Exhibition of traditional games to mark 50 years of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana

The Ramsons Kala Pratishtana, a crafts promotion organization is holding an exhibition of traditional games as part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Although the pratishtana ended two years ago, 50 years ago the anniversary celebrations were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A statement said the exhibition has two components – Kreedaa Kaushalya and Hasti Mangala – which opened on Sunday. The exhibition is open to the public at Ramsons opposite the zoo until December 31, 2022.

Kreeda Kaushalya

The Kreeda Kaushalya is a traditional board game exhibition that showcases around 30 varieties of indoor board games that were once played across the subcontinent. Games on display include Chauka Bara, Adu Huli, Pagaday, Chaduranga, Aligulimane, Navakankari, Paramapada, Sixteen Sepoys, Panchi, Vimana, Pancha Keliya, Nav Keti Keta, Pretwa, Dash Guti, Shara Vyuha, Ashtapada, Taabla, Anay Kattu, Hasu Chirate, Huli Kallu, Immadi Huli Kattu, Egara Guti, etc.

The statement said the boards of these games have been evoked in various craft traditions across the country, such as rosewood inlay from Mysuru, Kalamkari from Sri Kalahasti, silk embroidery from Ahmedabad, dhurry weaving Solapur and Channapatna wood lacquer, etc.

This year, the Ramsons design wing brought game boards and pawns exclusively of Karnataka handcrafted shapes which were labeled GI. The Navalgund jamkhanas have been redesigned to incorporate the Chaukabara game patterns with the traditional ones that have the Pagaday pattern, the statement adds.

Hasti Mangala

Hasti Mangala is an Indian elephant celebration that has captured the imagination of poets, kings, artists, bards and commoners of India since time immemorial. Explaining the rationale for the exhibits, the organizers said the beauty, strength, enormity and majesty of an elephant evokes awe and fascination in its viewer and is the unofficial mascot of Mysuru. “During the days leading up to the Dasara festivities, the roads of Mysuru become the trail for countless elephants who are ultimately the show stealers at the Vijayadashami Jumboo Savari. Naturally, the elephant has been one of the Indian artist’s favorite motifs,” the organizers said.

Every corner of the length and breadth of our country abounds in art with the varied and stylized form of an elephant and it is a recurring motif in the carvings of temples, forts, palaces, water reservoirs , textiles, coins, paintings, individual sculptures, dolls, toys, etc. Ramsons therefore showcases the elephant motif in different traditional and contemporary arts and crafts of India in the exhibition, according to the organizers.