Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Falling in love with Bhopal

You know that feeling.....

Suddenly your eyes have fallen on someone. There is an instant click in the air and you are under his/her spell for the next so many days/months/years.

Or you have seen someone and you realise quite to your surprise, that this person is quietly growing in you, silently but surely. There is a fragrance inside, a smell you can associate only with love. You know you are falling in love, maybe the first time or the nth, the feeling is the same.

The Director of the NGO had not reached the station to pick me up as he promised. In fact, instead of Bhopal station, he was looking for me at Habibgunj station which is a ten minutes journey from Bhopal station. I was to reach there on my own. I did not know that existence had deliberately done so. It had plans for me which revealed itself in the next few moments - I was falling in love again, this time with a new lady – Begum Bhopal!(See history below)

The autorickshaw swerved out of Bhopal station and within minutes I knew I was losing my heart again, just like I did in Pune, so many years ago. Pune had given me love and had been the beginning of my first step towards Buddhism and Vipassana.

Bhopal is again one which has proved a love I won’t ever forget – ravishingly beautiful, passionately intoxicating and yet, classy, like a nawabi begum.

What you just saw was some exhibits from Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sanghralaya(IGRMV) fascinating as they are. The origin of man, the earliest humans in India and their lives are depicted here. On the day I visited IGRMS, the paintings of Jamini Roy were also exhibited. Don’t miss the pictures of both: IGRMS as well as paintings of Jamini Roy.

History of Bhopal:

Must see:
More Pictures at IGRMS

Paintings by Jamini Roy

Patua Painting exhibits at IGRMS


Amrita said...

I never knew Bhopal was such an interesting place . I must tell Sunila (Pastor 's wife ) about it.

The museum would be a good place to visit.I like the murals on the huts. Now chic people are having them painted in their homes. Remind me of the Bihari or Madhubani paintings. The MP sarees - handloom are very beautiful.

Of course Bhopal has the nawabi culture. There is music too. The Bhopal gharana if I am not mistaken?

Several celebrities come from Bhopal.

Mridula said...

Quite a compelling set of pictures. And when I come back from my weekend trip I would surely write to the people on the email you have provided. Thank you so much.

Julia Dutta said...

Dear Amrita,
You are absolutely right. Bhopal is very rich in culture. It combines the Nawabi culture of the past and takes from Marathi as well and a host of others. I have not as yet been to the Museum as yet but I am quite sure I would not be able to photograph there. Over a period I will cover Bhopal in more ways. Thanks for visiting Bhopal!
PS: Yes, there are a few gharanas here. But I am not quite knowledgeable of them yet. But I know that many music lovers visit from abroad to stay and learn here.

Julia Dutta said...


You are most welcome. Some of your photographs are exceptional - they must reach other forums as well.

I will give you another TIP. Kai Faiser is Editor of Outlook Traveller magazine. His wife is one of the partners of Nirantar, the NGO. Perhaps if you know her, or of her through a common friend like Naina, you could approach via that means. However, you would anyway have to send to Nayantara only. The Outlook Tel number is: 011- 26191421 and ask for Nayantara's extension - Call only after 11 am best after 1st of every month and not in the last week of the month. I hope it works for you. As far as Lesley is concerned, I will keep her informed that you may send in your pix.

Bhopale said...

Hi, a warm welcome to Bhopal. Many old Bhopalis say 'Jisne ek bar Bhopal ke talab ka pani piya, woh yahin ka ho kar rah gaya'. Hope you will enjoy your stay here.

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Bhopale,
Well said! Par janaab, aap yeh bhi yaad rakhe, ki Bhopal Begamji ki ichha se hi, koi unke darbar mein shamil ho sakta hai.
Thanks for dropping by,

Durgasankar Mandal said...

The second and third photographs are from Bhopal? If they were not listed there, I could have safely imagined they were shots from some Nubian countries.

Durgasankar Mandal said...

Julia, I thought Maihar Gharana of Baba Allauddin khan which was a subset of the Senina gharan (of the Tansen fame) was from Bhopal. Not sure if they have something called Bhopali ghar.

Though there's a raaga call Bhopali. SA, RE, GA, PA, DHA, SA in its ascendant and descendant in the reverse order. By the way the same raaga is called Mohan in the Karnatik tradition

Anonymous said...

I have lived 4 yrs in Bhopal. It is indeed a wonderful place.

Raviratlami said...

भोपाल तथा इसके आसपास और भी ऐतिहासिक पौराणिक सांस्कृतिक महत्व के स्थल हैं. श्यामला, अरेरा, कटारा पहाड़ियों पर बसा भोपाल मनमोहक तो है, पर अब इसकी सुंदरता झुग्गियों अतिक्रमण तथा अनापशनाप बसाहट से खत्म सी हो रही है.

Julia Dutta said...

Sorry for the late response. I have been away from my laptop as well as Bhopal.

Those pictures you saw there are from the IGRMS as I mentioned in my post. They are not from Bhopal, but pictures showing the first humans in the Indian subcontinent.

As far as the gharanas are concerned, I am not sure but Bhopal has a huge following from music lovers both from India and abroad who come here only to learn music.

Perhaps, in time I will know better. Thank you Durga for visiting. Lovely to see you here again.


Julia Dutta said...

Reema ( Thekaleidoscopicworld) welcome to my post and I visited yours as well. Beautiful photographer you are. Most GoNomad people I know are like Mridula.

Bhopal is truly beautiful and engaging.


Julia Dutta said...

Many thanks for visiting Bhopal with me and giving some more inputs on Bhopal. Yes, Shamla Hills and the place I stay in Arera Colony are very beautiful places. Lots of open spaces too.