Monday, December 31, 2012

These last days of the year ...our home

As I sit typing ,the last few hours of the calm envelopes the whole world and my mind..

In December  company with me were the pink and red carnations, white gladioli,the blockprints that i adore,the blue and green bottles and the kutchi cushions,snow flakes that fell on the tanjore paintings, the adorable chirstmas ornaments and so much more unforgettable and uncaptured moments.

Finding words is hard at times.  Even good words.  

No matter how long I chew on my thoughts, compose in my mind, my words seem to fall short of explaining the impact, the emotion, the way my heart has been changed over the last few days.(Relevant 11)
 I thank all my friends ,thank you for all the love showered and thank you for all your patience in reading the posts.

All Images and Ideas:Lakshmi Arvind

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Houses of Kumaon:Architecture and Masonry

As we travelled,in the Kumaon regions,their houses where the ones which we loved the most.The fairy tale type homes with small blue windows that perched on the high hills,with stone walls white washed ,slate roofs and courtyards of grey stone.
We came across some beautiful houses 
Kumaon has a distinctive style of architecture, which is to be seen on the one hand in scattered settlements of the higher Himalaya and populated agricultural valleys, and on the other in the temples, naulas-bawaris (water tanks), forts and dharamshalas (inns). Most of the old houses of Kumaon have stone walls, mud floors, slate roofs and patangans (courtyards of gray stone) and their doors, windows and Kholis (main entrance to the house) have intricate figures of Ganesh and other Gods - Goddesses. The wood carver or carpenter never forgets to make closed nestles for birds. Although brick and concrete houses are now being constructed in Kumaon, very often, depending on the availability of the material, people still prefer to use stones, slate and wood for the construction of their houses.
The temples, which have been constructed over a period of about a thousand years, follow a local style known as the 'Himadri' style of architecture. The temples at Jageshwar, Almora, Katarmal, Thal, Baijnath, Someshwar, Dwarahat, Gangolihat, Patal Bhuvaneshwar and Marsoli are very good examples of the local style, which is often termed as post Gupta architecture.(information taken from here)

 As we were invited into one of their homes,the father of the house took pride in telling me that his daughter paints very well and she was the one who did  the "Aipan".Loved the geometric figures that the girl had drawn.It had close resemblance with the "Kolams" of the South India. Aipans and Kolams are used to adorn the gateways of homes.It is a pattern made with fingers.This also has resemblence with the Kalam Ezhuthu  of Kerala,where they use coloured powder to make the drawings of godessess and yantra ,the main one being the sudarshana yantra for the sudharshana pooja. Will surely dedicate a post for all of them together..

  The Aipan (Alpana) is a popular art form of Kumaon, and walls, papers and pieces of cloth are decorated by the drawing of various geometric and other figures belonging to gods, goddesses and objects of nature. Pichhauras or dupattas are also decorated in this manner. At the time of Harela there is a tradition of making clay idols (Dikaras).
'Aepan' or Aipan or Alpana is an art which has a special place in all Kumaoni homes. The word "Aepan' is a derivative of 'Arpan'. A commonly used word for it is “Likhai” (writing), although it is a pattern made with the fingers. Aepan are used as ritual designs for Pujas, festivals and ceremonies connected with birth, janeu (the sacred thread ceremony), marriage and death.
The raw material used is simple ochre (Geru) colour and rice paste. It is mostly women who paint the designs on the floors and walls of their homes using the last three fingers of the right hand. Once the ochre base is ready the artist draws the pattern free hand. Chowkies are made with mango wood and painted with special designs for each occasion. Pattas & Thapas are made directly on the walls or on paper and cloth. Earlier the paint used was made from natural 'dyes. Today, poster and oil paints both are used. We are using the traditional "patterns for cards, wall hangings, cushion covers, table cloths, even T-Shirts. The decorative patterns used to adorn doorways have been adapted for gift tags, bookmarks, clay items, wooden boxes, trays and coasters.(Information taken from here)

Looking forward for more travels and more stories......

Images :Lakshmi Arvind
Some of the text and information from:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The charming Home of Chandra Jain in Bangalore

The charming home with lots of love and life of Chandra Jain and her family in Bangalore.Loved the brass containers and the flowers,the antique styled furniture and the colourful textiles around this home.This seemed to me like a dream come was so very much like me..

My magazine collection is on the increase and now its overflowing out of the chests and I wouldn't do justice if I dont show you my favourite homes from all those magazine.keep checking.Will add more homes soon..

All image credits:Good Homes

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thank you Deccan Herald!

Thank you Deccan Herald ,Thanks Savitha ..For giving me the opportunity to write a few words aout my favourite subjects in my life.

All subjects are near to me .Flowers are an indispensable part of me and like wise Antiques and their charm..My love towards flowers made me a horticulturist and the love for our heirlooms made me an antique fanatic...As written in the story I love all flowers and leaves ,even a blade of grass,thts what my Amma had told me ...Love for flowers have been the way of life for us,my Amma being a botanist,taxonomist and a famous environmentalist.Its not fair If i don't mention her ,she having spent 40 years of her life for plants,the brilliance with which she identifies the plants in a second..Still i find it difficult.Anything about plants above ground or under the sea she is the best..

Memories and Nostalgia is what is life all about...the good old memories ,with my everloving grand dad and the greenery of the place where i was born,how as children we used to go to various temples and see kathakali performances,how my grana used to take us backstage are all wonderful experiences once in a life time..Thats what makes  my love towards antiques and heirlooms...

All images :Lakshmi Arvind

Charming getaways of Kumaon

As we researched into finding a perfect getaway in Kumaon region,we came across many beautiful places and houses in Kumaon region.These houses were age old,but modernised for tourism and were the perfect places to be in any weather.

Kumaoni houses in Kumaon are also an attraction of the region. These 100 years old traditional house has exotically carved window and door frames, which are made without using any sawing tools but of axes and chisels. One should not miss to see such houses during their visit to Kumaoni.

The perfect getaways to the kumaon region can be the  Shakthi Himalayas ,the Itmenaan estate and lodges .The offer the perfect guided tours in this region.

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