Adi Drishya Department
Multidisciplinary Field Documentation of rock art sites has been initiated in the states of Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. In Eastern India, the work has been completed in the state of Odisha and in South India, the work has been completed in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Up till now a huge database of photographs, audio-videos, slides, line drawing and GPS data has been compiled.
Under IGNCA Rock Art Publication Series, so far, the following volumes have been published, these are; Deer in Rock Art in the Old World edited by Michael Lorblanchet (1990); Rock Art of India and Europe by Giacamo Camuri, Angelo Fossati and Yasodhar Mathpal (1993); Rock Art in Kumaon Himalaya by Yashodhar Mathpal (1995); Rock Art in Kerala by Yashodhar Mathpal (1998); Conservation of Rock Art edited by Bansi Lal Malla (1999); Global Rock Art edited by B. L. Malla and V. H. Sonawane (2012); Rock Art of Andhra Pradesh: A New Synthesis By N. Chandramouli General Editor B. L. Malla (2012); The World of Rock Art: An Overview of Five Continents edited by B. L. Malla (2012); Rock Art: A Catalogue(Exhibition on Rock Art, 2012) edited by S. S. Biswas; Understanding Rock Art in Context (Brochure of International Conference on Rock Art 2012), Rock Art Studies: Concept, Methodology, Context, Documentation and Conservation Vol. I and Rock Art Studies: Interpretation through Multidisciplinary Approaches Vol. II edited by B. L. Malla (2014); Rock Art of India: Suitable Dating Techniques edited by B. L. Malla (2016); Glimpses of India-China Rock Art authored by B. L. Malla (2016); Understanding Rock Art of India and China (Brochure of International Workshop on India-China Rock Art) compiled and edited by B. L. Malla (2016); Silent Rock’s An Eloquent Testimony: Rock Art Heritage of Odisha authored by Sadasiba Pradhan and edited by B. L. Malla (2017); Cultural Ecology Prehistory and Ethnoarchaeological Context of Indian Rock Art with Special Emphasis on North Eastern State edited by B. L. Malla and Dwipen Bezbaruah (2017); Booklet on First Dr. V. S. Wakankar Memorial Lecture edited by B. L. Malla (2017); राजस्थान की शैलचित्र कला authored by Murari Lal Sharma and edited by B. L. Malla (2018); a booklet on Second Dr. V. S. Wakankar Memorial Lecture edited by B. L. Malla (2018); Understanding Rock Art of India-China: Rock Art of India (Volume-I) edited by B. L. Malla; Rock Art Heritage of Northeast India authored by Tilok Thakuria and edited by B. L. Malla and Glorious Bhimbetka: A Catalogue based on IGNCA’s Dr. Yashodhar Mathpal Collection authored by B. L. Malla. Proceedings of India-China Rock art workshop (2016) and Inventory of Indian Rock Art are in the pipeline. A CD and 3 DVDs based on IGNCA field documentation (these are Rock Art of Jharkhand; Rock Art of Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir) and Pan India Rock Art) have also been published.
Three international conferences (1993, 2012 and 2016) and ten national seminars (1991, 1996, 2004, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) have been conducted on the subject. An international conference on Global Rock Art was held at IGNCA in (1993) in which experts and scholars from various parts of the world participated. The conference was significant as it highlighted the importance of Rock Art study and allied subjects. The International Conference of Rock Art on 2012 was conceived with special attention to the inter-disciplinary research involving allied disciplines like anthropology, geology, art history etc, which can open new horizons to the study of Rock Art. The deliberations in the conference sessions were around the themes: Concept and Methodology; Forms, Content, Context; Interpreting Rock Art; Documentation and Conservation. In 2016 an international workshop was organised during the India-China Rock Art exhibition at IGNCA in which several delegates and scholars from both India and China participated. The workshop primarily highlighted the research and documentation carried out so far in both these countries in the field of rock art.
A special lecture series on World Rock Art was conducted in 2012 which emphasised on the global scenario of the rock art and provided an overall status of rock art research in different continents of the world with rock art concentration. These lectures were delivered by internationally renowned scholars in the field of rock art like Prof. Emanual Anati, Prof. V. H. Sonawane, Prof. R. G. Bednarik, Prof. Lowrance Leondrof and Dr. K. K. Chakravorty. Another series of special lectures by Dr. Somnath Chakraverty and Dr. Dwipen Bezbaruah at Guwahti, Dr. Devananada Beura and Prof. Jagannath Dash at Bhubaneswar, Prof. K. Rajan and Dr. Chandramouli at Pondicherry and Prof. A. Sundara and Prof. Ravi Korisettar at Bangalore, Prof. R.K Varma and J.N Pal at Varanasi were delivered in 2013. Other than these, four special lectures were delivered by the Indian delegation viz., Prof. V. H. Sonawane, Dr. Sadasiba Pradhan, Dr. B.L Malla and Dr. R. C. Agrawal at Yinchuan, China in August, 2014. Two special lectures were also delivered by Dr. M. G. S. Narayanan and Prof. K. Krishnan at Kerala (2014).Another special lecture was delivered by Prof. K. Rajan at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu in 2015. In 2016, three special lectures were delivered by Chinese scholars at the India –China Rock art Workshop-cum-Exhibition which emphasized on the recent research and development in the field of rock art in China. These lectures were delivered by renowned Chinese scholars like Prof. Yasha Zhang, Zhao Pingchun and Wei Jian. Two special lectures were delivered by Prof. D. P. Tiwari and Dr. C. M Nautiyal at Lucknow (2016). Two special lectures were delivered by Dr. O. C. Handa and Dr. Hari Chauhan at Shimla (2016). Three special lectures were delivered by Dr. Mukesh Singh, Dr. Paru Bal Sidhu and Dr. Renu Thakur at Chandigarh (2016). A special lecture was delivered by Dr. Rahman Ali at Bhopal (2017). Two special lectures were delivered by Dr. M. P. Joshi and Dr. Harashavaradhan at Dehradun (2017). Two special lectures were delivered by Dr. A. K. Prasad and Dr. Avik Biswas at Hazaribagh (2018). Two special lectures were delivered by Prof. V. H. Sonawane and Dr. Chattopadhyay at Bihar (2018). Two special lectures were delivered by Prof. V. H. Sonawane and Prof. Deepak Kannal at Gujarat (2018). A special lecture was delivered by Prof. Jeewan S. Kharakwal at Udaipur (2019).
Review Meeting of the State Coordinators and Multidisciplinary Team Members of IGNCA Rock Art Project held on – 5th and 6th March, 2009 in IGNCA.
Four international exhibitions on rock art: 1. ‘Deer in Rock Art of India and Europe’ was held in 1993; 2. World Rock Art Exhibition in 2012. The recent exhibition not only tried to address the chronology/periodisation of rock art, but also to highlight the regional variations in rock art depictions. The main focus of the exhibition was on the social patterns and lifestyle of the Early Man. The exhibition had two separate divisions, one on rock art of India and the other was on the rock art of the world. The Indian rock art section showcasing the rock art heritage of India was mainly based on the documentation and acquisition of IGNCA. 3. An exhibition on Indian Rock Art held in The World of Rock Art Museum, Yinchuan, China (26th August, 2014 to 30th September, 2015) that mainly focused on Indian Rock Art. 4. India -China Rock Art Exhibition was held from 24th February to 27th March, 2016. The Exhibition mainly gives a glimpse of Indian and Chinese rock art and also showcases art forms of three Indian tribes, namely; Lanjia-Saoras, Warli and Rathwa.
Mobile exhibitions were organised in different parts of the country such as Varanasi (5th – 28th March, 2013) in Uttar Pradesh; Guwahati (12th April- 3rd May, 2013) in Assam; Bhubaneswar (18th May – 23rd June, 2013) in Odisha; Puducherry (25th July – 25th August, 2013); Bangalore (3rd December, 2013 – 3rd January, 2014) in Karnataka; Tripunithura (28th November – 28th December, 2014) in Kerala; Thanjavur (6th May – 5th June, 2015) in Tamilnadu; Nagpur (19th November to 31st December, 2015) in Maharashtra; Lucknow (26th April – 24th May, 2016) in Uttar Pradesh; Shimla (15th June – 24th July, 2016) in Himachal, Chandigarh (10th August – 24th September, 2016) in Punjab; Bhopal (17th February -1st April, 2017) in Madhya Pradesh; Dehradun (22nd November-12th December, 2017) in Uttarakhand; Hazaribagh (13th March-12th April, 2018) in Jharkhand; Patna (18th August – 14th September, 2018) in Bihar; Vadodara (24th October-17th November, 2018) in Gujarat; Udaipur (19th January, 2019 – 18th February, 2019) in Rajasthan and Lucknow (21st -30th September, 2019) in Uttar Pradesh. The mobile exhibitions will be hosted in other states of India also.
Temporary exhibitions were organised on Adi Drishya: A Primeval Vision of Man in 2012; Glorious Bhimbetka (An exhibition based on IGNCA’s Dr. Mathpal Collection) in 2018 and The Legacy of Dr. Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar in 2019.
A workshop on Rock Art was held in 2012. The Rock Art scholars and Community Artists from Saura (Odisha), Warli (Maharashtra) and Rathwa (Gujarat) tribes, demonstrated replication of Rock Art in the workshop to create general awareness and to show the continuity of the artistic traditions in Indian context. The techniques and tools used for making engravings and the materials used for paintings were also demonstrated. The children/students were allowed to have first hand experience of the prehistoric tools. They were encouraged to draw and paint this art form in the workshop. In year 2013, the orientation workshop held at Guwahati, Pondicherry and Uttar Pradesh whereas in year 2016, it was held at Nagpur. The workshops for school children were also organised at Odisha (2013), Pondicherry (2013), Bengaluru (2013), Tripunithra (2014), Thanjavur (2015), Nagpur (2015), Lucknow (2016), Shimla (2016), Punjab (2016), Bhopal (2017), Dehradun (2017), Hazaribagh (2018), Patna (2018); Gujarat (2018) and Rajasthan (2019). Apart from these, a workshop on ‘Suitable Dating Technique for Indian Rock Art ‘ and an orientation workshop on Rock Art at Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotony, Lucknow were organised in 2014. Awareness Programmes in Assam (2014), Uttar Pradesh (2015), Himachal Pradesh (2015) and Uttar Pradesh (2018) were held. The Orientation Workshops, Children Workshops and Community Awareness Campaigns would be held in other parts of the country also.
Dr. V. S. Wakankar Memorial Lecture: The first Dr. V. S. Wakankar Memorial Lecture on ‘Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar: A Versatile Genius’ was delivered by Dr. G. B. Deglurkar, Former President, Deccan College, Deemed University, Pune; Second Dr. V. S. Wakankar Memorial lecture on ‘Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar: The Legendary Encyclopaedia of Indian Rock Art’ was delivered by Dr. Yashodhar Mathpal, Eminent Archaeologist and Rock Art Specialist and Third Dr. V. S. Wakankar Memorial Lecture on ‘Interaction of Mainstream Art of India and Autochthones’ was delivered by Prof. Arvind P. Jamkhedkar, Chairman, Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi.