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Bhopal

Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:03 AM IST

Bhopal: Narayan Vyas: A proud owner of 2000 antiques, artifacts

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Bhopal: Indus valley civilisation and a world of Mauryan kings and Mughal emperors can be rediscovered at the house of an archaeologist in Bhopal. Fossils of a blue bull, a tree and a tortoise, stone-made weapons of early men, potteries of the Indus people, bricks belonging to Mauryan period and punch-marked coins of 300 BC have turned his house into an antique land. Free Press came across those wonders during a visit to house of Narayan Vyas in Nayapura on Kolar Road.

The 69-year-old historian, who retired as Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) superintending archaeologist in 2009, still visits different places to collect stone-age tools, fossils and coins. His collection, the result of eight years of hard work, comprises 2,000 artifacts. The antiques include more than 800 ancient potteries of Maurya, Kushan, Gupta, Rajput and Mughal period. He has more than 50 pots from Indus valley civilisation and bricks (from 3rd century BC to 1943) in his collection. He has small fossils of millions of years old trees from Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer and Bhanpur in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, 2nd century pottery from Bhojpur Kolar, 3rd century black ware from Uttar Pradesh, stone axes and cleavers from Palampur Ghati in Raisen, 1600 BC copper age pottery from the banks of Narmada in Harda district, 3rd century BC copper coins from Maurya age from Vidisha and a 3rd century BC brick with a foot impression.

“A fossil of seep found in Rajasthan is indicative of the fact that there was sea or large water bodies in Rajasthan millions of years ago,” Vyas said. The Ujjain-born Vyas studied fine arts at his hometown, but later shifted to archaeology and obtained a post-doctorate degree (D Lit) on rock paintings in Bhopal and Raisen area with focus on world heritage site Bhimbetka. Vyas who is disciple of renowned archaeologist and discoverer of Bhimbetka rock shelters Vishnu Shridhar Vakankar, began collecting ancient pieces since his childhood. His father Anant Lal Vyas who was freedom fighter, inspired him to collect coins, postal stamps, post cards. He has more than 200 coins of ancient coins from Maurya dynasty, Kushan age, and coins of present age. Post cards of 1898, 1903 and envelopes of 1903, postal stamps of ancient monuments, great personalities etc are in his own collection. He also has collection of around 800 pictures of Lord Ganesha printed on wedding invitation cards, match box covers and newspapers cuttings mentioning with day, month and year.

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Vyas has received several awards including Dr Vishnu Shridhar Vakankar Samman and certificates like Golden Book of World Records, Incredible Book of Records and many more. He has also displayed his collections in various exhibitions. Vyas who began working as technical assistant in ASI says, “My mother was a religious lady. When I was child, I used to go temples with her, and I was amazed at the architecture of the temples. I was interested in painting since my childhood. I did a threeyear diploma in fine and applied arts. Later, one of my teachers (late) Wakankar Sahab encouraged me to study archaeology. I worked with him as his assistant at Bhimbetka and still draw inspiration from him.”

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Published on: Wednesday, November 22, 2017, 09:01 AM IST
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