Trivandrum, 15 july'2008:
A visit to the Chitra Art Gallery. It has been my desire to visit this gallery for many years and this was finally fulfilled on this trip. Located within the Trivandrum zoo complex, this art gallery was opened in 1935, by the then Maharaja of Travancore, Shri Chitra Thirunal Balarama Varma. He was also also the last ruling Maharajah of the princely state. The ancient building where the art gallery is housed was one of the erstwhile palaces of the Travancore Royal family.
The gallery contains a large collection of exquisite paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, one the greatest painters India has ever produced. He is called a prince among painters and a painter among princes. He achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Raja Ravi Varma is most remembered for his paintings of beautiful sari clad women, portrayed as very shapely and graceful. He won the first prize in Vienna Art Exhibition in 1873.
To get a glimpse of Ravi Varma's masterpieces log onto: http://www.raja-ravi-varma.keralaz.info/ . Raja Ravi Varmas paintings are also displayed at Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, Jaganmohan Palace Mysore & Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum Trust, Laxmi Vilas Palace,Baroda.
The Chitra Gallery also displays a collection of Tibetan thungkas,Chinese, Japanese,Balinese, Tanjore, Bengali,Mughal & Rajput paintings apart from works of C.Raja Raja Varma, Nicolas & Svetoslav Roerich. The collection also includes unique copies of Indian mural paintings from pre-historic times down to the 18th century.
To view some examples of works of Nicolas Roerich log on to : http://chdmuseum.nic.in/art_gallery/nicholas_konstantinovich_roerich.html
The visit to the Chitra Art Gallery was a unique & awe inspiring experience and is a must see for any visitor to Trivandrum. Available for sale at the galary sales outlet are picture postcards & books on paintings of Raja Ravi Varma.
Collectors Item: A book titled 'Raja Ravi Varma (1848 - 1906)" published by the Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Govt. of Kerala.Price: Rs.500/-.
16 July'08: Enroute from Trivandrum to Ernakulam, took a small diversion to visit the Astamudi Kayal near Kollam and the Veerabhadraswamy Koil on the banks. It was amazing to see a small post office in such a remote location. Truly India has one of the widest postal network systems covering even the remotest corners of the country.
See photo gallery of Gods Own Country ( Swamiyude Swantham Nade !) : http://picasaweb.google.com/ramakrishnan49/ChitraArtAsthamudi