Thursday 27 February 2014

The Gandhara Art in Chandigarh

Have you ever heard people talking about anything else about Chandigarh besides the Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake and Rose Garden?

Buddha, 2 C AD

Well, you will be surprised that Chandigarh can boast of a museum that contains Gandhara Art sculptures. Somehow this fact is never advertised in all the publicity materials. Chandigarh was lucky to have these as originally all these were located at the Central Museum in Lahore but due to partition of India even the artifact of this museum were divided and India got some of the the Gandhara sculptures along with the miniature paintings. The building of Government Museum and Art Gallery of Chandigarh has been designed by Le Corbusier (yes the very same person who designed Chandigarh). The same campus also host two other museums- The Chandigarh Architecture Museum and the Natural History Museum.

Bodhisattva, 2 C AD

The Gandhara Art is a mix of Greco-Buddhist art and the origin of this is that when Alexander died his generals setup several kingdoms and around 1 AD several foreigners who came to Gandhara region (from Kabul to Rawalpindi) converted to Buddhism and therefore the art that developed is a mix of Greco-Roman and Indian art. Another interesting thing is that the first statue of Buddha was made only after a lapse of 500 years or so after his death and therefore no one knew how he looked and all statues are imaginations. Infact the early Buddha statues showed him with the mustaches which disappeared in the later ones.

Padmavati, the Jain Goddess, 12 C AD

Several statues (not Gandhara) have been placed artistically outside the building itself increasing the ambiance of the place.

Chandigarh is also known for being the only planned city with wide roads and no congestion on the streets.

So next time when you are heading to Chandigarh do check out this place.


Unknown said...

@Anil, thanks for sharing the fabulous pictures in your blog. The number of Gods and Godesses IN India and a new tale behind each of them always amuses me. I hope I get to travel places and discover more of the unexplored India.

Anil Yadav said...

Thanks Adarsh. Hope your wish of more travel come true.