been found. The Great Bath of Mohenjo Daro has been famously mentioned in ‘Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization’ and many other books. A similar tank from Nagarjunakonda site also dates to 200-300 CE. Such platforms are found in many modern Hindu temples as well.

    source
    Yoga is an age-old wisdom tradition that helps us move from constriction to expansion, from fear to love, and from separation to unity. At its core, yoga means union, the union of body, mind, and soul the union of the ego and the spirit the union of the mundane and the divine.

    It is so obvious that there are ancient roots of Yoga. However, it may come as a surprise to see most of the basic Yogic meditative postures mentioned in Harappan civilization. An example of it is a terracotta figurine with folded hands in ‘Namaste’ posture which can be seen in the book, ‘Excavations at Harappa’.

    Fire, also known as Agni, is celebrated in the Vedic hymns and kindled upon earth to carry prayers and offerings to the highest heavens. Great rituals, such as Yagnas, often involve several fire rituals.

    Even common domestic rituals of the householder such as daily rites, marriage rites, and funeral rites took place at the fire altar. Laying and ritually kindling the fire altar was the job of Brahmin priests.

    However, bricks were made for fire altars are found in Harappan sites which clearly indicates the presence of Vedic rituals in Harappan civilization. This is another continuity from the Harappan era where no Vedic ritual was possible without making use of fire altar. Hence we can see fire altar at the Kalibangan site of Harappan civilization and also fire altar from Lothal site of Harappan civilization which is taken from the book ‘The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati’.

    Therefore, it is our duty to protect and safeguard the ancient traditions passed down from an ancient civilization. Many of the modern Hindu or Indian traditions can be dated back to thousands of years, ever since the mighty and legendary Harappan era.

    Indus Pakistan

    ELITE MEMBER

    You forgot other pactices modern Indian share with Harappans -

    You breath. They breathed
    You shyte. They shyted
    You walk. They walked
    You dance. They danced
    You sing. They sang
    You live. They lived
    You have sex. They had sex.
    You eat food. They ate food.

    All these similarities prove no doubt that you share so much with Harappa - even if Harappa is in Pakistan.

    Look at this Harappan Tank. Hell it's even got a swastika symbol on it. More shared cultural practices ..

    Kashmiri Pandit

    SENIOR MEMBER

    You forgot other pactices modern Indian share with Harappans -

    You breath. They breathed
    You shyte. They shyted
    You walk. They walked
    You dance. They danced
    You sing. They sang
    You live. They lived
    You have sex. They had sex.
    You eat food. They ate food.

    All these similarities prove no doubt that you share so much with Harappa - even if Harappa is in Pakistan.

    Look at this Harappan Tank. Hell it's even got a swastika symbol on it. More shared cultural practices ..

    War&peace

    ELITE MEMBER

    You forgot other pactices modern Indian share with Harappans -

    You breath. They breathed
    You shyte. They shyted
    You walk. They walked
    You dance. They danced
    You sing. They sang
    You live. They lived
    You have sex. They had sex.
    You eat food. They ate food.

    All these similarities prove no doubt that you share so much with Harappa - even if Harappa is in Pakistan.

    Look at this Harappan Tank. Hell it's even got a swastika symbol on it. More shared cultural practices ..


    Really not sharing those gross pics because it is Ramadan.. But it is not so difficult just search India in google and you will find all the pics.

    Halupridol

    SENIOR MEMBER

    Farhan_9909

    PROFESSIONAL

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    ELITE MEMBER

    Kashmiri Pandit

    SENIOR MEMBER

    Bhayyajee why u worry. i like this thread. its pretty interesting,dont mind thm,post more

    Panzerfaust 3

    BANNED

    proto shiva or the adiyogi

    Dalit

    ELITE MEMBER

    LOL at desperate Hindustanis claiming Harappan civilization as their own. Wow just wow.

    Zibago

    ELITE MEMBER

    Panzerfaust 3

    BANNED

    Fire altars late Harappan civilization

    Kashmiri Pandit

    SENIOR MEMBER

    Give me my Priest-chan or I will write fiction on him .

    Zibago

    ELITE MEMBER

    Give me my Priest-chan or I will write fiction on him .

    Shahzaz ud din

    SENIOR MEMBER


    LAHORE: A writ petition filed in the Lahore High Court on Monday has requested that directions be issued to the federal government to bring back from India the ‘Dancing Girl’ bronze statue excavated from Moenjodaro in 1926.

    Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey, the petitioner, has asked the LHC to take suo motu notice in this regard. He claims that the statue is the property of the Lahore Museum. It was taken to India around 60 years ago at the request of the National Arts Council, Delhi, and was never brought back.

    Mr Jaffrey says the statue has the same historic importance as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in Europe. He calls it a marker of Pakistan’s cultural heritage which needs to be protected.

    The statue is 10.5 centimetres tall and nearly 5,000 years old. Some of the most famous archaeologists in the world have described it as one of the most captivating pieces of art from the Indus site.

    In a recent statement, Jamal Shah, director general of the Pakistan National Museum of Arts, hinted that the government was considering writing to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to bring the statue back. “This is important if we want to protect our heritage.”

    Dancing Girl (sculpture)
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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    Dancing Girl (bronze), Mohenjo-daro

    Artist unknown, pre-historic
    Year c. 2500 BC
    Type bronze
    Dimensions 10.5 cm × 5 cm (4 1/8 in × 2 in )
    Location National Museum, New Delhi, Delhi
    Dancing Girl is a prehistoric bronze sculpture made in approximately 2500 BCE in the Indus Valley Civilisation city of Mohenjo-daro (in modern-day Pakistan), which was one of the earliest human cities. The statuette is 10.5 centimetres (4.1 in) tall, and depicts a young woman or girl with stylized proportions standing in a confident, naturalistic pose. Dancing Girl is well-regarded as a work of art, and is a cultural artefact of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The statuette was discovered by British archaeologist Ernest Mackay in 1926, prior to the Partition of India. It is held by the National Museum, New Delhi, and ownership is disputed by Pakistan.
    Description[edit]
    A bronze statuette DANCING GIRL is 10.5 centimetres (4.1 in) high and about 5,000 years old.[1] It was found in the "HR area" of Mohenjo-daro in 1926 by Ernest Mackay.[1] Although it is in a standing position, it was named "Dancing Girl" with an assumption of her profession. This is one of two bronze art works found at Mohenjo-daro that show more flexible features when compared to other more formal poses. The girl is naked, wears a number of bangles and a necklace and is shown in a natural standing position with one hand on her hip.[2] She wears 24 to 25 bangles on her left arm and 4 bangles on her right arm, and some object was held in her left hand, which is resting on her thigh both arms are unusually long.[3] One arm completely filled with bangles which is similar to Banjara lady. Her necklace has three big pendants. She has her long hair styled in a big bun that is resting on her shoulder. This statue is a cultural artifact reflecting the aesthetics of a female body as conceptualized during that historical period.[4]

    Expert opinions[edit]

    Second bronze statuette of a girl c.2500 BC, now displayed at Karachi Museum, Pakistan.
    In 1973, British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler described the item as his favorite statuette:

    "She's about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There's nothing like her, I think, in the world." [5]

    John Marshall, another archeologist at Mohenjo-daro, described the figure as "a young girl, her hand on her hip in a half-impudent posture, and legs slightly forward as she beats time to the music with her legs and feet".[6] He is known to reacted with surprise when he saw this statuette. He said "When I first saw them I found it difficult to believe that they were prehistoric." [7] The archaeologist Gregory Possehl described Dancing Girl as "the most captivating piece of art from an Indus site" and qualified the description of her as a dancer by stating that, "We may not be certain that she was a dancer, but she was good at what she did and she knew it."[8]

    The statue led to two important discoveries about the civilization: first that they knew metal blending, casting and other sophisticated methods, and secondly that entertainment, especially dance was part of the culture.[1] The bronze girl was made using the lost-wax casting technique and shows the expertise of the people in making bronze works during that time.[2] The statue is displayed at National Museum, New Delhi.[1] A similar bronze statuette was found by Mackay during his final full season of 1930–31 at DK-G area in a house at Mohenjo-daro. The preservation, as well as quality of craftsmanship, is inferior to that of the well known Dancing Girl.[8] This second bronze female figure is displayed at Karachi Museum, Pakistan.[9]

    An engraving on a piece of red potsherd, discovered at Bhirrana, India, a Harappan site in Fatehabad district in Haryana, shows an image that is evocative of Dancing Girl. The excavation team leader, L. S. Rao, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavation Branch, ASI, remarked that, “. the delineation [of the lines in the potsherd] is so true to the stance, including the disposition of the hands, of the bronze that it appears that the craftsman of Bhirrana had first-hand knowledge of the former”.[10][11]

    Pakistan's demand[edit]
    Some Pakistani politicians and experts have demanded that the Dancing Girl be "returned" to Pakistan.[12] In 2016 Pakistani barrister, Javed Iqbal Jaffery, petitioned the Lahore High Court for the return of the statue, claiming that it had been "taken from Pakistan 60 years ago on the request of the National Arts Council in Delhi but never returned." According to him, the Dancing Girl was to Pakistan what Da Vinci's Mona Lisa was to Europe.[13]


    Pre-History & Archaeology


    Hover over the image to see more details.

    Dancing Girl
    C. 2500 B.C.

    Place of Origin: Mohenjodaro
    Materials: Bronze
    Dimensions: 10.5 x 5 x 2.5 cm.
    Acc. No. 5721/195

    One of the rarest artefacts world-over, a unique blend of antiqueness and art indexing the lifestyle, taste and cultural excellence of a people in such remote past as about five millenniums from now, the tiny bronze-cast, the statue of a young lady now unanimously called 'Indus dancing girl', represents a stylistically poised female figure performing a dance. The forward thrust of the left leg and backwards tilted right, the gesture of the hands, demeanour of the face and uplifted head, all speak of absorption in dance, perhaps one of those early styles that combined drama with dance, and dialogue with body-gestures. As was not unusual in the lifestyle of early days, the young lady has been cast as nude. The statue, recovered in excavation from 'HR area' of Mohenjo-Daro, is suggestive of two major breaks-through, one, that the Indus artists knew metal blending and casting and perhaps other technical aspects of metallurgy, and two, that a well developed society Indus people had innovated dance and other performing arts as modes of entertainment.

    Large eyes, flat nose, well-fed cheeks, bunched curly hair and broad forehead define the iconography of the lady, while a tall figure with large legs and arms, high neck, subdued belly, moderately sized breasts and sensuously modeled waist-part along vagina, her anatomy. The adornment of her left arm is widely different from the right. While just two, though heavy, rings adorn her right arm, the left is covered in entirety with heavy ringed bangles. Besides, the figure has been cast as wearing on her breasts a necklace with four 'phalis' like shaped pendants. Though a small work of art, it is impressive and surpasses in plasticity and sensuousness the heavily ornate terracotta figurines.


    Watch the video: अशक कलन मरतय, ददरगज क यकष मरत चवर धरण यकष Part 7. by Kanchan Shukla