Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Terracotta Souvenirs

The antiquities found in the course of excavation at the Remains of  Ancient Nalanda University suggests that Nalanda was once a flourishing center of terracotta art. reviving the ancient tradition, NNMSG, has designed few terracotta souvenirs that has a connection with the glorious past.

Terracotta souvenir in the making

Pre-fired votive stupas...

The replica of Nalanda Sealing

Identification of large mound of Bargaon as remains of Ancient Nalanda Mahavihara was determined on the basis of a Seal discovered during the course of Exploration over the Mound of Bargaon. The inscription on the Sealing stated that the mound was in fact ancient Nalanda University. During the course of excavation thousand of such seals from Gupta and Pala period were found. The souvenir is replica of 5th century Gupta period Sealing displayed in Nalanda Museum. It was also part of the souvenir packet for the Buddhist Convention held in Nalanda earlier this year.
The souvenir was meticulously crafted by Shri Rajendra Pandit. The process was long and took efforts to prepare the right cast to match the original.

The cast for the seal

The seal ready and packaged with tag 

The hang tag with description about the Souvenir

The Buddha Head

Although Buddha himself was against idolism as an irony to his own teachings people world over find peace in the image that held the Buddha.

The Buddha has been replicated in various medium, tangible and intangible and since Nalanda had the privilege of touching the feet of the lord himself, the earth from the area can only be the best to recreate the radiant and peaceful sculpture replica of the body that held the soul.

The Votive Stupa

The Buddhist literature mentions the tradition of offering votive stupa at the chatiyas, Stupas and Viharas. 7th century Chinese Monk scholar who made the pilgrimage to Land of Buddha mentions about one such story about the place Jethian.

" it is a custom in India to make little stupas of powdered scent made into a paste; their height is about six or seven inches, and they place inside them some written extract from a sutra; this they call a Dharma-sarira. When the number of these has become large they then build a great stupa and collect all the others within it, and continually offer to it religious offerings" (Records of western countries, Book IX, p-146, S. Beal)

The plan of revival of the ancient Buddhist pilgrimage can’t be achieved without revival of these rituals. The terracotta votive stupa souvenir has been designed keeping this tradition in mind.

Multi Sprouted Jar

This is a miniature of a 36 mouth jar discovered from Maniyar Math site in Rajgriha. The original jar is kept in Nalanda Museum for display. This is a unique jar and has no parallel to any of the other pottery discoveries made so far. This symbol of uniqueness stood almost as distinct as the past and heritage of Nalanda and seems like the best souvenir to showcase the rich art and craft that flourished in Magadha.

The whole entourage
Such craft are a family enterprise where everybody in family contributes

The next generation learning and pitching in...


Shashi Bhushan said...


Amarendra said...

A great lesson for all of us, really a wonderful idea.

Unknown said...

we must do the needful, because of some wrong mindset peoples has destroyed our university... if it was there our INDIA would be first developed country in the world