Home » Mandala art, flora, festivals: Tunnel’s walls swap staid with style | Latest News Delhi

Mandala art, flora, festivals: Tunnel’s walls swap staid with style | Latest News Delhi

Mandala art, flora, festivals: Tunnel’s walls swap staid with style | Latest News Delhi


New Delhi: Flora and fauna, different festivals and rituals, and Mandala-style art are some of the themes of the decorative murals lining the Pragati Maidan tunnel that was inaugurated on Sunday. Commuters passing through the stretch will witness a colourful palette that seeks to highlight the theme of ‘Celebration of Life through Six Seasons of India’through decorative murals on the walls and central column.

As one enters the tunnel from the Purana Qila end, a giant image of a peacock, the national bird, greets commuters leading them to a section interspersed with visuals of birds, flowers, and panels depicting various festivals such as Bihu, Baisakhi and Christmas among others. Vivid colours such as yellow, orange, and green are extensively used to depict the vibrant festivals that are celebrated in the country in different seasons. Besides surface painting, murals have also been carved and painted on steel sheets.

While the tunnel remained closed for regular traffic on Sunday, passersby and staff associated with the project were seen clicking selfies and pictures of the art in the tunnel.

After inaugurating the tunnel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took a tour and said that the artwork was unique. “I got down from the jeep since I was tempted to watch the artwork lining the tunnel. I saw different parts of the artwork and liked it… I can say that it’s a good education centre that demonstrates the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’,” said Modi.

He said that the tunnel possibly featured one of the longest artworks. “After watching the artwork, I can say that it’s possible that such a long mural inside a tunnel may not be found anywhere else. The tunnel has become a long art gallery. If someone wants to understand India and its diversity, its moments of joy and excitement, they can travel through the tunnel,” said Modi.

While appreciating the diversity demonstrated by the artwork, the Prime Minister suggested that the traffic through the tunnel could be halted for 4-6 hours and school children could be taken on a walking tour of the tunnel on Sunday or on days when the vehicular volume was less. “Provision of technology-aided guides and audio guides can also be made. A ticketing mechanism can also be put in place,” Modi said in a post-inaugural speech.

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Him Chatterjee, the art consultant for the project, said that a team of professionals worked on the mural and it took more than two years of painstaking work for his drawings to come to life. “On the entire running mural, flora and fauna as per the different seasons, and different festivals and rituals throughout the country have been executed with perfect symmetry and precision…These murals were hand-painted and manufactured on steel sheets with a view to indigenise the ambience of the tunnel. They are a feast of diverse styles of Indian cultural celebration, painted in exquisite cohesion. The approach is to art as an expression of cultural nationalism,” said Chatterjee, who is the chairman of the Department of Visual Arts, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla.

He said that the main tunnel steel work covers more than 7000 square metres and after taking into account the painted surface area, the total art-covered area spans nearly 2,8991 square metres, which “is a record”. “Passing through the tunnel will be a feast for the eyes and everyone will have sweet and small memorable moments,” he said.

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