As a gesture of profound gratitude, the villagers of Idar protect this incredible landscape from the modern-day demons: the quarry owners lurking in the nearby villages. Just so that these Natural Wonders could be passed on from this generation to the next.

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TBI Photo Essay: Idar – God’s Own Art Gallery

At a time, when beautiful Natural Rock Formations around the country are being pulverised by greedy quarry owners, particularly in Andhra where they were once abundant, here is a story from Gujarat. Here, the Natural Rock Formations protect the villagers, and the villagers in turn protect the Rocks that protect them!

My earliest memories of nature’s own sculptures date back to my childhood. On the innumerable train journeys from Mumbai to Kerala, I remember them as fleeting images framed by the train window, as the train chugged through the state of Andhra Pradesh. But on a recent trip, I discovered that they have been razed to the ground by the greedy bull-dozers of quarry owners.

But one such gallery still remains intact in the state of Gujarat, tenaciously preserved by the villagers, even if it is because of a local legend.

This village is called Idar, and it is a 2-hour drive from the bustling city of Ahmedabad via Gandhinagar and Himmatnagar. Two kilometres before you reach Idar, you see them in the distance from a village called Saapawada.
This village is called Idar, and it is a 2-hour drive from the bustling city of Ahmedabad via Gandhinagar and Himmatnagar. Two kilometres before you reach Idar, you see them in the distance from a village called Saapawada.
It is an exquisite open-air art gallery where God decided to display his artworks permanently.  The entrance to this menagerie of frozen animals is fiercely guarded by a real dog.
It is an exquisite open-air art gallery where God decided to display his artworks permanently. The entrance to this menagerie of frozen animals is fiercely guarded by a real dog.

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Written by Gangadharan Menon

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Gangadharan Menon is a nature writer, art teacher, and photographer of the wild.

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