Maharaja in London

I’ve been exceptionally bad and not posted anything new in a few weeks. So firstly apologies! Had lots going on of late and not made time to blog, however I aim to rectify that for you this month – starting from now.

So last weekend we went to the V&A to check out the new exhibition: Maharaja. I can’t emphasise enough just how beautiful and resplendent this bejewelled collection was. My favourite articles probably being the elephant jewellery (!) for the concept alone. Some of the pieces are on loan from Indian palaces as they are still used today. The exhibits were surrounded by security so I couldn’t sneak any photos without risking being publicly banned. Therefore the below borrowed images from the website will have to do instead.

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The sacred power that an Indian king commanded as displayed through his lavish wear. He rode elephants or horses at royal parades and religious celebrations and was constantly surrounded by attendants who carried his parasol, chauri and fans tending to his needs.

“The vision of a king in all his splendour was believed to be auspicious. It was central to the concept of darshan, the propitious act of seeing and being seen by a superior being, whether a god or a king. Although originally a Hindu notion, the idea of darshan became an integral aspect of kingship throughout the subcontinent.“

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The exhibition runs from now until 17 January 2010 at the V&A, London.

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