Indian Art Deco delight meets its demise:
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.
Neon Dasaprakash Hotel
Hotel Dasaprakash Art Deco Modern Cafe
Queen Elizabeth doing a drive-by at the Hotel Dasaprakash in a convertible Cadillac – 1961
Some surviving examples of Indian Art Deco :
New India Assurance Building, Mumbai, India
Mumbai Art Deco Eros Cinema
The New India Assurance Building, Mumbai, India
Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi perched on top of a Mumbai Art Deco clock tower.
Agiary Statue – Bombay ( Mumbai )
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 “.
A buffalo in Chennai
Street texture in Jaisalmer
Clayart of India
Jain Temple Statues
Indian clay figure
Indian pottery shop
Calcutta pottery workshop
( 0range tuesday flickr )
Large terracotta water bowl
Shiva, Lord of Transcendance at Murudeshwar Temple – Karnataka
At 123 feet it’s the worlds second tallest statue.
Potter – Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Elephant sculpture – Hutheesing Jain Mandir, Ahmedabad.
( Subah G )
A decorative pottery maker outside her shop in New Delhi
( J.S.Jaimohan – flickr )
Terracotta snake ware
Blue ware from Rajastan
Contemporary Indian Sculpture – ‘Double Helix’ – Ray Meeke
‘Ozymandias’ Ray Meeke – 2006
‘Conglomerate’ – 2007
Rajasthani women carrying terracotta pots
Henna tattoos – traditional hand painting
Beautifully carved temple pillars at the Adinath Temple. This 15th century Jain temple complex is situated in Ranakpur.
( melissaenderle.blogspot )
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.
Contemporary Indian Pottery Vessel
Goddess Durga adorned for the Navartri Festival
( Manumint )
Indian brass band riding camels
Kaki Village pottery
Indian Chai shop
On the path of the crescent shaped holy Brahmagiri mountain.
( I took the above 2 images with a Canon F1 )