'Mural Mahabharatam' in 113 frames

'Mural Mahabharatam' in 113 frames
A view of the art exhibition at Neeranjali Hall.

Thrissur: The Mahabharat epic is offered as paintings and history in acrylic paintings, a world-record setting creation of 35 women artists. The 113 paintings on show at the Neeranjali Hall cover events from the scripting of Mahabharata to the ascension to heaven of Lord Sree Krishna.

The 35 painters, aged 35 to 75, were drawn from three states, and worked under a single guru, creating the Universal Records Forum (URF) world record of 2018.

'Mural Mahabharatam' is the result of four years of hard work of artistic creation by the women, supervised by their guru, Prince Thonnakkal. Their first challenge was to summarise into 113 paintings, without loss of artistic quality, the Mahabharata epic which has stories and sub-stories running into 18 chapters, with 1.25 lakh verses and endless number of characters.

Usha Rajan and Santha Gopinath from Kollam chose the story situations for the paintings. They were then divided into three segments and allotted to the artists in a draw.

The guru then prepared sketches on each canvas and handed them over to the artists. They painted the stories, sitting at different places and at different timings. Among the artists are engineers, doctors, teachers, enterpreneurs and even housewives.

The acrylic paint creations have been exhibited already in Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai and Coimbatore. The Universal Records Forum's recognition came on October 4, during the show in Coimbatore.

The 113 paintings begin with Ganapathi writing the Mahabharata tales listening to Vyasan. The caption interprets the story. Bheeshma's vow, the origins of Kauravas and Pandavas, Arjuna's grief, the Kurukshetra battle, the fall of Bheeshmar, the slaying of Drona, Karna and Duryodhana, the life spent by Pandavas in the woods renouncing the world, and Sree Krishna's ascend to heaven are depicted in 112 paintings.

The 'Vishwaroopam' work done by the guru completes the Mahabharata series. His disciples were drawn from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Thrissur, Chennai and Delhi.

The exhibition hosted by Chinmaya Mission was over on Sunday.

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