Visualising Banaras: Architectural Symbolism in the Golden Illustrated Ramayana

2024-07-15 16:09:29

Heeryoon Shin

Visualising Banaras: Architectural Symbolism in the Golden Illustrated Ramayana


January 11, 2024    
6:00 pm


Bookings closed


Mazumdar-Shaw auditorium
22, Kasturba Rd, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar , Bengaluru, Karnataka, 560001
Map Unavailable

Ayodhya Under Rama’s Rule, 1814, Uttarakanda, Style A, Workshop B, Artists employing distinct, set-like architectural elements, H. 47.5 x W. 35.7 cm, PTG.02210, Gift of Drs Surjit Kaur & Anmol Singh Mahal – Sikh Heritage Collection. 

Join us for the Bangalore launch of MAP’s latest publication, Book of Gold: The Kanchana Chitra Ramayana of Banaras, with an illustrated lecture by architectural historian, Heeryoon Shin, as she explores the relationship between the Kanchana Chitra Ramayana or the Golden Illustrated Ramayana manuscript and the built environment of Banaras and Ramnagar. 

Architecture maintains a strong presence in the manuscript – used both as a framing device and as a marker of a prosperous kingdom and court. An analysis of the architectural projects undertaken in the 18th and 19th centuries in Banaras and its resonance with the paintings in the manuscript, adds a new dimension to the way we look at the text. These architectural representations are often contemporaneous to the times when the manuscript was commissioned, merging the physical geography of Banaras with the mythical narrative of the Ramcharitamanas. 

Through the talk, Professor Shin will delve into the built context of the Kanchana Chitra Ramayana, and the creation of a new sacred landscape through architecture and public performance by the Narayan dynasty of Banaras. She will look at how these endeavours added to the ‘building boom’ in Banaras and helped in carving out a distinct identity for this newly-established royal line.

This event has been conceptualised as part of the Book of Gold: The Kanchana Chitra Ramayana of Banaras exhibition. For the first time, this exhibition displays nearly 80 folios from the Kanchana Chitra Ramayana.


Bookings are closed for this event.

Heeryoon Shin

Heeryoon Shin is Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Bard College, where she teaches courses on South and East Asian art. Her current project explores architectural revival, mobility, and cross-cultural exchange in early colonial India through the lens of temple architecture in the pilgrimage city of Banaras, a portion of which has been published in Artibus Asiae and Journal 18. She is also developing a second project on the global circulation of blue and white ceramics and their interaction with local production and use in South Asia. 

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