Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Tambekar Wada- where the canvas is its' walls...

One may have numerous reasons to visit the very famous and grand Lakshmi Vilas Palace when in Vadodara and only a few reasons to peek at the mural paintings of Tambekar Wada, but the beauty of both the places can leave anyone spellbound equally. Though Tambekar wada is in no way comparable to Lakshmi Vilas palace in terms of size and grandeur, the former holds the onlookers' inquisitiveness due to its' homely appearance.

Located in one of the tiny by- lanes of old Vadodara, the Tambekar Wada was the Haveli of erstwhile Divan of Baroda- Vital Khanderao Tambekar or Bhau Tambekar. It is a three- story, typical Maratha mansion built in the 19th century that houses some of the most intricate mural paintings on walls and ceilings.

Most part of the  building is in a sad state and is restored by Archeological Survey of India (ASI). As the caretaker leads his visitors through the steep, wooden staircase, one would have the feel of entering an ancestral mansion. Once the doors are open, the visitors are thrown open to a vast room filled with colours- on walls, ceilings and even doors and windows.

The paintings mainly depict the scenes from Mahabharata, especially from the life of Krisha. Other scenes portray the stories from Anglo-Maratha war. The colours used are mostly red, green and yellow and each scene is demarcated with strips of floral borders or frames. The wooden frames of the doors and jaalis of the windows too are painted with intricate floral motifs to merge with the wall paintings.

Originally made in 1870s, the technique used in the painting is Secco. It is a technique where colour pigments are mixed with a binder (such as lime) and applied on a dry plaster.

We were allowed to visit only two rooms of which most of the paintings were either peeling off or smudged due to weather conditions.

Photography is not allowed but we were allowed to click only a handful with our phone. So they are a little blurred and not composed well. 

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