The Magical Painters

Story telling has taken on many platforms and the scrolls are a great place.

From the middle east with the Arabs, came the “Kari” or the art of the “qalam” that is the pen, so qalamkari or “Kalamkari” found a new home in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh.

Silk or cotton fabric is treated with Buffalo milk, then natural dyes are used to create and fill the images. The Srikalahasta school of Kalamkari is more of religious scrolls and every image is hand printed, while the Masulipattanam school uses block printing.

kalamkari 2
various dyes used in Kalamkari

The qalam or the pen used is made of bamboo or date palm sticks.

Art form came to India in 10 century CE, and was patronized by the Moghal and the kings of Golconda.

The fabric, the dyes are all natural.

The current Telangana government in a bid to preserve it, support the Kalamkari artists, it was wonderful to see youngsters, totally immersed in the learning this art at the Hyderabad literary festival. For them it was a connect with their roots it gave them a sense of belonging and pride.

The Shrikalahasta school was used create scrolls that visually narrated the various rendering from the folklore, while the Masulipattanam school caters more to the Islamic taste of its patron kings. The Karrapur style developed when the Marathas took it Thanjavur

kalamkari 1
various dyes used in kalamkari

These artists were Jadupatuas, or Duari Patuatas, the magical painters, the British carried it with them and it morphed to chintz and for the Dutch it was sitz and for the Portuguese it is “Pintado”

Hussain Sagar Lake,

DSCN8116When we landed at Hyderabad, the central water body, with a central Buddha statue seemed so intriguing. I did want to explore it.
But work constrain did not. Finally on the day I was to leave Hyderabad, did I visit one bank of the lake.
The Lake Hussain Sagar is a manmade lake, built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali in 1562, when the then ruler Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah who ruled from Golconda figured that the capital needed to be expanded. As the official naming of the lake got delayed the lake designed and built by Hussain Shah Wali inherited his name by default.DSCN8111
The lake is fed by the Musi River, and falls under the common capital area shared between Telangana and Andhrapradesh. It is about 5.7 sq.kms in area and has a maximum depth of 32 feet.
In 1992 the statue of Gautama Buddha was erected in an island in the middle of the lake.
It is as if, the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad open around the lake. The circumference of the lake, houses the lumbini park, NTR gardens, Sanjeeviah gardens, Birla Mandir, the Patton tank, Prasad’s IMAX, the tomb of Saidani Maa saheba, the Secunderabad sailing club, Hyderabad Marriott’s,
The Hyderabad MMTS services the lake.
Yes, Hussain sagar, I still have the rain cheque on the date with you.