Exhibition at Birla Museum Bhopal after 15 years; Nearly 75 rare photographs depicting Dashavatar of Lord Vishnu

Harihar of 7th, 11th centuries in British Museum, England, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA

SmitaUpdated: Sunday, August 21, 2022, 07:07 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Nearly 75 rare photographs depicting Dashavatar (10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu) are on display at the G P Birla Museum in the city under an exhibition ‘Bharat Ki Vaishnav Pratimayein’.

Images of idols, some of which are showcased in museums in other countries, are one of the major attractions.

They included Sheshshayee, Madhu Kaitabh (10th century AD) and Laxmi-Narayan (10th century AD) in Brooklyn Museum, New York, Harihar (11th century AD) and Matsya Avatar (11th century AD) in British Museum, England, Harihar (7th century A.D), Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA, Vishnu (10th century AD) Birmingham Art Gallery, England and Matrika Vaishnavi –Varahi (8th century AD), Asian Civilisation Museum, Singapore.

The exhibition also showcases images of lord Vishnu from all the regions and states of the country - from Kashmir to south India and east to west and it is attracting the visitors.

It includes Gajlaxmi (9th -10th century AD) and Vishnu Vishwaroop, (8th- 9th century AD) from Kashmir and Ram-Laxman (Mrin) 5th century AD) from Uttar Pradesh.

Consultant, J P Birla Museum, B K Lokhande has told Free Press that the exhibition depicts the growth and evolution of the traditions of Vaishnava Dharma.

He says the Lord Vishnu is known by various names and forms but ‘Dashavatar’ has its special prominence. It can be seen as the concept of human evolution, he said.

Lokhande further says the concept of Harihar is of half lord Shiva and half Lord Vishnu. How the joint statues are represented in the country and abroad and in the Vaman form of the Lord Vishnu or the idols of South India have been showcased in the exhibition, he adds.

Former superintending archaeologist, ASI, Narayan Vyas inaugurated the seven-day exhibition which will remain open for art lovers till August 25 from 9.30 am to 7 pm.

Besides photographs, some sketches of heritage sculptures of Bhopal are also displayed. These have been especially prepared for visitors, Lokhande says.

‘Rare to see at one place’

It is a very good exhibition, organised by GP Birla Museum after a gap of 15 years. It gives rare information especially about the 'Vyuh-Vigrah’ form of the lord Vishnu. It is very rare to see the statues of the lord which are displayed in well-known museums in the country as well as abroad at one place.

- Ahmed Ali, Archaeologist, MP Archaeology Department

‘Needed for long time’

I would like to thank the Museum for organising the exhibition. It would have been different had the exhibition been organised by the central and state archaeology department. But it is really admirable that Lokhande ji has organised the exhibition with the limited resources at his disposal. Idols associated with Dashavatar of Lord Vishnu in the country and abroad are included in this expo. Lokhande ji deserves congratulations for his single-handed effort.

- Disha Mishra, art lover

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