Gujarat

Mata Ni Pachedi, Vahanvati Mata

Goddess Vahanvati is also known as Sikotar Mata. The Goddess is closely associated with the sea, commerce, and traders. She is revered by seafarers and is frequently depicted sitting on a boat with outstretched sails. In this Pachedi, the six-armed Goddess is illustrated on a boat-like structure. Worshippers and deities from the Hindu epics decorate… Read more »

Gateways to India

The sea is witness to much that defines India and our port cities are the sentinels of change. Let’s travel to some old and new ports through the Sarmaya collection of maps and engravings and imagine them at the peak of their power

River of Faith

Through the veins of a centuries-old textile art tradition flow the waters of a once-mighty river. Follow the journey of a Mata-ni-Pachedi painting as it takes birth on the banks of the Sabarmati

Thakore Sahib of Morvi with Mahendrasingh, Prince of Morvi

This is a studio portrait of Thakur Sahib Maharaja Lakhdirji Waghji and the young Mahendrasingh of Morvi. They represent two generations of the Jadeja Rajputs who ruled the state of Morvi on the Kathiawar peninsula. In 1807, the East India Company declared the state of Morvi a British protectorate, a system by which local rulers… Read more »

Meladi Mata no Chandarvo

This textile celebrates and reveres the folk goddess Meladi Mata, depicted at the centre seated on a black goat. According to legend, Goddess Parvati created Meladi from the dirt on her body and bestowed her divine shakti or strength and a black male goat as her mount.  Mata-ni-Pachedi or Chandarvo is a textile painting that… Read more »

The Asoka Rock, Junagadh

Pictured here is the Girnar Rock Edicts in Junagadh, Gujarat, photographed by D. H Sykes in 1869. Located on the foothills of the Mount Girnar in Gujarat, the Girnar Rock Edicts, also known as the Junagadh Rock Inscriptions, are collections of 14 significant Prakrit edicts or inscriptions credited to Ashoka, the 3rd century Mauryan King.… Read more »

Age of the Empires

The thrill of serendipity, the awakening of the imagination, the inevitability of being devoured heart and soul by a world you didn’t even know existed until this moment. In a way, being a student of history is like being an astronomer. Especially if the subject of study is an ancient or forgotten kingdom. Click to… Read more »

Brick by Brick: The Built Legacies of the Gujarat Sultanate

The Sultans of Gujarat built a lasting cultural legacy that lives on through the incredible mosques, tombs, palaces and shrines they left behind in Ahmedabad, Cambay, Patan and Champaner. Let’s go on a tour of the Sultanate through rare photographs from the Sarmaya collection

Old Temple from the North West, Gop

Pictured here are the ruins of an old temple in Gop, Gujarat, estimated to date to the 6th century, Maitraka period. Located in Jamnagar district, Gop was one of several historic sites in Kathiawar and Kutch examined by British archaeologist James Burgess between 1874-75. The shrine, standing about 23 feet high, may be the oldest… Read more »

Patang Mata ni Pachedi

This work illustrates the entire process of making the Mata ni Pachedi and the city of Ahmedabad by young artist Sumit Chitara (b.2004), son of National award winner Sanjay Chitara (b.1978).   Mata-ni-pachedi is an artistic tradition practised by the Vaghris of Gujarat. It was a drought that brought the community to Khanpur in Ahmedabad… Read more »

Baroche on the banks of Nerbudda in Guzerat

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, company officials and professional artists played an important role in collecting and disseminating knowledge about India – an activity central to British imperialism. The discovery and definition of vegetation and fauna helped the Company’s mission of exploiting lucrative raw materials and furthering scientific research. Sketching was a quick and… Read more »

Surat on the Banks of the Tappee

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, company officials and professional artists played an important role in collecting and disseminating knowledge about India – an activity central to British imperialism. The discovery and definition of vegetation and fauna helped the Company’s mission of exploiting lucrative raw materials and furthering scientific research. Sketching was a quick and… Read more »

Mata Ni Pachedi, Bahuchara Mata

This Mata-ni-Pachedi  venerates the Bahuchara Mata, depicted sitting on a rooster. Two diminutive goddesses flank her on either side. Benevolent protector of India’s hijra community, the Bahuchara Mata or Becharaji is most commonly portrayed seated on a rooster. The bird represents virility and devotees of the goddess seek help with infertility, among other maladies. Historically,… Read more »

Mata Ni Pachedi, Hadkai Mata

This Mata-ni-Pachedi celebrates and venerates the Hadkai Mata, depicted standing on a large chariot shrine pulled by four dogs. Goddess Hadkai, also known as Hadkamai, Hadaksha, Hadkabai and Hulan, is the Goddess who protects against rabies. Rabies is a real and present danger due to the large population of dogs that live in and around… Read more »

A General view of Palitana

Built on Mount Shatrunjaya in the town of Palitana, these 863 temples receive millions of visitors each year. Of the 24 Tirthankaras in Jainism, 23 have visited this holy site. The first Tirthankara, Adinath is believed to have preached his first sermon here. The town was ruled by the Gohil family who have ruled parts… Read more »

Mata Ni Pachedi, Durga Mata, Vahanvati Mata, Bahuchara Mata

There are three central goddesses in this painting: Durga, Bahuchara Mata and Vahanvati Mata. If you’ve read this story on goddesses and their vahans, you will know that Durga Mata is the one riding the lion on land, Vahanvati Mata is riding a black goat on a boat in the sea and Bahuchara Mata is… Read more »

Mata Ni Pachedi, Vishat Mata

Vishat Mata’s name is derived from the Gujarati ‘vis-hath’ or twenty hands. Interestingly, even though she’s named for that very quality, this goddess is rarely represented in paintings with twenty arms; some six-armed goddesses have also been identified as Vishat Mata. Her mount is a black buffalo. The Goddess usually carries swords, a dagger, a… Read more »

Mata Ni Pachedi, Bahuchara Mata

Bahuchara Mata is the central figure of this work. The goddess is depicted sitting on a rooster inside a shrine-like structure. Her is flanked by the images of Hindu gods and devotees, and foliage on the outside. This goddess’s name is derived from the Gujarati words ‘bahu’, meaning many and ‘chara’, meaning movement. Her mount… Read more »