Varnam | 150 years of ASI: A Rare Exhibition in Delhi

To commemorate 150 years of its existence, the ASI had  year long celebrations. If you are in Delhi or are going to Delhi before the end of Jan 2013, then it is worth going to the National Museum near India Gate as ASI is exhibiting  some of the greatest finds since 1961.

There will be 307 objects on display including some retrieved antiquities and four fibre glass replicas. The antiquities have been selected from all the major periodic divisions of Indian history (prehistory to modern history) and from different regions of the country. In addition there will be some photographs, map, illustrations and explanatory charts and write-ups. The earliest artifacts in the exhibition are the prehistoric stone tools used by primitive man when he was a hunter/food gatherer. The pottery which first appeared during Neolithic period is also on display.

A major attraction is the objects belonging to the Harappan culture which include the inscribed seals, beads, pottery, terracotta figurines, etc. The furrow marks which are the first evidence of agriculture at Kalibangan and the oldest signboard at Dholavira, both discovered through excavations and belonging to Harappan period are photographically displayed. The objects from Megalithic culture are interesting as they were put in the burials under life after death concept. The bronzes from Sirpur (M.P.) belonging to 7th-8th century with Brahmanical and Buddhist affiliation are landmark finds of early medieval period witnessing remarkable metallurgical skills of contemporary artist.

The antiquities from early, medieval and modern periods of history are represented by a variety of objects made in terracotta, stone, metal and household utility items, ornaments, weapons, beads, coins, inscriptions, pottery, etc. An outstanding exhibit is the fibre glass replica of a relief panel from Kanaganahalli near Sannati in Karnataka depicting King Asoka with his consort which is the first sculpture of the legendary Mauryan emperor. [Rediscovering India: 1961-2011]