Want to see Indian Art? Go to London!

My desire to travel and explore cultures and cultural stories all ultimately lead me to India and South Asia. The wealth and diversity of cultures and living traditions is matchless. So I have never had a desire to go West. But in the past few weeks, after I have experienced the beauty of ancient Indian miniature paintings and manuscripts, I have begun exploring this world of art that is new to me through books, catalogues and websites. And where do most of these paths lead?

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To London! Why? Three reasons: 1. London has the most amazing museum housing superb examples of almost every art category I might think of. With a large part of their collection also online, they do justice to the world by making their collections viewable whether or not we are physically present there. 2. And that is also the case with the British Library - where I can look at 17th century Ramayan Manuscripts online. 3. The most reputed auction houses are in London and it is therefore natural that the best collections are sold through these. And so to view superior pieces all one needs to do is to view the pre-auction displays. It seems obvious to me, that if I am looking for a soul-fulfilling 'eat-all-you-can' feast of viewing Indian Art then London is the city to visit. Live there for a month or two and spend every waking hour in these magnificent institutions! jm Dec 2013


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