GUWAHATI, Feb 16 - Visitors at the ongoing Kumbh Mela, 2019 at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh are savouring the famed natural heritage of Assam, thanks to its poignant depiction by an artist.
Jaya Thadani, a Guwahati-based artist, has done a number of murals at public places at Allahabad, painting Assam’s pride, the one-horned rhinoceros, among others. The rhino, the State animal of Assam now adorns large spaces in the Allahabad City railway station – also known as Rambagh railway station – one of the busiest railway hubs of Uttar Pradesh.
She has extensively painted another 10,000-sq ft space on the boundary walls of the CMP Degree College, Allahabad, where the theme is river and fish.
Jaya was invited to paint murals as part of the ‘Paint My City Campaign’ to assist the Uttar Pradesh government’s city beautification and renovation efforts ahead of the Kumbh Mela, also called Aardh Kumbh Mela which is held every six years.
The auspicious occasion attracts tourists and devotees in their hordes, making it one of the largest human congregations of the world. A footfall of nearly 12 crore from India and abroad is expected during the ongoing celebrations which will conclude in March.
“It has been a great experience to do murals for the Kumbh Mela. I am all the more happy because I have been able to showcase my home State’s celebrated natural heritage before a large global audience,” she told The Assam Tribune.
Jaya added that wildlife had been an enduring theme in her artwork and she loved paying homage to nature through her paintings.
The street art project involves painting of murals at numerous publicly visible strategic locations across Allahabad to mark the Kumbh Mela celebrations.
Jaya, who incidentally is the first street lady artist from Assam to paint murals in a Kumbh Mela, has painted a massive water tank in the railway station. Her artwork on the water tank located 110 feet above the ground features a rhinoceros together with a saurus crane, the State bird of Uttar Pradesh.
“Here at Kumbh Mela, my paintings are on the amalgamation of the two state’s wildlife. One side of the water tank at the railway station features a rhino with her calf, and on the other side is a saurus crane,” she said.
Jaya was helped by three assistants – Pradeep, Amit and Deep who hail from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh – in her street art at Allahabad. Her work has been widely appreciated by both visitors and officials at Allahabad.
Kumbh Mela is one of the world’s largest religious gatherings and is held on a rotational basis in any of the four riverside towns of Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain. The Maha Kumbh is held every 12 years at Prayag (Allahabad), with the Aardh Kumbh Mela being organised every six years.