MURAL PAINTINGS IN PARLIAMENT HOUSE


As one enters the Parliament House, one is fascinated by a row of beautiful paintings adorning the walls of the outer circular corridor on the ground floor. The paintings are the works of eminent artists of India, depicting scenes from the long history of this country right from the Vedic age down the British period, culminating in the attainment of independence in 1947.

The practice in India of decorating public places, temples and palaces etc., with paintings and murals has come down to us since time immemorial. These pieces of art are symbolic of the life, culture and traditions of the people of the contemporaneous periods. To us now, they are reminiscent of the great civilisations and empires that flourished in India in the past and of the great kings, warriors and saints who by their efforts glorified this land of ours. The caves of Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta are vivid reminders of great art that flourished centuries ago. It was natural, therefore, that the architects of modern India should have thought it fit to decorate the modern temple of democracy, i.e. the Parliament House, with paintings depicting great moments in the history of this country and to try to revive in some measure the glory that was ‘India’. The  idea was first conceived by the late Shri G.V. Mavalankar,  the first Speaker of Lok Sabha. In 1951, a Planning Committee was appointed, consisting of prominent Members of Parliament, eminent scholars, archaeologists, historians with the Speaker (Shri G.V. Mavalankar) as Chairman. The Committee drew up a detailed plan to decorate the corridor on the ground floor of the Parliament House with 125 panels (size 11'.9" x 4'.11/2") and 46 motifs, at an estimated cost of Rs. 3 lakhs. According to revised plan the corridor on Ground Floor of the Parliament House will be decorated with 59 Panels.

In order to execute the plan, an Artists Sub-Committee consisting of well-known artists, historians, archaeologists and archaeological chemists was appointed in 1954. This Sub-Committee laid down a detailed and systematic procedure for getting the panels painted by selected artists in the country.

The artists selected for painting the murals have been divided into different zones and each zone is under the change of an honorary Artist Supervisor who is also a member of the Artists Sub-Committee. The Artist Supervisor guides and supervises the work of the artists in his respective zone. Each panel passes through three stages, i.e. colour sketch, pencil cartoon and final painting on masonite board. The work was to be approved at every stage by the Artist Supervisor and the Artists Sub-Committee, particularly by the historian members of the Sub-Committee.

 So far, 58 panels have been completed and displayed in the outer corridor on the ground floor of the Parliament House. A brief description of the panels already on display is given below:—

Panel No. 1

The seal of Shiva as Yogi showing the Indian ideal of meditation. Also Bull and Unicom. From Mohenjodaro

(3rd Millennium B.C.).

Artist — Shri H.V. Ram Gopal, Chennai.

Artist Supervisor — Shri K.C.S. Paniker, Chennai.

Panel No. 2

Metal image of dancing girl and stone carving of priest. From Mohenjodaro (3rd Millennium B.C.)

Artist — Shri Rama Krishna Rao, Chennai.

Artist Supervisor — Shri K.C.S. Paniker, Chennai.

Panel No. 3 

This panel illustrates two scenes from the epic Ramayana.

The first one depicts the compassion of Valmiki with the  quotation "ma nishada" etc. The other depicts the meeting of Rama and Guha (King of Nishadas), symbolising the meeting of the Aryan and Austric cultures.

Artist — Shri K. Sreenivasulu, Chennai.

Artist Supervisor— Shri K.C.S. Paniker, Chennai.

Panel No. 4 

Scene depicting the establishment of Rama Rajya. The principal figures shown are Rama, Sugriva, Hanuman, Vasishtha, Lakshmana, Sita, Bharata, Shatrughna and the three mothers Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra.

Artist— Shri P.L. Narasimha Murthy, Chennai.

Artist Supervisor— Shri K.C.S. Paniker, Chennai.

Panel No. 5 

(a) Rishi Krishna Dvaipayana, the author of the Mahabharata, with the quotation about the greatness of Dharma (law, piety and truth)— "namo dharmaya mahate dharmo dharayati prajah".

(b) Manu, the first law giver.

Artist and Artist Supervisor — Shri K.C.S. Paniker, Chennai.

Panel No. 6 

Scene from the first Congress of Indian philosophers convened by Janaka — Janaka and Yajnavalkya, showingalso Maitreyi, Gargi, Saulbha and Ashtavakra.

Artist — Shri S. Dhanapal, Chennai.

Artist Supervisor — Shri K.C.S. Paniker, Chennai.

Panel No. 7 

Mahavira (6th Century B.C.) with Adinatha and Parsvanatha on either side, all seated with appropriate symbols. The statue of Gomateswara at Sravanabelgola is also shown.

Artist — Shri A. Balakrishnan, Chennai.

Artist Supervisor — Shri K.C.S. Paniker, Chennai.

Panel No. 8 

Buddha’s temptation showing Buddha seated on Vajrasana with Mara and his host on one side and his daughters on the other (6th Century B.C.).

Artist — Shri S. Sen Roy, New Delhi.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Barada Ukil, Delhi.

Panel No. 9 

Buddha turning the wheel of law (Dharma-Chakra Pravartana). It also shows the first five disciples of the Buddha at Sarnath and the symbol showing the Dharma Chakra with two couchant stags on either side.

Artist — Shri Sushil Sarkar, Chandigarh.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Barada Ukil, Delhi.

Panel No.11 

Scene representing the meeting of the elders of the Lichchhavi clan, showing the coins of the earlier Ganas such as Andhakas, Vrishnis, Yaudheyas, Malavas, etc.

Artist Supervisor— Shri Barada Ukil, Delhi.

Panel No.12

Panini (500 B.C.) and Chanakya (4th Century B.C.).

Artist — Shri Pratap Chandra Sen, New Delhi.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Barada Ukil, Delhi.

Panel No. 13

Alexander and Paurava, King Paurava (Porus) before Alexander as prisoner (4th Century B.C.).

Artist — Shri S. Sen Roy, New Delhi.

Artist Supervisor — Shri O.P. Sharma, New Delhi.

Panel No.14 

(a) Asoka sending out missions to different countries. Asoka, monks and the Greek Kings (3rd Century B.C.)

(b) Asoka’s Buddhist Council.

Artist — Shri B.N. Jijja, Delhi.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Barada Ukil, Delhi.

Panel No. 15

Deputation of Mahendra and Sanghamitra with the Bodhi tree to Ceylon—from the scene in Cave-1 at Ajanta (3rd Century B.C.).

Artist — Shri Amulya Gopal Sen Sarma, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S. N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No.16

King Menander in discussion with a Buddhist monk, Nagasena. Quotation from Milinda Panho (2nd Century B.C.) and a coin of Menander.

Artist — Shri Amulya Gopal Sen Sarma, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No. 17

Pushyamitra Sunga and Patanjali—his Yajna with Patanjali as the officiating Priest (2nd Century B.C.) Horse, Yua, King and a congregation of Priests are also shown.

Artist — Shri Dhirendra Nath Brahma, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No. 18

Heliodorus with his pillar in the background in a court scene. Heliodorus as an ambassador in the court of King Bhaagabhadra of Vidisa and a quotation from the epigraph (2nd Century B.C.).

Artist — Shri Dhirendra Nath Brahma, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No.19 

King Mahameghavahana — Kharavela of Kalinga and his

Jaina Council held at Udayagiri in the 13th year of his reign

(2nd Century B.C.).

Artist— Shri Sushil Chandra Sen, Uttarpara, District Hooghly.

Artist Supervisor— Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No. 20 

Kanishka’s Buddhist Council (1st Century A.D.) — the age of the mingling of different cultures Zoroastrian, Buddhist and Brahmanical. Also showing Kanishka’s casket and different coin types illustrating Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian divinities.

Artist — Shri Indra Dugar, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No. 21

Early Buddhist Philosophers— Asvaghosha — 1st Century A.D. Nagarjuna — 2nd Century A.D. Vasubandhu — 4th Century A.D. Din Naga — 5th Century A.D.

Artist — Shri Indra Dugar, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No. 22

"Charak and Susruta"

Artist — Suhas Roy, Kolkata.

Panel No. 23

Rudradaman and Gautamiputra Satakarni (2nd Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri Sayeed Bin Mohammad, Hyderabad.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Biswanath Mukerji, Delhi.

Panel No. 25

Chandragupta, Vikramaditya and Kalidasa, with a quotation— "A prosperous State is heaven on earth" — (riddham hi rajyam padamaindram ahuh)— Raghuvamsa (Canto II, verse 50), Kalidasa reading a manuscript of his work of Raghuvamsa to the King surrounded by Courtiers and officers (4th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri S.D. Chawda, Mumbai.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Gopal D. Deuskar, Mumbai.

Panel No. 27

Map to show trade relations with other countries such as Indian ivory from Begram and Pompeii and Mohenjodaro seals found in Mesopotamia and similar other findings.  Reproduced map made in connection with the Inter-Asian Exhibition held in 1947 showing India’s contact with other Asiatic countries.

Artist — Shri Vishnudas Ramdas, Mysore.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Biswanath Mukerji, Delhi.

Panel No. 28

(a) Landing of Indian naval merchants in Java.

(b) Kaundinya’s arrival in Fu-nan.

Artist — Shri Jagdish Mittal, Hyderabad.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Biswanath Mukerji, Delhi.

Panel No. 29

Indian Scholars in China—Kasyapa Matanga (1st Century A.D.); Kumarajiva (A.D. 383—412); Dharmaraksha (5th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri Vinod Shah and Shri Vinodray Patel, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 30

Visit of Prince Gunavaraman of Kashmir to East Indies and South China (5th Century A.D.).

Artist — Miss Kumud Patel, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 31

Harshavardhana receiving the Chinese Pilgrim Hieun Tsang with an inset of the seal of the Nalanda University (7th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri Feroz N. Katpitia, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 32 

Arya Bhatta (5th Century A.D.) and Varahamihira (7th Century A.D.).

Artist — Miss Kumud Patel, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 33

The supposed Court scene of King Pulakesin receiving presents from Khusro Parvez of Iran (7th Century A.D.) —from Cave 1 at Ajanta.

Artist — Miss Kumud Patel, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 34

The descent of Ganga and the Penance of Bhagiratha at Mahabalipuram alongwith the portraits of Shimhavishnu and his wives as motif — 7th Century A.D. (A.H. Longhurst Pallava Architecture).

Artist — Shri S. Sen Roy, New Delhi

Panel No. 35 

Gopala elected King by the People (9th Century A.D.). 

Artist — Shri V.P. Trivedi, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 36

Visit to Tibet of Santarakshita of Nalanda (8th Century A.D.),Padmasambhava of Udyana (8th Century A.D.),Srijnana Dipankara Atisa of Vikramasila (980 A.D.) and Kamalasila.

Artist — Shri J.M. Ahivasi, Banaras.

Artist Supervisor — Shri V.P. Karmarkar, Bombay.

Panel No. 37

Rajendra Chola and his naval expedition to Ceylon, Nicobar, Kadara and further cast to overcome the Sailendra empire (11th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri K.K. Hebbar, Bombay.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Gopal D. Deuskar, Bombay.

Panel No. 38 

Shankaracharya & Ramanujacharya.

Artist — Shri B.N. Jijja, Delhi.

Panel No. 41

Paramara Bhoja with Bhojasala (Kamal Maula Mosque) in the background (12th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri G.M. Solegaonkar, Bombay.

Artist Supervisor — Shri V.P. Karmarkar, Bombay.

Panel No. 42 

Ferozeshah Tughlak with Kotla Ferozeshah, showing Asoka column in the background (14th Century A.D).

Artist — Shri Y.K. Shukla, Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Gopal D. Deuskar, Bombay.

Panel No. 44 

Sher Shah Suri with the gateway of Purana Quila in the background (16th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri Indu Rakshit Satyaloka, Calcutta.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Calcutta.

Panel No. 45 

Akbar, Todarm al, Tansen and Abul Fazal, Faizi and Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana in a court scene (16th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri M.K. Sharma, Jaipur.

Artist Supervisor — Shri O.P. Sharma, New Delhi.

Panel No. 46

Rana Pratap on his horse, "Chetak", with a gate of Chittorgarh in the background (1572—1597 A.D.).

Artist — Shri Ramesh Pandya, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 47

Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar (Statue of the King at Tirupati) (16th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri M.S. Chandrasekhar, Bangalore.

Artist Supervisor — Shri O.P. Sharma, New Delhi.

Panel No. 48

"Ibrahim Adilshah of Bijapur and Chand bibi"

Artist—Bireshwar Bhattacharjee, Patna (Bihar)

Panel No. 49

Jahangir (1605—1627 A. D.) and Nurjahan.

Artist — Shrimati Prabha V. Dongare, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 50 

Shahjahan (1627—1658 A.D.) and Mumtazmahal, with the Delhi Gate of the Red Fort in the background.

Artist — Shri Bhupendra M. Desai, Bombay.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 51

Shivaji & Ramdas

Artist — Shri F.N. Katpitia, Baroda.

Panel No. 54

Madhoji Sindhia with the main gate of Gwalior Fort in the background (1761—1794 A.D.).

Artist — Shri Nagendra Chandra Bhattacharyya, New Delhi.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Barada Ukil, Delhi.

Panel No. 59 

Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi and Tantya Tope, both riding side by side (19th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri Madhu Powle, Bombay.

Artist Supervisor — Shri O.P. Sharma, New Delhi.

Panel No. 63 

Mirabai (1498—1546 A.D.), Surdas (1479—1586 A.D.) and Tukaram (17th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri Bihari C. Bharbhaiya, Baroda.

Artist Supervisor — Shri N.S. Bendre, Baroda.

Panel No. 64 

Guru Nanak (1469—1538 A. D.). Guru Govinda (1660—1708 A.D.).

Artist — Shri Sobha Singh, Himachal Pradesh.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Biswanath Mukerji, Delhi.

Panel No. 72

Dayanand Saraswati (1824—1883 A.D.), Kesab Chandra Sen (1838—1884 A.D.).

Artist — Shri Satyanarayan Mukerji, Patna.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No. 74 

Rabindra Nath Tagore (1861—1941 A.D.).

Artist — Shri Amit Sarkar, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No. 77

Northern Gateway of Sanchi Stupa No. 1 (1st Century B.C.).

Artist — Shri N.C. Bhattacharyya, Delhi.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Biswanath Mukerji, Delhi.

Panel No. 85

Sun Temple, Konark (12th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri Ajit Krishna Gupta, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri S.N. Ghosal, Kolkata.

Panel No. 93

Gol Gumbad, Bijapur (17th Century A.D.).

Artist — Shri R.D. Dhopeswarkar, Mumbai.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Gopal D. Deuskar, Mumbai.

Panel No. 114

"Quit India Resolution (1942 A.D.)".

Artist—Shri Satyen Ghosal (Kolkata)

Panel No.115 

Dandi March, 1930 A.D.

Artist — Shri R.N. Parikh, Ahmedabad.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Gopal D. Deuskar, Mumbai.

Panel No.117 

Hoisting of the Flag in the Red Fort.

Artist — Shri Bimal Das Gupta, Delhi.

Artist Supervisor — Shri Barada Ukil, Delhi.

Panel No.124 

I.N.A. and Subhash Chandra Bose (1897—1945 A.D.).

Artist — Shri Ganesh Haloi, Kolkata.

Artist Supervisor — Shri O.P. Sharma, New Delhi.