An Edifying Expedition
Jan 15, 2018 | Barnali Priyadarshini
For the partial fulfillment of the academic curriculum for the upcoming even semester, the sophomore year students of the Department of Planning and Architecture went on a 10-day study tour to North western India. The group of students accompanied by Prof. Dibya Jiban Pati visited the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other surrounding areas, marveling the archaic as well as the contemporary forms of architecture present there.
The scholars started their journey on 4th of December. On reaching their first destination, the beautiful city of Udaipur, they visited the grand Udaipur City Palace, which comprises of an agglomeration of structures, including 11 small separate palaces. The interiors of the palace exhibit delicate mirror-work, marble-work, murals, silver-work, inlay-work and other complex architecture. They wowed the serene Lake Pichola, an artificial freshwater lake, on the eastern bank of which the palace is located.
They next visited Bagore-ki-Haveli, situated right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola. The palace has over a hundred rooms, with displays of costumes, cutlery, styles of Indian marriages and modern art, solely reverberating the Rajasthani culture and customs. It also preserves remnants of Mewar paintings on its walls. The troop then went to see the Chittorgarh Fort, the largest fort of India situated on the Aravali hills. They studied the strategical way of the construction of the fort, and the detailed genealogy of the rulers of Chittor. The carvings on the Vijay Stambha (Tower of Victory) and Kirti Stambha (Tower of Fame) clearly depicted the remarkable architecture practiced by the Rajputs.
The students then moved to Jaipur, where they went to Jawahar Kala Kendra for sight-seeing. It’s a centre for multi-arts, built by the Rajasthan government for the preservation of Rajasthani arts and culture. It houses enormous museums, amphitheaters, library, art display rooms and art studios for display. The well famed Jantar Mantar of Jaipur was their next stop. They applauded the masonry, stone and brass instruments that were built using instrument design principles of ancient Hindu Sanskrit texts. They were also given a session on ‘Spot Sketching and Ranging’ by a famous architect. The Rajputana style of architecture used by the British architects at Albert Museum amazed the students. They also witnessed the fusion of Hindu and Mughal architectural designs showcased at Amer Fort.
The student group then travelled to Mandu in Madhya Pradesh. They visited to Jahaz Mahal complex, Jami Masjid, one of the oldest mosques at Mandu and Hoshang Shah’s Tomb. A poster making session on ‘Usage of Toilets’ was also organized for them. They displayed the posters and spread awareness about sanitation. Their work was appreciated and they received recognized in local newspapers. Students also seeked adventure by climbing the topmost point of Mandu, Roopmati Complex.
Bhopal was the next and the concluding destination for the peers. They visited Bharat Bhawan, an autonomous multi-arts complex and museum housing an art gallery, a fine art workshop, and museum of tribal and folk art, libraries of Indian poetry, classical music as well as folk music.
Quoting Abhishek Das, the class representative of the department,
This tour helped us marvel the best of ancient as well as modern architecture. We had always studied about them in textbooks, but this field study enhanced our deep understanding in the subject. It was a wonderful and a lifetime experience to be honest.