The Ghats of Mathura and Vrindavan, Proposals for Restoration

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Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage, 1990 - Architecture, Hindu - 166 pages

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Twentyfive years ago I was on the team that helped the author K T Ravindran to put together information, drawings, photographs on the ghats of Mathura and Vrindavan as one of the earliest projects for conservation of the riverfronts associated with the legendary Lord Krishna in the Brajbhoomi area. Meticulous recording of the physical context, rigorous debates on understanding the metaphysical aspects, myths, philosophies, legends as also the folk arts like the Sanjhi, calender art pictures and local folklore characterized this formative experience that I now look back at through this review. It was not a proposal that went further into the realm of being implemented though at one time it was created as a serious document worthy of implementation. The patron organization being INTACH which started off about 30 years ago as a voluntary effort by heritage vigilantes and promised to be something like the National Trust in England also needs to ruminate over its achievements and shortcomings. It has been trying to encourage or unintentionally discourage professionals like me into this new-found affliction that is also derived from the west (like so many other things we chose to do). The document however remains as a worthy effort that speaks of a method to understand the complex and simple aspect of India's mysterious past and impossible to deal with present. One would rather have it than not.  



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