The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa

Tripoto
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 1/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Moti-Talav
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 2/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Sawantwadi Palace
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 3/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Sawantwadi Palace
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 4/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The lacquer-ware toys after oil coating
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 5/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Sawantwadi Palace
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 6/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Ganjifa Cards Packaging
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 7/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 8/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Matsya Avatar of Dashvatara Ganjifa
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 9/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Dashavatara Ganjifa Cards
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 10/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Chitari making lacquer-ware toys
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 11/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
The Wooden Toys of Sawantwadi
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 12/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
Our team at the Sawantwadi Palace
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 13/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
Our team with the Ganjifa artisans
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 14/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 15/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
Our team with Queen of Sawantwadi
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 16/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
Posing on the Staircase with our mentor
Photo of The Unsung Saga, Ganjifa 17/17 by Shraddha Mahajan
Our team at Chitari Gully

Travel is that last piece of cake which will always tempt you to have more. There’s a feeling about a place that gets trapped inside you after you escape yourself from the regular affairs of your busy life and let yourself indulge with nature. After all, silence and solitude are the best ways to communicate with the earth. We introduce you to a place, so beautiful and serene that it will sooth you to the bottom of your soul. Sawantwadi, a small town in the midst of the Konkan Valley is a painting of an artist that has come to life. The simplicity and calmness in the surrounding will make you breathe something more than air. For a Mumbaikar desperate to escape the hot humid summer, this could be a perfect destination to relieve you over a short weekend.

Location - Sindhudurg District of Maharashtra Distance from Mumbai – 587 kms Local transport – Buses, Rickshaws, Tangas

I recalled in my mind, the picture of the scenic beauty and simplicity of the serene town that I had left behind as I headed back towards the crowded roads and busy life of Mumbai. Sawantwadi, a village located in the midst of the Konkan valley of Maharashtra is a perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the metro cities. It is a pioneer for keeping alive the craft, the Mughal treasure, Ganjifa. I slid my hand into my bag and pulled out a pack of Ganjifa cards which I had bought with me as a fond memory of my visit to Sawantwadi. I carefully looked into the round disc-like cards of Ganjifa with the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu painted on them. My eyes widened as I measured the intricacy of these designs on the cards. It pleased me to quickly pen down the beauty and uniqueness of the craft.

Ganjifa inscribes the incarnations of lord Vishnu on the cards with delicate details. Each card holding a lot of skill and hard work, every bit of paint is put with extreme care by the craftsmen. A single deck contains 120 cards which includes 2 suit cards with the incarnation painted on them and 10 numerical cards depicting the symbol of the incarnation on it.

Heritage

The Sawantwadi palace is a heritage property of the royal family of the region, the Bhonsles. Rani Satvasheela Devi is the last survivor of the royal family who still resides in the palace. The palace is constructed using laterite stone and is around 500 years old. Opposite to the palace, is the beautiful lake called Moti Talao around which the city is built. The scenic view from the palace is so magnificent, the stretch of the landscape is filled with colours of nature. Narendra Park, Narendra Hill, Vithal Temple and Hanuman Temple are other attractions of this town. Ganesh Temple is known or its fine and beautiful sculptures.

Continental Treat

Stepping into the traditional culture of the place, you can experience distinct continental cuisines here. Malvani food is the local cuisine which is famous for its spicy flavour of curries and fries. You can taste fusion of Malvani and Konkani cuisine including specialities like Konkani style fishes and Kokum juice which is exceptionally refreshing during summers. The other staple foods include solkadi, rice, nachni bread, curry, vegetables and dried fish.

10 kms away from Sawantwadi is the beautiful hill station of Amboli which is a natural splendour. This precious ecological hotspot, enriched with treasures of flora and fauna. Situated at an altitude of 690 metres above the sea level, it comprises of dense forest which makes the ambience cool and refreshing. This place turns majestic when the waterfalls gush down the hilly terrain. The flora seems like dancing to the sound of the rain when monsoon arrives this region. Seeing the vibrant colours of the greenery around will make you promise yourself another visit to this place. Some places just can be fully appreciated without experiencing the magic that flows in its breeze.

Craft and Creativity

Since centuries, this town has treasured its cultural entities and retained the skill to develop beautiful handicrafts. Chitaris, a group of artists have kept alive the art of hand painting ancient playing cards called Ganjifa and creating lacquer-ware. The Moti-Talav on one side is surrounded by a local market called the Raghunath market with shops known for selling local wooden toys and artificial fruits made of lac. These beautiful handmade entities can be kept as a memory of your visit to the place.

As I unlocked the door of my house in silence, I thought to myself thinking about the craftsmen. ‘Some heroes aren’t as we know them, they do not fly, they have no muscles, but they can disappear.’

Sawantwadi, a small town in the midst of the Konkan Valley is a painting of an artist that has come to life.

The Moti-Talav

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The Sawantwadi Palace

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The Sawantwadi Palace

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The lacquer-ware toys after oil coating

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The Sawantwadi Palace

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The Ganjifa Cards Packaging

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan
Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The Matsya Avatar of Dashvatara Ganjifa

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The Dashavatara Ganjifa Cards

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The Chitari making lacquer-ware toys

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

The Wooden Toys of Sawantwadi

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

Our team at the Sawantwadi Palace

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

Our team with the Ganjifa artisans

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan
Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

Our team with Queen of Sawantwadi

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

Posing on the Staircase with our mentor

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan

Our team at Chitari Gully

Photo of Sawantwadi Road, Sawantwadi Rd, Sawantwadi, Amboli, Maharashtra 416510, India by Shraddha Mahajan
1 Comment(s)
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Wow.. will look out for these cards in Market..Hopefully .. I will find them.
Fri 11 18 16, 00:53 · Reply (1) · Report
I think now they don't produce it for selling them because they are costly, but they produce it only for export purposes maybe to display them in museums across the world.
Fri 11 18 16, 10:47 · Report