Wisdom Frozen in Time In Search of Treasure…Kolkata & Guwahati - Volume I (DVD)

Item Code: ICJ063
R. Bharathadri, Script: Dr. Gautam ChatterjeeIndira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi82:46 Minutes
About the CD

Calcutta University Manuscript Library: The Manuscript Library of Calcutta University has a huge collection of paper manuscripts. The curators in this library use time tested herbal methods. The film traces how the collections were built up over time and highlights some texts. Sapta Ratna-7 holy Buddhist Symbols; Ashta Sahasrika Prajna Paramita; Tibetan Manuscripts on Medicine; 250 year old Oriya text on Chaitanya Charitamrita; 300 year old Vedanta text etc.

Asiatic Society, Kolkata: The Asiatic Society was founded in 1783 by Sir William Jones. Today, it has 47,000 manuscripts in 26 languages. The prime movers behind the collection of these manuscripts were Raja Rajendra Lal Mitra and Hara Prasad Shastri. Asiatic Society remains a gold mine for scholars. Some of the Manuscripts shown in the film are Aim-I-Akbari, Kubjikamatam, Tarjuma-I-Mahabharata, View of Calcutta, 1848 etc.

Bangiya Sahitya Parishad: The film then covers Bangiya Sahitya Parishad which has a great number of old Sanskrit and Bengali Manuscripts. Some of the Manuscripts shown are Pancharaksha Buddhist text in the 15th century Newari script and Sri Krishna Kirtana, a 600 year old Manuscript.

Sanskrit Sahitya Parishad: Sanskrit Sahitya Parishad was the next halt. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, as Mayor of Calcutta, gave it land to preserve heritage manuscripts. The camera captures rare glimpses of Manuscripts like Mahabharata and Bhagavat Mahapurana on palm leaf and bark.

Guwahati University Library: The film highlights the various aspects of Guwahati with special reference to Shaktipeetha and surveys the huge collection of illustrated manuscripts from 13th century, inscribed in various scripts on the insect repellent bark of Agaru tree. The film incorporates sound bytes of historians, covers aspects of traditional system of upkeep, and captures rare glimpses of Manuscripts like ‘Lava Kusha Yuddha, a 17th century illustrated Manuscript, Uddhava Samvad (colours used are of plant extracts, gamutra or cow urine); 16th century Bhagavata etc.

Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti: The IGNCA’s camera team visited Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti, which was established in 1912. it has a rare collection of 300 Manuscripts. Some of the Manuscripts showcased are: poet Harihara Bipra’s Lavakusha Yuddha; Adiparva of Mahabharata on sanchi patra. Geetagovinda in Assamese Script; illustrated Ananda Lahari by Ananta Acharya; Sachitra Sundara Kanda, a 17th century Manuscripts.

Narayani Handiqui Historical Institute: This institute has illustrated Agaru bark manuscripts. Manuscripts captured in the film are Shalya Parva, a 17th century manuscript; Hasti Vidyaranya (Manuscript on the Medicinal treatment of elephant); Batuka Bhairava, a tantrik text; Ankiya Nat; Lanka Kanda, by Madhava Kandali.

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