India's monuments are not mere stone structures, or testimonials, or even memorials of a past, their strength lying just in some kind of structural hugeness or architectural perfection. They are rather an inseparable part of India's great creative tradition, an outcome of her thought, experience and technical skill, a reflection of her faith and aspirations, an embodiment of her vision and conceptualisations, an evidence of her all embracing outlook and a wider, broader and more liberal life-style, a witness of the journey of a great creative genius across a passage of over three thousand years, and a manifestation of a great mind, glorious past and a magnificent people. The monuments of India are endowed with an intrinsic meaning besides what they externally convey.
'Monuments of India' seeks to interpret a monument in its totality, in most of the contexts and with all its meaning. Its spectacular aspect is as strong as its endeavour to reveal to view a monument's aesthetic beauty and its essential intrinsic meaning. It seeks to see in a monument its timelessness, the quality to endure beyond time, and its divine power to perpetually delight.
Monuments of India' has not any of its parameters, or its own angles, or even its own diction to define or delineate a monument. It endeavours to read a monument's own diction, see from its own angle and asses its magnitudiousness by its own parameters. Its vision of Taj is shere poetry, as Taj is a poem, a song, an elegy composed in marble, its interpretation of Khajuraho sculptures and building structures of Fatehpur Sikri is thought provoking as they were created by a mind that thought in a special way, and its depiction of forts for they were built for defense needs and their aesthetic beauty only mirrored their creators' taste.
The 1st volume of 'Monuments of India', with its almost 170 photographs and comprehensive, though somewhat condensed, text, is an effort to see the monuments of Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Khajuraho, Jaipur and Amber in their fulness. It visualises their spectacular and aesthetic beauty, tried to assess their structural and architectural worth, finds their various related contexts and interprets their intrinsic meaning. 'Monuments of India' is a better vision of India's monuments.
About the Author:
Dr. Daljeet, an eminent art scholar, did her doctorate on 'A study of Central Indian Miniature Paintings- Malwa and Bundelkhand' from the Barkatulla University, Bhopal. She began her career as an archaeologist in Archaeological Survey of India, worked in various fields of art, and is now working as Keeper-In-charge, Department of Painting in the National Museum, New Delhi. She has traveled widely in India and abroad, in connection with her studies, academic pursuits and organising exhibitions on Indian Art and Paintings. The Govt. of Punjab had recently honoured her with the responsibility of setting up a special exhibition on The Sikh Heritage at Anandpur Sahib to celebrate the Tercentenary of the Birth of Khalsa.
She has a number of books, catalogues, portfolios and articles on Indian Art and Paintings to her credit. Her prestigious volume on the Mughal and Deccani Paintings, from the collection of the National Museum, has been widely acclaimed by the scholars and art connoisseurs. Her forthcoming publications are Goddess in Indian Miniatures and The Sikh Heritage- A search for Totality.
Prof. P. C. Jain, an instinctive poet, linguist and aesthetician, began his career in 1961 as a lecturer of English literature and accomplished some outstanding research work on Hindi linguistics. Some of his poetry, short stories and a translations of Logic and the Scientific Method in two vols., too, are amongst his early publications. He then shifted to journalism and active politics, though despite busy political life he never gave up reading and writing. He editor for over two decades a Hindi daily Lokpath and contributed stories and articles to several leading news papers. He has recently written an outstanding book-Gandhi in Stamps. Now he is contributing with Dr. Daljeet on aesthetics, Indian art and Architecture, Painting and Indian Monuments. Amongst their published works Shakuntala and Khajuraho are outstanding. Indian Gods and Goddesses, Ramayana and the Iind volume of the Monuments of India are their forthcoming publications.
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