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August - September 2009


A practical and simple guide to lure travellers to Aurangabad: Jewel of the Deccan

by Krishan Ralleigh

A practical and simple guide to lure travellers to......Aurangabad

Jewel of the Deccan

Rashmi Jolly’s book launch at Indar Pasricha Fine Art Gallery

Rashmi Jolly’s book on Travels in India concentrates on the city of Aurangabad in Maharashra. This historic city contains relics of ancient Indian art, culture and architecture; and has become a symbolical tapestry of Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Islamic religious monuments woven with dynamism of modern India. Rashmi has beautifuly presented this tapestry in a book form.

It was launched at Indar Pasricha Fine Art Gallery, Connaught Street, London, by

Prof. Meri Arichi who teaches Japanese Art History at SOAS, University of London. In her speech Meri Arichi, while introducing the author and her book said, “I first met Rashimi several years ago when she came to take the Diploma in Asian Arts Course at the British Museum where I used to work as one of the tutors. This course has now moved to SOAS. Rashmi’s main area of study was, of course, the Indian Art, but as a part of the Post-graduate Diploma course, Rashmi took my course in Japanese Art as well, and that is how I came to know her. Rashmi was an enthusiastic and conscientious student. She wrote excellent essays and passed her exams with flying colours. I admire her commitment for putting a lot of time and effort in her study despite her very busy life.

Rashmi is a busy lady. Her home is in Mumbai, but she spends part of the year in London. In Mumbai, she helps her husband with his business, she is a dedicated mother of two lovely sons, and of course she has her own busy social life. So it is quite remarkable that she found time to write this book as well !

The book is a practical guide to Aurangabad – a historical city in the Deccan. But the name Aurangabad is perhaps not well known outside India. Most tourists visiting India go to the so-called Golden triangle in the north, and many business people visit Mumbai, but Aurangabad has been somehow overlooked by tourists.

I actually visited Aurangabad once many years ago – 1996, 13 years ago.

Aurangabad was the nearest airport to the wonderful artistic heritages of India, the Buddhist caves of Ajanta and Hindu temples of Ellora. I remember that at the time Aurangabad was a large city, but kind of provincial and not particularly attractive. But Rashmi tells me that the city is transforming itself now, with a new international airport opening soon. I am happy to learn that a part of the Auragabad International Airport was funded by JBIC, Japan Bank International Corporation. I understand that JBIC has also funded the restoration programme of caves at Ajanta and Ellora, and building a visitor centre at Ajanta which will enhance the experience of visiting these amazing caves.

Rashmi’s book is very timely. It is a valuable contribution to the promotion of the city. The book provides many useful tips for visiting the city as well as the informative introduction to the great artistic sites nearby. So I hope you will have chance to visit this fascinating city soon and you will take Rashmi’s book with you.”

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