The next event to be held as part of the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture will be themed on well-known Islamic monuments in India, it has been announced. Titled ‘Islamic Monuments of India – An Exhibition’, the event will be held from tomorrow until September 28 at Building 19, Gallery 1, Katara – the Cultural Village, according to the Indian embassy in Doha.
In a statement yesterday, the embassy said it has already conducted more than 25 events in Qatar in partnership with Qatar Museums, Katara and the Ministry of Culture and Sports, as part of the Year of Culture initiative, and several more events are planned for the coming months.
Regarding the upcoming exhibition, the embassy said 45 chosen photographs will be on display depicting various monuments in India. “India has a vast, rich and varied heritage of Islamic architecture. These monuments are a great treasure of India’s culture and are of particular value as they reflect artistic and cultural links with many other countries. From the 12th century onwards, Islamic dynasties had
been set up in different regions across India,” the statement noted.
“The Mughal monuments of North India are well known. There were, however, many other important periods and centres in which distinctive idioms in architecture were created. The confluence of local talent with inspirations from Iran, Arabia and Central Asia resulted in mausoleums, mosques, madrasas, palaces and fortresses that were unique in the history of Islamic architecture, giving rise to a new style described as ‘Indo-Islamic architecture’,” it continued.
Besides the well-known Mughal monuments, the exhibition will also present several other exquisite monuments - mosques and dargahs of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kashmir and other parts of India. “Far more than in the north of India, it was perhaps in the Deccan that India received significant cultural and artistic influences of Persia and of the Arab world. The many exquisite monuments of the Deccan display the confluence of cultures, which took place in the region,” the statement added.
A view of the rich Islamic heritage of India is being presented in the exhibition through the eyes of Benoy K Behl, a filmmaker, art
historian and photographer known for his “tireless and prolific” output of work over the past 43 years. He has taken over 53,000 photographs of Asian monuments and art heritage and made 144 documentaries, which are regularly screened at major cultural institutions worldwide. Behl’s photographic exhibitions have been warmly received in 72 countries around the world. He has also made it to the Limca Book of Records for being the most travelled photographer and art historian.
His films, including 26 documentaries on The Paintings of India, 26 documentaries on The Sculpture of India and 26 documentaries on Spectacular India, have been nationally telecast on prime time in India, and have also had repeat telecasts.
In January 2008, National Geographic magazine carried an 18-page story about ancient Indian art revealed through Behl’s photography to the world. He is the first Indian about whose work the magazine has carried a story. Also, BBC World News carried three major stories about Behl’s work in India and Vietnam. The vastness of Behl’s documentation presents a wide and new perspective in understanding the art of India and Asia.
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