Wednesday 27 February 2013

The enchanting gallery of Bangalore

This is one of the lesser known and even lesser visited spots of Bangalore. Though it is part of the national collection, it has fewer visitors. However, once a Bangalorean steps into it, it is more than likely that he will come back here again.
The very ambience, the setting, the surroundings give this museum an aura that is hard to come by. The museum is located in a building which itself has historic value and the structure itself is regal.
If the heritage structure fails to satisfy your sense of aesthetics, then the surroundings are no less beautiful and they will definitely appeal to you. Trees, which are hundreds of years old, and a beautifully manicured lawn, chirping of birds will leave you stumped for words.
Mind you, all of this and more in the heart of Bangalore and amid the rude hustle and bustle of  maddening traffic. This is the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) of Bangalore.
The gallery is located in the Manikyavelu mansion, a heritage structure going back to nearly 100 years, and surrounded by a beautiful garden spread over three and half acres.
The artistically designed galleries houses paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings from the late 18th century. It also displays works by famous Indian artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Amrita Shergill, Ravindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy and  other international artists
The gallery has a display space of 1551 sq. m and there is also a newly constructed Gallery Block, which adds another display  space of 1260 sq. m. The NGMA is also equipped with a refurbished auditorium, a reference library, cafeteria, and a museum shop cum facilitations block.
The Manikyavelu Mansion, located on the busy Palace Road I n Vasanthnagar, was once the property of the Mysore royal family. The mansion later was owned by Raja Manikayavalu Mudaliar, a mine owner. It was taken over by the State Government in the late sixties, which then offered it to the Ministry of Culture in July 1989 for setting up of a modern art museum.
The foundation stone for the museum was laid by the Centre in 2001 and since then the Central; Ministry of Culture is running the museum.
Since its launch in 2009, the NGMA has been home to several  exhibitions and film screenings. The majestic Manikyavelu Mansion is in itself a work of art and it continues to draw artists.
This is the third of the three NGMA in India.
The art works at the gallery are well organised and there are paintings, sculptures and prints to look at and admire.
An exclusive wing houses the modern art movements, represented by the works of artists such as M F Hussain, S G Vasudev, S H Raza, Krishen Khanna, Arpita Singh, Raghu Rai, Nalini Malini and Yussuf Arrakal.
What sets out this gallery from others is that it is interactive and it organizes exhibitions, workshops, seminars, talks and film screenings, dance and music performances.
NGMA is open on all days except Monday. There are charges for entry. Check out the Vidhana Soudha, Race Course, Nehru Planetarium, Indira Gandhi Fountain Park and Bangalore Palace which are all nearby.
The best landmark is Chalukya Hotel. Get to the Palace road from here. The address is National Gallery of Modern Art
Manekyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road, Bengaluru – 560 052
Tel: 91-080-2234 2338: Tele Fax: 91-080-22201027

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