As you alight from your train at the Sawai Madhopur railway station, a tiger roars at you from the walls. You may be forgiven for thinking that you are already at your destination, the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, for which the station acts as a gateway. While the reserve is still some distance away, everything at this tiny station screams that you have arrived.
The 5,000-feet of walls at the Sawai Madhopur station are decorated with all things Ranthambore. The flora and fauna, bears and crocodiles, leopards and of course the tigers. Part of the Rajasthan government’s initiative to showcase the state’s rich cultural history through local art work displayed on the walls of railway stations, the Sawai Madhopur project recently won a national award.
While Sawai Madhopur may be the most recognized, it is not the only railway station in Rajasthan to get such a makeover. As many as seven railway stations across the state have been decorated with local artwork over the past one year. Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner and Ajmer have all undergone a thematic facelift.
The Rajasthan government has also utilised the initiative to revive dying art forms like banni thanni, a signature of the Kishangarh school of miniatures, or pichwai paintings practiced in Udaipur; using them to decorate the otherwise drab walls of railway stations in the state.
rajasthan patrika epaper 01/09/2016 : http://epaper.patrika.com