Rs 4 crore boost for Chaitanya museum in Kolkata

2 January,2015

The city will soon have a museum where the life and teachings of Mahaprabhu Chaitanya will come alive. Being designed by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) at Bagbazar, it will have life-size models, three-dimensional films, audio tracks and animatronics to take visitors through the various phases of the life of the religious leader who triggered the Bhakti cult movement in Bengal more than 550 years ago.

The Rs 4-crore museum — christened 'Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Mueseum — will be run by the Goudiya Mission.

A four-storey building has been designed by NCSM for the museum. Each floor will be dedicated to a different phase of Chaitanya's life. On the ground floor, his birth will be depicted with life-size models while the four corners of the floor will have a summary of the four most important stages of his life. These will include the period when he got married and subsequently turned a hermit. While one floor will be used to portray the phase, another will be used to depict his journey through the country before he went off to Puri.

"An entire museum on Chaitanya won't be attractive if it is designed in a conventional way. So, when we were approached to develop the exhibits, we felt it should be more interactive and have elements that aren't usually associated with a religious figure. The 3-D models will bring Chaitanya alive. We will also have 3-D projections that will supplement the models in describing the various phases," said Subhabrata Chaudhuri, director of NCSM.

A meditating room on the ground-floor will share space with a gallery of his teachings, paintings, dialogues and his marriage with Vishnupriya. Multimedia will be used to project some of these on the computer screen. "For instance, his meeting with his first teacher Ishvar Puri and his journey to south India will be virtually depicted. We will also have virtual flip-books on his teachings and interactive video projections that will allow visitors to search for information on Chaitanya," said Chaudhuri.

But perhaps the most striking part of the museum will be an animatronics display of Chaitanya chanting with his disciples. It will be done using fibre-glass images that will sway to music being played on a track. Visitors will be able to join the chant. A section on 'socio-cultural revivalism' will have 3-D lenticular pictures showing Chaitanya's interaction with religious leaders of his time like Roop Goswami and Krishnadas Kabiraj.

Courtesy: Times of India