The Treasure is all Mine! :)

Do I sound greedy? Naah naah…its not the greed. It is a feeling just like for a sailor finding treasure on a lone island…have you ever felt like that?

Wandering around the city sometimes for work or while just walking along the road could be very beneficial. It has been for me a number of times. This month I decided to dig out my treasure and recollect every piece I picked up all along my way…

In Pune, we have this wonderful yet crowded place where you get a lot of thrifty stuff. Or let me make it simple, the name says it all, “Joona Bazaar”, meaning sale of old stuff! Old is gold, right? So Bipin & I decided to go and see if that is true.

We walked through the stuffy lanes and loud vendors just hoping to come across some interesting old stuff. We saw people selling tarps and coins, some discounted bags, old furniture, etc. We decided to go a bit deeper into the narrow lanes where people chewed tobacco, some sipped tea and some chatted in clusters. Thats when we spotted something spectacular and unique!. A 55 kg brass trunk with stunning embellishments found a 100 years ago…and after a small research on this, I figured no such piece has been created in the recent 75 years! And there was no way we were going to leave it behind! We negotiated a good price and though it was still on the higher side, we bought it.

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In the same place some other time, with my friend Aditi, we walked through the crowded dusty lanes. This time a little girl of about 10 years was selling some smaller antiques. She didn’t have more than 20 pieces of unique trinkets in brass. I bought a strange retro-rustic water container with a face of a cow as its spout. It was pretty and perfect for my living room! Further, I found a pair of intricate brass shot glasses with Meenakari work. Pieces of art I should say! Bipin was in for a surprise that day and it adds to our collection of shot glasses.

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I know…you might be a bit bored of my stories of Joona Bazaar, but believe me…it is the only place I like to shop! My next stop was in Hubli…no no, don’t worry, I didn’t go there to see antiques, but to meet a very dear friend Siddharth. Since he’d shifted to Hubli, we decided to travel there to see him. In the heart of the city is his beautiful home with a fortune of antiques, I guess a collection from his ancestral times. Thats when I took some pictures of chairs which they use daily. I thought, how lucky! 🙂 Loved them and wanted to bring them all to Pune!

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Then came an awesome coincidence! My mother was walking past a shop where they basically sell everything from second hand furniture to newspapers and even coconuts. She spotted a fine-looking old teak wood cupboard. It was bulky yet simple and carved aesthetically! She called me right away, paid the guy to reserve it and asked me to come along immediately. I bought it, refurbished and use it as a filing cabinet…Thanks to my mother, its at home now!

 

 

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A friends’s friends called me one day and suggested me to stop by his home which was going to be demolished soon. He wanted to get rid of his antiques which I found very weird but nevertheless, I had a chance to buy them off him. I picked up a long churner which was traditionally used by women to whip buttermilk. These women stood tall and churned a huge pot of buttermilk which today we buy in tetrapacks. 🙂 Whether I whip it myself or not, I do have an ancient churner at home! 🙂

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The same friend also had just one window grill made with beautiful Sagwan or teak wood. Gorgeous as it was, I picked it up and transformed it to a blue chandelier I have in my studio!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another of my very exclusive treasure is the “Taala” or a huge, heavy, ornate lock! It has such beautifully carved keys which work so fabulously. I was off to coastal Karnataka to a small town called Gokarna for my cousin Sonals wedding. Gokarna is known for its deep blue sea, an ancient temple of Shiva and a lane full of deity accessory shopping! In our spare time, while the bride was dressing up, we wandered around the city, one store had this ‘taala’ hung on a cabinet. We asked him if he could sell it to us and he replied, “why not?” 🙂

 

So many people, experiences and places are involved in my collection of these aged treasures…love them and I hope this collection adds on..

 

 

 

Sea Cliffs of the Arabian and the Sun Temple…

Legends float all across the world. Legends make the world alive. Similarly, the legend of the Sun Temple in Ratnagiri made me want to write about it.

Outside the Kanakaditya Temple in Ratnagiri

Ratnagiri is one of the most beautiful place that the state of Maharashtra can flaunt. The untouched beaches, the swaying palms, creeks and rivers makes this place perfect to relax and rejuvenate though relaxing is not so much for me. Being here, I wanted to see everything that made this place and everything that this place was full off. While talking to the locals, we noticed they mentioned the Kanakaditya temple several times. They told us to visit this place if we enjoyed historical structures and liked legends. The thought rang in our heads..why not?

Kanakaditya or the Sun God Temple

Amidst the village of Kasheli, almost along the cliffs of the Arabian sea lies this simple temple of the Sun called Kanakadtiya. Even the road to this temple was small and narrow hemmed with coconut palms and velvet greens of the forest. It was windy and passed through many small houses on either sides. When we got there, from outside, this temple looked like any ordinary temple. It made us think if we took all the effort to see a temple which didn’t seem architecturally historic. Since we were there, we decided to peep in. While we walked through the courtyard of the temple,we noticed how simple and serene this place was. It had a stone carved statue of Lord Aditya (Sun God) and had bright paintings of some of his legends. Even though it was colourful it was very pleasing to the eye.

The court of the Kanakaditya Temple

The Colourful Entrance of the Kanakaditya Temple

While walking around, an old man who owned a mango orchard close to the temple narrated the story of this temple. He said that a long time back a boatman decided to travel south from Gujarat. Since he worshiped Lord Aditya, he decided to carry an idol along with him. When he reached Kasheli, the boat halted without a reason. He knew he was not stuck due to a rock but could not reason out its cause. He thought that perhaps the lord wanted him to leave him behind hence placed the idol in a rock cut cave along the cliff of Kasheli village and sailed on further. Simultaneously  a local woman called Kanak, an ardent devotee of the Lord Aditya dreamt of this idol being placed in the cave. With the help of the villagers, she resurrected this beautiful temple which is called Kanakaditya Temple.

Ceiling of the temple

This temple is known to be 1100 years old. It is one of the rarest temple in India. According to statistics, only 4 have been recorded  Konark in Orisa, one in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and this simple one in Ratnagiri. We further hiked to look over the cliffs to see if we could see the cave but lost our way and returned back to the temple only to sit there and breathe in the calm of this place.

Posed on a cliff to search for the cave where the idol of Aditya was found.