Indian wrestlers, weightlifters and archers are doing India proud at the ongoing Commonwealth Games. While everyone's cheering not many may know about the history of these sports. An exhibition at the National Museum is giving you a unique opportunity to know about Indian sports such wrestling, weightlifting, archery and chess through the centuries.
The exhibition titled 'Games and Sports in Indian Art' which was inaugurated on October 4 and will continue till November 4, showcases history of Indian games through various styles of paintings such as Kangra and Pahari.
A painting called Ragaputra Nat depicting both male and female acrobats is part of the exhibition. The painting is based on Indian classical music dating back to 1790s and depicts the harmony between sports and art. An interesting fact that emerges from the paintings is that a lot of women are shown participating in various sports.
"The exhibition is meant to showcase the best of Indian art and culture. Growth and development of games practices with regional variations are captured through various mediums such as paintings, stone, wood and metal sculptures," said CV Ananda Bose, administrator, National Museum.
Apart from paintings depicting wrestling, polo, acrobatics, weightlifting, archery, swimming, talwarbazi (fencing), kite flying, kabutar bazi (a game with pigeons), few other eye-catching objects such as terracotta and wooden toys, rattles, dolls, yo-yos, a silver top, chessmen and different shapes and forms of chaupar (dice game) are on display as well.
To ensure that visitors can see the exhibition after office hours the museum authorities have extended the timings till 9 pm. Also adding colour to the exhibition are performances of the regional dancers from various parts of the country at the lawns of the museum.
After the Games are over, the National Museum plans to organise trips and competitions for city schoolchildren so that they can learn from the various exhibits on display.