Demolition and buffalo karma in Chennai

 

Indian Art Deco delight meets its demise:

glorious-art deco hotel entrance

 

I jumped into the taxi at the Madras airport upon my arrival on my first trip to India and asked the driver to take me to a hotel that was clean and had a good reputation for traditional Indian food. After negotiating the Holy Chaos of the streets of Madras ( now Chennai ), the lumbering old Hindustan Ambassador taxi, modelled on a 1949 English Morris Oxford, didn’t look out of place when it pulled up in front of the Dasaprakash Hotel. I immediately labelled it Neo Grunge Hindu Art Deco after I discovered the 120 room hotel had a traditional Hindu temple in the middle of it, some wonderful examples of Deco furniture and architecture and a large statue of Krishna on the roof. I was also impressed by the delicious Masala Dosa’s they served in the dining room, which are fermented crepes filled with spicy vegetables and a paste of coconut and fresh coriander. They were also famous for their  ice creams. I tried one which had spearmint, chocolate, cardamom and saffron, a truly divine combination. The Dasaprakash was built in the 1930’s and unfortunately it was recently demolished to make way for a modern apartment complex. Needless to say, I think that’s a real shame.
Art Deco Indian hotel facade

Neon Dasaprakash Hotel

 

Hotel Dasaprakash Art Deco facade

Hotel Dasaprakash Art Deco Modern Cafe

Queen Elizabeth in a cadillac in India

Queen Elizabeth doing a drive-by at the Hotel Dasaprakash in a convertible Cadillac – 1961

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Some surviving examples of  Indian Art Deco :

Bombay Art Deco wall relief

New India Assurance Building, Mumbai, India

 

Mumbai Art Deco Eros Cinema in yellow and maroon

Mumbai Art Deco Eros Cinema

 

 

Art Deco building statues in Mumbai

The New India Assurance Building, Mumbai, India

 

 

Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi statue perched on top of a clock tower

Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi perched on top of a Mumbai Art Deco clock tower.

Agiary Statue - Bombay

Agiary Statue – Bombay ( Mumbai )

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The Law of Cause and Effect

Traversing the streets in India is always a challenge. I took a morning bus heading towards  Chennai central to seek out some local antiques and the road was teeming with people and traffic. The bus had only gone a few blocks when the driver slammed on the brakes and stormed out of the bus. He began yelling at the driver of a buffalo drawn cart with large spoke-less wooden wheels, which had collided with the bus. The buffalo had run off and within minutes a large noisy crowd were milling around.  As the dispute dragged on, suddenly everyone was yelling and the buffalo was running back through the crowd. It didn’t collect anyone on the way except for the hapless bus driver who was trampled as it ran past the bus. He got up looking shaken and dishevelled and staggered over to a street cafe, where he  proceeded to have a cup of chai. Everyone had deserted the bus so I sauntered off thinking ” welcome to the land of karma “.

 

water buffalo Indian street

A buffalo in Chennai

old building stone facade in Jaisalmer, India

Street texture in Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer old buliding with three windows with closed shutters

Jaisalmer

 

 

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Clayart of India

male and female temple statues in Jaisalmer

Jain Temple Statues


clay figurine of a cow and a child

Indian clay figure

 

Indian pottery bazzar with deity staues and pots

Indian pottery shop

calcutta ceramic statue workshop

Calcutta pottery workshop

( 0range tuesday flickr )

Indian men dragging a female deity goddess thru the streets

Goddess procession

large ceramic water bowl in a courtyard

Large terracotta water bowl

monumental Shiva statue

Shiva, Lord of Transcendance at Murudeshwar Temple – Karnataka

At 123 feet it’s the worlds second tallest statue.

Khajuraho pottery throwing , Madhya Pradesh

Potter – Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

 

 

Detailed Elephant sculpture - Hutheesing Jain Mandir, Ahmedabad.

Elephant sculpture – Hutheesing Jain Mandir, Ahmedabad.

( Subah G )

 

 

delhi-female-potter-wallah

A decorative pottery maker outside her shop in New Delhi

(  J.S.Jaimohan – flickr )

terracotta pot of man covered in snakes

Terracotta snake ware

Blue ware from Rajastan - bowl qith floral decoration

Blue ware from Rajastan

Contemporary Indian Sculpture - Double Helix - Ray Meeke

Contemporary Indian Sculpture – ‘Double Helix’ – Ray Meeke

 

 

Ray-Meeker ceramic sculpture

‘Ozymandias’  Ray Meeke – 2006

 

 

Ray Meeke contemporary sculpture called Conglomerate

‘Conglomerate’ – 2007

 

 

female Indian deity goddess statues

Indian Deities

 

Rajasthani women carrying pots

Rajasthani women carrying terracotta pots

detailed heen hand art in India

Henna tattoos – traditional hand painting

 

 

Intricately carved temple pillars at the Adinath Temple

Beautifully carved temple pillars at the Adinath Temple. This 15th century Jain temple complex is situated in Ranakpur.

( melissaenderle.blogspot )

 

 

Indian ceramic wall plaque of Ganesh, the elephant God

While in India I was gifted this antique Ganesh wall plaque. It is 13.7  inches in height and in excellent condition due to having a glass front.

Rajasthani woman

Rajasthani woman

Mosaic statues at the Chandigarh-rock-gardens

Rajasthani woman

Contemporary-Indian-Studio-pottery

Contemporary Indian Pottery Vessel

 

 

Goddess Durga adorned for the Navartri Festival

Goddess Durga adorned for the Navartri Festival

( Manumint )

Indian musicians riding camels

Indian brass band riding camels

terracotta statues at Kaki Village pottery

Kaki Village pottery

 

 

457px-306px-Indian Chai-shop.jpg

Indian Chai shop

 

bramhagiri-mountain trail

On the path of the crescent shaped holy Brahmagiri mountain.

( I took the above 2 images with a Canon F1 )

 
 
 
 
 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Posted August 26, 2013 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Great post – I’m enjoying going through the back catalogue – thanks! Those Ray Meeker pieces look amazing. I wish I’d heard of him earlier, I’ve visited Pondy a couple of times. On one occasion I stayed in an amazing 1940s building, Golconde – more modernist than deco but very beautifully designed.

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