“Civilisations aren't remembered by their business people, Bankers or lawyers. They're remembered by their art.” – Eli Broad.
And what’s the best place to observe these arts than at the museums! Museums are repositories of the artistic, cultural, tangible and intangible heritage of a country. India being a country of much-celebrated history and past, has innumerable artefacts of beauty and importance. To explore and honour this diversity of artefacts, India Post has issued four commemorative stamps. These stamps depict the treasured art objects exhibited in the museums from across the country.
Kalpadruma: This 50p stamp shows a “Kalpadruma” which is a unique wooden sculpture from 2nd century BCE. Discovered by Sir Alexander Cunningham who was known as the Father of Indian Archaeology, this Kalpadruma is said to have once decorated the capital of a column at Besnagar, Vidisha district in Madhya Pradesh.
Today it finds a protected residence in India’s very first museum, the Indian Museum, Calcutta! This Kalpadruma, sometimes also called as Kalpavrishka, is from the Shunga period and is said to represent the wish-fulfilling tree of ancient traditions. It is decorated with treasures such as sankha (conch shell), Padma (lotus), two vases pouring coins and four purses with strings tied around their necks. The column, of which this capital was a part, may have adorned a shrine of Kubera, the God of Wealth.
Founded in 1814 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata (Calcutta) India, The Indian Museum is the largest and oldest museum in India. In 2014 Indian Museum completed its bicentenary (200 years)!
Image Courtesy: Mintage World