The exhibition, titled India and Russia: Unity in Diversity, was inaugurated on June 8 at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi. Dedicated to the Day of Russia it displays photographs taken by Mrs Evgenia Karmalito, professional journalist, in two cities of Russia and India – Suzdal and Amber.
These two cities have much in common. Both are situated around 230 km away from the capitals of Russia and India respectively. During their glorious history Suzdal and Amber were the capitals of regional princedoms. Today they are very famous tourist destinations, included in the so called Golden Ring of Russia and the Golden Triangle of India.
The exhibition is an attempt to show striking similarities in the elements of local architecture as well as in the whole picturesque environment and unique atmosphere that are so characteristic to Suzdal and Amber. It somehow helps to understand the inner, spiritual causes of the well-known phenomenon and to find the reasons why Russia and her sister, great India, have been gravitating towards each other since time immemorial.
Speaking on the occasion eminent Indian scholar Prof. Ramadhikari Kumar, former Rector, JNU, President, INDAPRYAL, Major Dalbir Singh, Secretary, All-India Congress Committee, Mrs. Purnima Anand, General Secretary, Indo-Russian Youth Clubs, Mr. Fyodor A. Rozovskiy, Director, RCSC, expressed their opinion that the exhibition will serve as an eye-opener for all those who want to know more about Russia, especially for school children and students.
The history of Suzdal dates back to at least the year 1024. For centuries it functioned as the capital of several Russian principalities. It was granted city status in 1777. After a decline in political importance, the town rose in prominence as a religious center with numerous monasteries and a remarkable ratio of churches to citizens: at one point, forty churches for four hundred families.
Today, the town operates as an important tourist center, featuring many fine examples of old Russian architecture — most of them churches and monasteries. Walking through the town one might get the feeling that every third building is a church. Although having over ten thousand residents, Suzdal still retains the look and feel of a small village with streams and meadows everywhere nearby, and chicken and livestock a common sight on the city streets, some of which are unpaved. This juxtaposition of stunning medieval architecture with its pastoral setting lends Suzdal a picturesque charm, and in the summer artists and easels are a common sight.
The picturesque situation of Amer at the mouth of a rocky mountain gorge, 9 km away from Jaipur (Rajasthan), has attracted the admiration of all travelers. Founded by the Meena Raja Alan Singh, it was a flourishing settlement as far back as 967 CE. Around 1037 CE, it was conquered by the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. Amber was capital of the Kachwahas until 1727 when the ruler of Amer Sawai Jai Singh II founded a new capital which was named after him as Jainagara (Jaipur). The town is seen to be a remarkable example for its combined Rajput-Mughal architecture.