Upcoming Events

  • Lecture on ‘Water Heritage of Gonds’ by Shri Krishna Gopal Vyas

    Date: 22nd March 2019
    Time: 4.30 pm
    Location: Multipurpose Hall, INTACH, New Delhi

    It gives us great pleasure to invite you to the lecture at INTACH. Shri K. G. Vyas will talk about the water tanks and step-wells which Gonds of Garha-Mandla (1300-1789), constructed during their rule. They constructed 52 moderate to large tanks and 161 small tanks (Tallaiya) and a few step-wells in and around Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. In the past 500 years, these water bodies have suffered from neglect and encroachment. Luckily, a few of them survive and are still in good condition.

    The shape and size of these tanks is controlled by the local topography and demonstrate an intimate relationship with the local geological formations. An analysis shows that fifty-five per cent of the tanks have been constructed on alluvium formation, twenty-seven per cent tanks on weathered granite, thirteen per cent on porous and permeable sandstone and only two per cent tanks are constructed on lamets formation whereas step-wells are located only on weathered granite. This distribution clearly indicates that the Gonds had a very clear understanding of the water-bearing properties of different geological formations.

    These tanks have ensured water availability to the area even in the worst summer season. Their technical superiority lies in the fact that these tanks are almost silt free. The inflow and outflow of water is balanced in a way that very little silt gets accumulated in them. These tanks and step-well exhibit technical water wisdom of Gonds of Central India.

    Mr K. G. Vyas is a former Director, Water and Land Management Institute, (WALMI), MP.

    He taught Geology in various colleges of Madhya Pradesh for twelve years after which he joined the State Irrigation Department. He headed the groundwater survey wing of the Irrigation Department, MP from 1992 to 1994. During this period, he was associated with the World Bank aided hydrology project.

    Shri Vyas studied Natural Resource Management in Australia in the year 2000. Upon his return, he developed the concept of Jal Swaraj (Universal Availability of Water). Based on this concept, the Government of MP has run Pani Roko Abhiyan in the state. In 2018, Shri Vyas developed the River Revival Manual.

    He has authored fourteen books and more than a hundred articles and research papers on water and related subjects for various magazines, newspapers and journals.

    Shri Vyas is the recipient of many awards and honours.

  • Lecture on ‘Symbolism in Indian Heritage’ by Dr. Devangana Desai

    Date: 26th February 2019
    Time: 4.30 pm
    Location: Multipurpose Hall, INTACH, New Delhi

    It gives us great pleasure to invite you to the lecture – Symbolism in Indian Heritage: Ashta Mangalas, Kurma, Vatapatrashayi, and Sandhi-kshetra (Juncture-Conjunction) at INTACH.

    Dr. Desai will speak on the different philosophies and meanings as represented by Ashta Mangalas – the eight auspicious symbols which differ in meanings in Buddhism, Hinduism and in Shvetambara and Digambara sects of Jainism. Kurma (tortoise, turtle) – as a symbol of self-control in the Bhagavad Gita and other texts and its association with water cosmology. Vatapatrashayi – Krishna on a banyan leaf floating on the cosmic ocean. Symbolically, it represents the first form of life on Earth. Sandhikshetra – Juncture-Conjunction – In the integrated temples of Khajuraho (10th -11th centuries) erotic figures were placed by architects on the juncture (sandhi-kshetra) of the sanctum and the hall. This is noticeable on the sandhara temples (with inner circumambulation) where two equal squares of the sanctum and the hall overlap.

    Dr. Devangana Desai is an art historian. She is a Trustee of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India), Mumbai, and the Sarabhai Foundation (Calico Museum), Ahmedabad.

    Dr. Desai was the Vice-President of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai until 2015 and the Editor, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai, for seventeen years from 1992 to 2009. She served as the Chairperson of the Museum Society of Bombay from 1983 to 1992.

    She is the author of – Art and Icon – Essays on Early Indian Art, Khajuraho – Monumental Legacy, The Religious Imagery of Khajuraho, Erotic Sculpture of India – A Socio-Cultural Study Sectional presidential address, Indian History Congress (1989), titled Social Dimensions of Art in Early India; and presidential address for Indian Art History Congress (2013) titled Art and Literature – A Dialogue. She has written over a hundred papers on various aspects of Ancient Indian Art.

    Dr. Desai was awarded the Homi Bhabha Fellowship – 1978-80, and the Dadabhai Naoroji Memorial Prize 1983.In 2015 she was the recipient of the Hirayama Prize from Institute de France, Paris, for “the totality of researches in the field of Indian Art”. Dr. Desai has lectured extensively all over the world.

    She is the Series Editor for the Monumental Legacy Series on the World Heritage Sites in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

    Dr. Desai sponsored the renovation of the Sculpture Gallery of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai. In 2017, she instituted the ‘Dr. Devangana Desai Endowment Programme’ at the Sangrahalaya, which promotes fellowships and arranges lectures by eminent scholars.