Mandir मंदिर ✿ Stories from India

Garden of Stories

Shrines adorn the Indian landscape. Visit and enjoy the epic stories of craft from India.

Shrines in India are often built near ant nests, which attract snakes. The deities are adorned with garlands in an act of worship.

Heart of Parijat - Ranjith Sivaraman shares his poem inspired by Tanya Dutt's recounting of the romantic myth of the coral jasmine flower.
Dancing bodies, moving touch: Textiles, materiality and touch in Indian dance - Krishna P Unny from the MAP Academy finds in Briana Blasko's photographs a testament to the intimate relationship between textiles and dance.
Vakr ✿ A fluid touch - Devyani Gupta's furniture morphs into curved forms that tell ancient stories.
Looms of Ladakh: Keeping with knowledge of shesrig alive - Nalin Rai tells of an association in India's remote north that creates opportunities for local women by shifting pashmina production closer to the source.
The sacred garden: A photo essay of worship through flowers - Prerana Chandak shares images of the flowers that play an important role in her Hindu faith and practice.
Lotus blooms and divine blessings: A spiritual journey through fragrance and festivity - Japneet Keith recounts the floral scents associated with the deities invoked in Durga Puja.
The Song of the actinomycetes - Priyanka Jain sings about microbes in medieval Indian miniature paintings of a love that is triggered by the smell of rain.
Through the garden gate: Litrahb Perfumery and the world of synaesthesia  - Chloé Wolifson learns about the olfactory curating of Bharti Lalwani, which resulted in a scent canopy for an exhibition of Indian miniatures.
Surrounded by scent: Perfumery in the courtly cultures of early-modern South Asia - Simran Agarwal finds an extraordinarily elaborate culture of fragrance in India's Persianate world.
A fragrant pilgrimage to the Norbulingka Institute - Japneeth Keith ventures to little Lhasa, the source of Tibetan incense craft. 
Dhoop-batti: The fragrance rises from the roots - LOkesh Ghai discovers the authentic incense of the Gaddi nomadic community, redolent of the land they traverse.
The rose perfumers of Kannauj - Dwan Kaoukji tracks the production of the most exquisite floral scent from the perfumeries of Kuwait to the traditional distillers of Uttar Pradesh
A manifesto for craft in space design - Join our Reinventing the Wheel series for a focus on the value of Indian craft, featuring a manifesto of the Indian Institute of Interior Designers
Lavina Baldota on curating Sutr Santati - We speak with Lavina Baldota about the epic curation of Sutr Santati, an exhibition of contemporary Indian textiles celebrating 75 years of independence.
Kalpataru ✿ Jharkhand’s Tree of Life by Sahil & Sarthak - Our August laurel goes to the epic Tree of Life made by Sahil & Sarthak for the Mall of Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.
Who owns craft knowledge? - As part of our Reinventing the Wheel series, Annapurna Mamidipudi introduces a new publication that questions the formalisation of craft knowledge.
Weaving song, work and memory in Indian culture - MAP Academy reveals the intimate and authentic relationship between weaving and song in Indian culture. 
“I feel as if I’ve dropped into a secret cave”: The power of clay in recent Indian fiction - D Wood reviews two recent novels by Indian writers that evoke the allure of ceramics.
Remembering Jasleen Dhamija: India’s custodian of crafts (1933-2023) - Saiful Islam shares memories of Jasleen Dhamija, an always charming legend of Indian craft
The herb that must not be named - Divya N writes about a jewellery made with herbs that protects children from harm.
Time travelers: Gadgets that made heirlooms - The COVID pandemic prompted Priyanka Kochar to explore the curious objects made redundant by modernity.
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay on “the right kind of spoon” - Aarti Kalwa introduces the lecture by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay which advocates for the idea of world craft.
Staining lips red for centuries: The heart-shaped betel leaf - The MAP Academy share the rich ornamental culture involving the consumption of paan, stuffed betel leaf, in India.
Why Runs The Abhisarika - Priyanka Jain presents a unique recitation of Sanskrit mythology and neuroscience. 
Follow the algorithm: New journeys through the world of textiles - As part of Reinventing the Wheel, India's MAP Academy will present a new platform that helps in discovering new artworks and textile objects based on artificial intelligence.
Pushkar women balance life and work on ornate indonis - Shefali Martins writes about the indoni, a richly decorated base still used today by Rajasthanis for balancing pots on their heads.
Transforming the landscape into colour: India’s natural dyes - MAP Academy detail the development of India's iconic natural dyes: madder, indigo and lac.
Spinning as meditation - YuddhavirSingh Jadeja explains how spinning became part of his morning routine.
Sherwani: The influence of British rule on elite Indian menswear - You are invited to hear Toolika Gupta present her new book about the influence of the British Raj on what seems a distinctively Persian costume.
Issey Miyake: Pleating craft and technology together  - LOkesh Ghai offers a personal tribute to the Japanese designer who did so much to bring Asian creativity to fashion, including an appreciation of Indian handmade textiles.
Mandir मंदिर ✿ Stories from India - Shrines adorn the Indian landscape. Visit and enjoy the epic stories of craft from India.
Bombay, batik & biotechnics: Gender and nationhood in modernist textiles - As part of our Reinventing the Wheel series, Antonia Behan, Vishal Khandelwal and Michael Mamp reflect on the careers of Ethel Mairet, Nelly Sethna and Ethel Wallace respectively.
Know your weaver: The revival of Udupi sarees - Nalin Rai outlines the campaign that helped rescue the precious craft of weaving Udupi sarees in Karnataka.
Fold craft: Uncovering the Nivi sari - In our Reinventing the Wheel series, Kaamya Sharma reflects on the emergence of the Nivi sari as a national dress and how it demonstrates the craft of using as well as making.
Yarn ni Yatra: Crafts as a board game - Mridushi Singhal explains the rules of the beautiful board game she designed to understand the craft cultures of Kutch.
Bappaditya Biswas ✿ A chintz conversation - Our February Laurel goes to Bappaditya Biswas for his glorious chintz reflecting a conversation between birds and flowers.
The year of the lotus - Toolika Gupta introduces the lotus motif as a guide to Garland's journey in its seventh year.
Pachanbhai ✿ A finely woven story of change - Our December laurel is awarded to the Kutchi weaver, Pachanbhai, for a beautiful scarf featuring a finely woven story of climate change.
Kangri: The dilemma of the Kashmiri portable heater - Irfan Ahmed and Saima Andleeb document the distinctive Kashmiri personal heater, which despite its heritage is destined to be a dying craft.
To steal a golden earring: In search of the chola in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh  - LOkesh Ghai continues his journey through the Himalayas in quest of the legendary choga over-garment.
Ulaṭbānsi / Zigzagging: Filming the spirit of weaving - Gauri Nori explains the thinking behind the film Ulaṭbānsi / Zigzagging, in which Kutchi weavers sing and tell of the spiritual value of the handloom.
Polishing: An overlooked craft - Jahan Rezakhanlou reveals the wonders of polishing in Japan, Uzbekistan and India.
Mata ni Pachedi: Sacred textiles come to the rescue - Kiran Chitara shares his ancient textile craft that rescues culture and fortune from destruction.
A Kolam for Washington DC - Shanthi Chandrasekar tracks the memories of Kolam adornment rituals that now inspire a homage to the US Vice-President.
Project Dor ✿ Care to wear - Aparna Negi promotes a textile project involving migrant women from Bihar and Jharkhand.
Anuradha Chauhan: A secret of the Himalayas - Join us in the foothills of the Himalayas to learn its stories and support its crafts.
Exile from the Forest: Craft collaboration in the time of COVID - Reflecting on his experience commissioning kāvads, Ishan Khosla writes about what a global pandemic can teach us about new ways of working with craftspeople. 
The forest on my flesh - Priyanka Jain draws on ancient Sanskrit poetry and Indian miniatures to reflect a contemporary appreciation of our microbial desires. 
Kumbharwada: Make in Dharavi - Nidhi Agrawal documents the dynamic potter's community in Mumbai's enterprising Dharavi neighbourhood.
In search of the keys: The chola regional over-garment, from the mountains of Himachal Pradesh - LOkesh Ghai shares his journey into the Himalayas, in search of a remarkable pleated fabric.
Confluence: Visualising Mumbai’s waters - Ipshita Karmakar and Sara Ahmed introduce a museum that honours the lifeblood of India's most maximum city
The Firebird Rises: Story-making - A unique series of story-making events opens our imagination to the beautiful world of block printing and making.
Sindhu – The river line: A dialogue - Pallavi Arora and Shirley Bhatnagar reanimate ancient pottery from the Indus valley civilisation
Ryndia silk of the Khasi Hills, Meghalaya - Nisa Lyndem speaks for her Khasi culture in north-east Indian and the beautiful silk dyed shawls that bear its tradition.
Kanta Kadse ✿ Khajur ki pattiyo - Our May Laurel goes to a broom maker from Madhya Pradesh, whose elegant implements bring beauty to the home.
It began with the daughter-in-law ✿ The story of Bhujodi weavers on 29 May - This story-making event offers a unique encounter with the legendary weavers of Kutch.
Jay Thakkar ✿ The fourth wave in craft education - Our first podcast of 2021 features one of the most innovative forces in Indian craft, reflecting Ahmedabad's status as a unique cultural centre.
Rajan Vankar ✿ A lifelong love for the loom - Using his hard-won English skills, Rajan Vankar shares his pride and knowledge of Kutchi weaving designs and techniques, inspired by nature and traditions intertwined.
Sitaben ✿ A narrative of courage - LOkesh Ghai profiles a bead artisan whose beautiful work reflects an epic commitment to her craft.
Erroll Pires ✿ The master of ply-split braiding - Helen Ting and Khushbu Mathur ask Erroll Pires from Ahmedabad how a timeless textile technique became his life's work.

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