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Projects

Hariharpur


Hariharpur, a heritage village, is 2 hours away from Benaras. Here, practically every family has a tradition of a musical lineage. Someof the legendary artists such as Pt. Chhanulal Mishra (Padma Bhushan), the late Pt. Samta Prasad, Pt. Sarda Maharaj, relatives of Pt. Birju Maharaj (Padma Vibhushan) are from Hariharpur.

Total population of Hariharpur is reported to be around 10,000.There are around 40 Brahmin families (all Mishras) in Hariharpur with around 250 persons. The others large groups are of Yadavs and Scheduled Castes. The Brahmins are having their own section in the villages. All their houses are located in the same area.

The interesting feature of the Mishras of this village is that all of them are descendents of some or other famous musician and are carrying on the tradition of learning music. All the boys learn music from their fathers, uncles or grandfathers. They learn to play tabla and sarangi and to sing classical numbers as well as folk music. The boys start learning music at a very early age. The girls are not given any formal training in music. However, they pick up the knowledge and the art of music on account of the constant exposure to the same. The young musicians here perform with proficiency and some of them would be good enough even for a performance in the cities. However, what is very necessary is that this musical tradition of Hariharpur is kept alive. It has an old musical lineage of the Benaras Gharana of singing, table, and sarangi, and if steps are not taken urgently to revive and nourish this tradition, it will fade into oblivion. As it is, since there is no proper training being given to them and the lure of the outside world is there to draw them away from their traditions, many of them are leaving Hariharpur and seeking other and more profitable work outside. We propose to explore avenues to impart training to the budding musicians here along with developing necessary infrastructure.

Team of the Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development (RHD Team) interacted with these musicians. It surfaced that despite having so much talent they were living from hand to mouth. They did not get adequate opportunities to showcase their talent and make good money from it. They got to perform only occasionally and were paid a pittance for their performance. They also stated that though most of them would like to learn music from better sources and also get proper education yet they could not do so for lack of funds. They stated that there was shortage of good teachers as well as shortage of musical instruments.

The RHD Team was informed that although among the 50 plus age group, most of the men were high school pass yet the younger generation did not have many persons who had passed high school. In other words, they stated that the level of education had declined. This was attributed to scarcity of funds. They said that they were finding it increasingly hard to make both ends meet and hence, could not pursue education as they had to run around for earning a living. They stated that they go to different towns for performing. However, they could not save much from their performances as the cost of transportation had gone up on account of the increase in petrol and diesel prices.

The village gets only a few hours of electricity in the day, no piped water, a primary school which is practically non-functional, and there is no proper road to the village, only a Kachha track. The residents said that there is no water supply system in the village and that each household has its individual boring system. It was reported that the ground water table was quite good and that they had their own tube wells for irrigating their farms. They also reported that the soil was fertile and they managed to grow two to three crops in a year. However, they were unable to make much money from agriculture as their landholdings had become very small over the years on account of successive divisions of land as the families grew in size. The villagers also mentioned that the electricity supply in the village was highly unreliable and that there was no electricity for several hours during the day. There were also no roads in the village and one had to walk through shrubs, grass and slush to go from one place to the other. The Brahmin houses were generally made of bricks with tile roofs. However, they were of poor quality and sparsely equipped. The house where we had gathered, however had some colourful designs and images of the Ganesha painted on the outside walls.

We at the Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development are working towards necessary effort to improve the infrastructure in Hariharpur. This would involve building provisions for indoor & outdoor performances, museum, and training academy and managing the same. A holistic approach would involve developing basic infrastructure like roads, primary school, primary health care centre, adult education centre, vocational centre, etc.

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Mubarakpur


Mubarakpur, the village of weavers, is known for making pure silk Banarsi sarees with zari work. The village reportedly has a population of one lakh. Ninety percent of the working population is stated to be engaged in the task of weaving sarees of pure silk and zari. Altogether, there are about 20,000 families of weavers in Mubarakpur. Thus, this village as well as certain nearby villages are known as weavers' villages. We were told that there was practically no agricultural activity or any other service in the village for earning a living.

The section of the village visited by the RHD Team had pucca houses and was densely populated. This section also had pucca roads. The team interacted with a group of weavers and was told that the weavers of Mubarakpur were only working on handlooms although in nearby villages weavers had adopted power looms too. The villagers of Mubarakpur however, continued to use handlooms as the quality of weaving on hand looms is superior to that on power looms. It was further stated that in any case, power looms could not be used on account of woeful lack of electricity. About 4,000 sarees are produced daily in Mubarakpur.

The state of education and health facilities is bad in Mubarakpur. There is no college in Mubarakpur after Intermediate. The Health Centre set up by the government have only one or two doctors. There are no maternity facilities or even a lady doctor in the area. The Health Centre doesn't have medicines in stock. The residents of Mubarakpur have to go to Azamgarh for treatment for any ailment. It was expressed that they would very much welcome any steps to improve the standard of education and health in the area.

The problems plaguing handloom industry is another major concern as the art of weaving Benarsi sarees is gradually becoming extinct, primarily because of decline in demand as cheaper options are available in the market. The sarees with synthetic mix and those woven on power looms were produced en masse and cost much less. On the other hand, silk yarn and zari had become increasingly expensive.

The ITRHD propose to facilitate research and development efforts for weavers, along with developing overall infrastructure for the residents.

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Nizamabad


The village of Nizamabad is famous for its black pottery and practically all the households in this village earn their living only by makingblack pottery. This village is also densely populated and the houses are located close together. A noteworthy feature of this village is its pathways that are paved with interlocking bricks.

During interaction, the RHD Team got to know that the clay for the pottery is procured from the nearby ponds. This clay is mixed with the excreta of goats and then formed into different shapes on the traditional potter's wheel. Presently, the potter's wheel is operated with electricity as and when power is available. Otherwise, it is operated manually. Thereafter, designs are etched or painted on the various objects and glossy look is given by using natural products. The objects are eventually baked in clay ovens which are heated with the help of cakes of cow dung etc. The clay ovens are covered to obtain the black colour. If the ovens are left uncovered, the objects acquire a reddish colour. A silver shine is given to the etched designs by using mercury etc. The other colours used by them are also obtained from natural products. The remarkable feature about this craft is that there is virtually no cost of production for these articles as the same are made entirely from materials available freely in the surroundings. Nevertheless, the potters are living in poor conditions because evidently they are paid only a pittance for their products.

The potters generally do not go out to sell their goods but traders come from Mumbai and Delhi to make bulk purchases from them. The potters told the RHD team that the main problem faced by them in production of their goods is that the clay ovens used by them did not have any temperature control. For lack of uniformity of temperature, very often the objects made by them are not of the desired quality. Due to uneven temperatures the objects start leaking when water / liquid is poured in them. The potters requested us to examine the possibility of making temperature controlled ovens available to them. The RHD team is looking into possibilities of this and will be checking with other parties / institutions who are involved in the production and marketing of clay pottery to find an appropriate solution.

The educational and health facilities available are highly inadequate and need to be upgraded and augmented.

For purchase of Pottery items pleas contact :
Ramjantan Prajapati :- +91-9936698891
Sohit Prajapatii : - +91-8176875260

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Sheikh Musa's Dargha, Mewat


Approximately seven hundred years ago Hazrat Sheikh, the grandson of Baba Farid (on whom Faridkot is named) became a follower of the great saint Nizammudin Aulia and came to Nuh in search of solace and later went on to become a venerated man among Meos because of his extensive knowledge of medicine and religious affairs. When he passed away, he was buried here, and so it became a 'Dargah'.

Located in Nuh, in Haryana's Mewat district and at a distance of about 50 kms from Delhi, Sheikh Musa's Dargah is an important pilgrimage centre for the locals. The site is popular not only with Muslim community but others also due to the fact that holy water from the Sheikh Musa's tomb is said to cure one's mole ('musa'). So, he is commonly known as Sheikh Musa.

Built in late 14th century Gateway to Sheikh Musa's dargha is a architectural marvel for its set of shaking minarets that allows one of the minarets of the principal gateway to move when the other is shaken.

The dargah of Sheikh Musa is a perfect blend of Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture. where the minarets are example of mughal style, the centre chattri is in rajput style of architecture. This amalgamation of style was quite prevalent during that time as the mughals were also trying to adapt to the local style of building. This also came because of the local artisans and craftsmen used for constructing the building.

There are twelve gateways in the complex, including the Shaking Minarets. Both minarets of this gateway support each other and measure 50 ft in height and 30 ft in width. The complex is constructed mainly of locally available stone and lime except for the dome and chattri on the top floor with decorations. This could be because of the ease of construction as it is easier to give forms in brick then in stone and is light weight. This also gives us a glimpse of shift in construction material that had started happening during this time.

When the structure was taken for restoration by ITRHD in 2012 it was in dilapidated state where the core of the structure was falling apart. It had structural cracks that if not taken care of the top floor of the structure would have collapsed. The bricks used in the structure were in rotten state and loosened up which was causing arches and dome to deform.

When the repair and restoration started it was important to strengthen the structure otherwise any repair work would have caused more damage. The repair started with strengthening the plinth and walls. Part of the plinth and steps were opened and remade with foundation. The walls of structure were strengthened by grouting. The dome on top had to opened up completely and remade in the same material and style as was originally done. The structure of the building was completely repaired by 2015.

Due to lack of funds a lot of finishing and beautification work for the structure was not taken up. The work includes plastering of walls, restoring of fallen chajjas and decorative elements, lime flooring, lighting and landscaping. However, Haryana Government has now agreed to provide Rs. 20 Lacs which would ensure completion of all unfinished works including landscaping.

Impact on Dargah structure after ITRHD innervation

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Maluti


Project Maluti - A Journey so far
Shree Deo Singh
HART, Jharkhand

Introduction

The Maluti village is situated in the Shikaripara block (26 kms.) of Dumka district of the state of Jharkhand. The nearest rail head is the Rampur Hat station which is 18 Kms. To approach the village one has to get down at the Surichuan on the Dumka - Rampur Hat high way which is 5 Kms. from the Maluti village.

Maluti, also known as the temple village, has a rich historical association. It was known as Gupta Kashi in ancient times due to the large congregation of Shiv Lingas at one place. Mention of the place is made as far back as to 185-75 B.C. in the Sunga dynasty records and tradition holds that the great horse sacrifice or Aswamedha was once upon a time practiced here by Raja PushyamitraSunga. Later Bajrayani Buddhists practiced Tantrik rituals in the place. The matriarchal deity Mauliksha-Ma is worshipped here giving Maluti its name.

Legend says that Sultan AlauddinHussain, the Shah of Gaur (1495-1525) lost his pet hawk or Baaj, and that Basanta Roy the son of a poor farmer caught the bird and gave it back to him. In gratitude the Shah of Gaur gave him Maluti and named him as Raja BajBasanta.

The Temples of Maluti

The total of 108 temples, it is said, were built during 17th-19th century. Among the presently identified 62 temples, those are undergoing con-

servation and restoration work, mostly devoted to lord Shiva including that of the living temple of Ma Mauliksha. The temple architecture of Maluti are classified into five catagories :Chala, Rekha, Man-cha, Flat-Roofed &Ek - Bangla.

These temples in Maluti are of single cham-ber in nature and the minimum height is 15 feet and the maximum height is 60 feet. In most of the temples magnificent terracotta work has been done in the front panel. These panel depicts the famous mythological events such as Mahisasurmardini, Ram RavanaYudh, Sita Haran, MareechVadh, Ja-tayuVadh, etc. The events related to ‘Krishna Lila’ like MakhanChori, DroupadiVastra Haran, GiriGovardhan, etc. can be found in many of these pan-els. In addition to these the idols of different God and Goddesses in various mudras can be seen as depicted in various Tantras and Puranas. Some so-cial events, like hunting, naukavihar, battle jour-neys, britishsepoy etc. can also be seen on these terracotta panels.


USP of Terracotta temple village Maluti

1. An unique village with a blend of Santhali& Ben-gali culture.

2. 17th -19th century Terracotta temple architec-ture is similar to that of Bishnupur temples of 16th -18th century in Bankura district of West Bengal.

3. Its close proximity with Tarapith (23 Kms.) that has close connection with the oldest deity at Maluti ‘Ma Mauliksha’, with massive tourism potential to attract tourists from across the country. Pilgrims in large numbers come to Tarapith to pay respect to Ma Tara, they can be facilitated to visit Ma Maulik-sha temple at Maluti. A large number of pilgrims from Baba Dham (Deoghar) & Baba Basukinath (Dumka) do come to worship the deity at Maluti especially during the auspicious months of Savan&Bhado.

5. It has been placed among 12 endangered heritage sites in the world by Global Heritage Fund, USA.

A great distinction accorded to this site making it globally known.

6. The award of second prize to the tableaux at the Republic day Parade 2015 depicting Maluti temple with enchanting Santhali dance performance be-fore the nation in the august presence of Mrs&Mr Barak Obama, the Hon’ble President and First Lady of United States of America , gave it the worldwide recognition.

Association of ITRHD

ITRHD has signed a MoU with the Government of Jharkhand to conserve the temples and develop the Maluti village as a whole. Scheme includes pro-viding drinking water and sanitation facility, Solid Waste Management system, Tourist interpretation centre, Primary Health Centre, Primary Education centre, Rain Water harvesting system, Electrifica-tion, Terracotta training center, conducting em-ployment generation training, etc.


The atmosphere was upbeat after the signing of MoU with the Government of Jharkhand in July 2015. The government had acted timely and the initial grant was cleared to begin the work. 2nd Oct’ 15 was a red let-ter day for ITRHD and the Project Maluti when ShriNarendraModi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of In-dia had launched the project. The work preparation had begun at site immediately thereafter.

We begun the preparations to start the work during the month of Oct’ 15. We had to go slow as Durga Puja was being celebrated at the village being its annual event. The living temple of MaaMauliksha is a big attraction for the pilgrims of nearby places including those visiting Tarapith, a much sought after pilgrimage destination of east-ern region visited by 1-2 lacs pilgrims every month, which is just 23 kms. fromMaluti. Most of the pilg-irms coming to Tarapith wants to pay respect to Ma Mauliksha at Maluti who is also been regarded as the elder siser of Maa Tara of Tarapith.

The work got started at the Rajarbari sec-tor of the village with 20 identified temples. The temples are being numbered in this sector start-ing from 30-49. The skilled/semi-skilled workers experienced in the field of heritage conservation were fetched from Rajmahal in Sahibganj district and from Vaishali district in Bihar. They have been working in ASI sites at these two places.

The Maluti was given a priority status by the Government of Jharkhand and on 15th Nov. 2015 a Special Cover on Maluti was released on Jharkhand Foundation Day.

Smt. DroupadiMurmu, Hon’ble Governor, Jharkhand and ShriRaghubar Das, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Jharkhand releasing the Special Cover on Maluti at an impressive function during the Foun-dation Day Celebrations of the State.

The Maluti works saw the first VIP at the ongoing work during the first week of Jan. 2016 when ShriAmitKhare, Development Commissioner cum Adl. Chief Secretary, Planning & Finance Govt. of Jharkhand had visited the site.


Smt. NidhiKhare, Principal Secretary, De-partment of Personnel & Raj Bhasha, Govt. of Jhakhand had accompanied ShriKhare. The duo were at the site for nearly two hours, appreciated the ongoing works and issued certain instructions/ suggestions as well.

Chairman Shri S. K. Misra along with Ms. SangyaChaudhary, Director Projects, ITRHD had visited Maluti on 16/17th March ‘16. They held interaction with the villagers and with the Dy. Commissioner, DumkaShri Rahul Kumar Sinha.

Dr. P.K. Mishra, the then Regional Director, E.R. ASI along with his team mates had visited the site on 23rd May 2016 at the request made by the Govt. of Jharkhand.

He had found the ongoing work satisfacto-ry and also suggested few steps &adviced some corrections that were incorporated there after. Ar. Saurav Prasad from M/s AbhaNarainLambah As-sociates, Mumbai was also present at the said visit.

Unfortunately the project got delayed by about six months due to the non-availability of funds from the concerned department of Gov-ernment of Jharkhand. Although the work came to complete halt at site but due care was taken so that post conservation work continued at site such as curing and cleaning/maintaining the executed work at site.

Shri Ashok Kumar Singh, Director Culture, Govt. of Jharkhand had visited the site along with his team to review the works being carried out by ITRHD.

The Team was fully satisfied by the ongoing work and requested us to resume the work at the earliest. He also assured us the release of fund soon.

After continued pursuation the funds were cleared by the Govt. in the month of Dec. 2016 and the work resumed in a fortnight there after.


Right now the conservation & restoration work has been completed at the temple nos. 30 - 32, 35, 36, 40, 41, 43 - 46.

The Shikhara of temple nos. 33 & 34 are under restoration and will be completed by the second week of May 2017. The facade of duo temples were also restored as per the foot prints available while cleaning the debris from the plinth area of the temples.


Temple No. – 42 is badly ruined, the align-ment of the structure needs to be corrected. The work here will being next month under the con-tinued supervision of Shri A.P. Shrivastava, an ASI Conservationist working in the project since its in-ception.

Under an agreement with M/s Abha Narayan Lambah Associates, Mumbai, its senior conservation Architect Mr. Krishna Iyer had vis-itedMaluti on 22nd February 2017. We discussed at site various issues with him regarding on going works. His visit was very informative and enabled us to take few pending decision on certain matters.

Chairman Shri S.K. Misra along with Prof. A.G.K. Menon had visited Maluti site on 26th March 2017. Prof. Menon had deeply gone through the ongoing works as well as visited all the four sec-tors to assess the current situation.

Prof. Menon had given many direction/ suggestions which are being followed.


In this visit ShriMisra and Prof. Menon had called on Smt. DroupadiMurmu, Hon’bleGover-nor, Jharkhand on 27th March 2017.

They also met Shri S.K. Satpathy, Principal Secre-tary to Governor at Raj Bhavan

The duo also held meeting with ShriAmitKhare, Development Commisioner Cum Adl. Chief Secretary, Planning & Finance and Shri Rahul Sharma, Secretary, Tourism & Culture at the Former’s Office. The Maluti work status was discussed in detail.

I have been visiting Maluti works regularly atleast once in ten days.

Shri Sanjay Seth, Hon’ble Chairman, Jharkhand State Khadi& Village Industries Board (A rank of Minister of State) had visited Maluti with his 16 member team on 8th April 2017 . They had spent nearly one and a half hour in Maluti going around all the four sectors apart from spending considerable time at the ongoing conservation works. Jharkhand Khadi is planning to organise some activities at Maluti.

On a whole the work at all these 20 temples in the Rajarbari Sector is expected to be completed in the next thereemonths time. ITRHD is getting intense pressure from Jharkhand Government in-cluding from O/o the Chief Secretary Jharkhand to expeclite the work & complete the job by 2019. It is a daunting task, the challange is great, we are run-ning out of time. We are taking measures to deploy more man power to carry out the work in order to increase the pace of the work. The government has assured to provide full support including release of funds in time. I am sure with the support of head-quarter, we will be able to meet the challange.

With the initiative the Chairman, Airport Authority of India has agreed to grant Rs. 3.0 Crores out of its CSR funds. A Terracotta Training Centre and Tourist Interpretation Center has been proposed out of this fund at Maluti Village. Funding from other agencies may also come for the project. In the days to come Project Maluti will turn out to be a model project in the country .

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