The Mughals have undoubtedly been one of the most significant and instrumental monarchies in the Indian subcontinent. From foreign invaders to rulers of the Indian populace, Mughal monarchs and reigns are not chapters but sagas in Indian history.
Apart from being powerful emperors, Mughals were also known for their massive contribution in the field of arts. To celebrate the legacy of the historical era, Pratha organised a one day Mughal Festival- 'Dastan-e-Mughal' on 16th January 2021 at Pratha Cultural Hub in Jaipur.
The fully packed event began early around 10 AM with a beautiful exhibition of crafts inspired from that age. For instance, miniature paintings, lac bangles, blue pottery, minakari handcrafted items, shawls, textiles, wax seals, block printed items etc. were presented by local artisans and new startups like San.at, Flower Palette, Iriha, Tribes India and so on.
The event became livelier with the start of interesting workshops. The first in line was Wax seal making by San.at where participants learned the ancient way of making wax seal stamps by melting lac, putting it carefully on the envelope and applying a stamp on it with their preferred design.
Wax Seal Making Workshop
This was followed by an engaging block printing workshop conducted by Iriha. Here, the artisans first showed the visitors the entire process that goes into making a block printed motif after which all the participants got a chance to make their own block printed handkerchiefs.
Block Printing Workshop
A Mughal event without calligraphy remains quite incomplete considering the wide usage of calligraphy on Mughal buildings, scrolls, coins, and paintings. So, the event also included an Urdu/Hindi calligraphy workshop by a known calligrapher of Jaipur- Melven Castelino wherein the visitors learned the basics of calligraphy and also acquainted themselves with some new Urdu words!
The highlight of the event remained the special miniature painting workshop conducted by Padma Shri award winner, Mr. Tilak Gitai, an artist with no competition in the world of miniature art. His wise words and treasure trove of fine squirrel brushes, natural colours and intricate paintings enthralled the audience. He also expressed his concern on how the original art form of miniature paintings is still dependent on the Guru-Shihsya parampara of ancient India as Indian institutions do not include it in their curriculums in a proper format.
Padma Shri Tilak Gitai Ji with his wife
Tilak Gitai Ji interacting with the participants
Now, it was finally time for the big Mushaira! Celebrated Urdu poets of Jaipur like Dr. Bhavya Soni, Dr. Khalid Jaipuri, Arshad Warsi, Dr. Abu Zar Nashtar Badayuni and a newbie Hikansh Mehta graced the event and entertained the audience with their beautiful words.
Dr. Bhavya Soni
The day was not over yet as we now had onboard the young tabla maestro Devansh Singh Uppal, a student of class fourth with his Guru Ashwini Banet Ji entrancing the audience with their perfect beats. The event was concluded by a mesmerizing solo performance by celebrated Kathak dancer of Jaipur, Rashmi Uppal.
Devansh Singh Uppal with Guru Ashwini Ji
Other than the exhibits, workshops and live performances, the venue also had a cozy reading corner with books related to Mughal theme and a small shatranj (chess) corner for the visitors.
On the whole, the event attempted at covering every aspect of the Mughal culture right from visual arts to literature to poetry and much more. Even the food stalls were linked with the theme serving dishes falling under Mughal cuisine.
Thank you Jaipur for turning up and making our attempt a successful one! We look forward to more such opportunities in future.
Pratha Editorial Team