The Ramayana goes online

Mar 10, 2014, 08:50 IST | Dhara Vora

The digitisation project of the unique 17th century Mewar Ramayana manuscript is finally complete and it will be accessible to the public at several city venues from this month

For the first time in the country, several museums and institutions have come together to make a rare manuscript available on the public domain, so that it can be accessible to everyone, for research and educational purposes.

(Above and below) Pages from the Mewar Ramayana, which has been collaboratively digitised

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), British Library, Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery and other private collections painstakingly worked together to digitise the Mewar Ramayana, one of the finest existing illustrated manuscripts of the Hindu mythological epic. Started in early 2011, the project was completed recently, and will go live on March 21.

The manuscript was commissioned by Rana Jagat Singh I of Mewar (1628-52), and was completed during the reign of his successor, Rana Raj Singh, in 1653.

However, only 149 folios (out of a total 701 folios) are held in different collections in India and 555 folios are with the British Library. 23 of these folios are with CSMVS. Now, all of them will be available together for view on the web in the form of Turning The Pages (TTP) technology.

“This is a unique collaborative project which accomplished all its objectives. Believing in the principle of universalism, we at the CSMVS, acknowledge the need to disseminate knowledge, expertise and resources through professional and virtual networks in addition to the circulation of material objects.

This is our first collaborative project with the British Library and we wish to do similar kind of projects in the future. We thank Jamsetji Tata Trust for the support,” informs Sabyasachi Mukherjee, director general, CSMVS.

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