Tuesday, February 27, 2018

'Statues of Goddess Kali in Government Museum, Chennai, India' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

India has such a rich cultural heritage. Only a small portion of the ancient sculptures lie protected in various museums across India.

Indian museums are quite unlike museums in Europe,UK and USA where many of the museums display artifacts which do not belong to the country displaying them. A number of these artifacts were brought from the countries of origin illegally/stolen or brought "for safe keeping", as some of them would like the world to believe.

India's incredible wealth on display in its museums is all its own. However it is sad that our museums are not frequented by visitors, both Indian and foreign, in numbers that they deserve to receive. Having visited some museums in the countries mentioned above and in some of the Latin American countries, one can say easily  that the entrance fee to Indian museums is one of the lowest in the world.

One of the large and very rich museums in India is the museum at Egmore. Whenever I go to Chennai, I spend a few hours there. I was there last month and this time I greatly admired two sculptures of Goddess Kali.

‘The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Since Shiva is called Kāla—the eternal time—Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" (as in time has come). Hence, Kāli is the Goddess of Time and Change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilator of evil forces still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally "redeemer of the universe"). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. Kālī is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. Shiva lies in the path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati)’.(Source: https://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/stories-of-goddess-kali)

Take a look:

 Kali, Nerkundram, Tamil Nadu. About 12th Century A.D.

 Kali, Nolamba, Hemavati, Snantpur Dt., About 9th Century A.D. 

 The Government Museum is located in the neighbourhood of Egmore in Chennai, India. Started in 1851, it is the second oldest museum in India after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. The National Art Gallery is also located in the museum premises. Built in Indo-Saracenic style, it houses rare works of artists like Raja Ravi Varma. It comprises six independent buildings in this Museum campus  and has 46 galleries.

Entrance fees:
·  15 per person for Adults (Indians)
·  10 per person for Children (Indians)
·  3 per person for School Children
·  250 per person for Foreign Tourists
·  200 for Still Camera / Video Camera (Indians)
·  500 for Still Camera / Video Camera (Foreigners)

(Write up with inputs from the internet)

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