Art at Firdaus in Naukuchiataal




It’s probably third time I was visiting Naukuchiataal and this was going to be my second stay at Firdaus. Very aptly named, Firdaus is a beautiful bungalow with brilliant views of the lake Naukuchiataal on one side and high mountains on the other side. During the day, you can see some gliders flying down from the mountains on Right.

It’s probably third time I was visiting Naukuchiataal and this was going to be my second stay at Firdaus. Very aptly named, Firdaus is a beautiful bungalow with brilliant views of the lake Naukuchiataal on one side and high mountains on the other side. During the day, you can see some gliders flying down from the mountains on Right.

I don't think I have ever talked specifically about art at any particular hotel/resort/homestay. That is because even if a place is artistic, there is only as much you can talk about it. But in case of Firdaus, it is different. And by the end of this post you will be able to appreciate why this post is worth writing or reading.

I don't think I have ever talked specifically about art at any particular hotel/resort/homestay. That is because even if a place is artistic, there is only as much you can talk about it. But in case of Firdaus, it is different. And by the end of this post you will be able to appreciate why this post is worth writing or reading.

Let's first talk about the cottage. From the outside, the cottage looks like any other building, very much at home in the mountains. It is painted green and off-white and has the quintessential slanting roof. If you take a closer look, you discover vines artistically draped on the balconies. The cottage's tastefully done exteriors and traditional exotic interiors is just the beginning of the art here. Throughout our three day stay at the cottage, we kept discovering new things.

Let's first talk about the cottage. From the outside, the cottage looks like any other building, very much at home in the mountains. It is painted green and off-white and has the quintessential slanting roof. If you take a closer look, you discover vines artistically draped on the balconies. The cottage's tastefully done exteriors and traditional exotic interiors is just the beginning of the art here. Throughout our three day stay at the cottage, we kept discovering new things.

Let's first start with the exteriors. While you are there, you will invariable find yourself exploring the grounds. And this is where you start discovering paintings done in various styles and interesting curios turning up at places you least expect to find them. Wind chimes, wall hangings, and other pretty things bring the place to life. And if a soft wind is blowing, there's music all around.


Let's first start with the exteriors. While you are there, you will invariable find yourself exploring the grounds. And this is where you start discovering paintings done in various styles and interesting curios turning up at places you least expect to find them. Wind chimes, wall hangings, and other pretty things bring the place to life. And if a soft wind is blowing, there's music all around.

Smita, the owner, and her daughter are artists and you can see their personal touch on the walls and the corners. The first piece of art that you will probably notice is the little piece of Warli art on one of the pillars. Go around the pillar and you will see dance and music. The fact that this art is only there on one pillar is part of the charm. The artists have deliberately shied away from the dullness of symmetry.

Smita, the owner, and her daughter are artists and you can see their personal touch on the walls and the corners. The first piece of art that you will probably notice is the little piece of Warli art on one of the pillars. Go around the pillar and you will see dance and music. The fact that this art is only there on one pillar is part of the charm. The artists have deliberately shied away from the dullness of symmetry.


And I am proud to share that Smita generously allowed me to contribute a little on this piece of art. We spent a pleasant afternoon finishing this up and at the end of it, were really proud of the outcome. Do take a look at this whenever you visit Firdaus.

And I am proud to share that Smita generously allowed me to contribute a little on this piece of art. We spent a pleasant afternoon finishing this up and at the end of it, were really proud of the outcome. Do take a look at this whenever you visit Firdaus.

Walk a few steps, and you come across a huge tree done up in the Madhubani style. Very gracefully, this tree wraps around one corner. At this point, I would also like share that it is hard work to maintain these paintings on the exteriors. These paintings fade in the sun and rain, and you need to keep putting fresh coats of paint.

Walk a few steps, and you come across a huge tree done up in the Madhubani style. Very gracefully, this tree wraps around one corner. At this point, I would also like share that it is hard work to maintain these paintings on the exteriors. These paintings fade in the sun and rain, and you need to keep putting fresh coats of paint.

Take a few more steps and move towards the back of the house and you notice some deer done up in Gond style. In its quirky way, Firdaus pays a tribute to the classical arts of India. These paintings look simple, but the complexity lies in the placement of these designs, the perfection of execution, and the perseverance required to maintain them.

Take a few more steps and move towards the back of the house and you notice some deer done up in Gond style. In its quirky way, Firdaus pays a tribute to the classical arts of India. These paintings look simple, but the complexity lies in the placement of these designs, the perfection of execution, and the perseverance required to maintain them.

Walk towards the right and you then come across a shoal of fish painted once again in madhubani style. If you take a walk across the ground, all of the paintings that we have talked about so far should be easy to find. And if you are able to find them, leave a comment here.


Walk towards the right and you then come across a shoal of fish painted once again in madhubani style. If you take a walk across the ground, all of the paintings that we have talked about so far should be easy to find. And if you are able to find them, leave a comment here. 

When you move inside, you will discover masks of different styles, all of these from different parts of India, and all of them equally at home at this place known as Firdaus. We were here for three days, but still we feel that there is so much we missed or did not pay enough attention to.

When you move inside, you will discover masks of different styles, all of these from different parts of India, and all of them equally at home at this place known as Firdaus. We were here for three days, but still we feel that there is so much we missed or did not pay enough attention to.

Firdaus is a three-bedroom cottage and one would think that you would be able to fully explore it in a day at max. However, the beauty lies in the details and that is what takes time to observe and appreciate.

Firdaus is a three-bedroom cottage and one would think that you would be able to fully explore it in a day at max. However, the beauty lies in the details and that is what takes time to observe and appreciate.

On the inside, not only are the walls adorned with art, you will find various curios placed around on the steps and in the corners. All of these are unique and all of these interesting. Take a moment and stop and appreciate the beauty. Building a home is one thing, and thinking about the people who are going to stay here and adding an extra dash of love and consideration is another.

On the inside, not only are the walls adorned with art, you will find various curios placed around on the steps and in the corners. All of these are unique and all of these interesting. Take a moment and stop and appreciate the beauty. Building a home is one thing, and thinking about the people who are going to stay here and adding an extra dash of love and consideration is another.

Some of these curios are painted by Smita herself. She is an artist and also runs art workshops in Delhi. You an look up https://www.facebook.com/IndiqueArts/ for her work and the workshops she conducts.

Some of these curios are painted by Smita herself. She is an artist and also runs art workshops in Delhi. You an look up https://www.facebook.com/IndiqueArts/ for her work and the workshops she conducts.

One cannot talk enough about the art at Firdaus. I, especially, am no art expert. But the only thing I can say for sure is that this little cottage charms you at every step. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open.

One cannot talk enough about the art at Firdaus. I, especially, am no art expert. But the only thing I can say for sure is that this little cottage charms you at every step. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open.


Don't go here expecting loud music or hoping to find a television in your room. Go there to discover beauty that doesn't work too hard to attract your attention, but quietly draws you in.

Don't go here expecting loud music or hoping to find a television in your room. Go there to discover beauty that doesn't work too hard to attract your attention, but quietly draws you in.

It’s probably third time I was visiting Naukuchiataal and this was going to be my second stay at Firdaus. Very aptly named, Firdaus is a beautiful bungalow with brilliant views of the lake Naukuchiataal on one side and high mountains on the other side. During the day, you can see some gliders flying down from the mountains on Right.

It’s probably third time I was visiting Naukuchiataal and this was going to be my second stay at Firdaus. Very aptly named, Firdaus is a beautiful bungalow with brilliant views of the lake Naukuchiataal on one side and high mountains on the other side. During the day, you can see some gliders flying down from the mountains on Right.

It’s probably third time I was visiting Naukuchiataal and this was going to be my second stay at Firdaus. Very aptly named, Firdaus is a beautiful bungalow with brilliant views of the lake Naukuchiataal on one side and high mountains on the other side. During the day, you can see some gliders flying down from the mountains on Right.

It’s probably third time I was visiting Naukuchiataal and this was going to be my second stay at Firdaus. Very aptly named, Firdaus is a beautiful bungalow with brilliant views of the lake Naukuchiataal on one side and high mountains on the other side. During the day, you can see some gliders flying down from the mountains on Right.

If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -   1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.  2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.   3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.   4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.   5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite


If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling - 

1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.

2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin. 

3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem. 

4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits. 

5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite

Comments

Nandan Jha said…
Super collection. Thank you VJ.
Dr. Anita Sabat said…
Wonderful. Artistic ladies indeed.
Reminds me of Odisha homes where such art is found on the walls.
There's a village in Odisha named Raghurajpur where every person is an artist.
Great to find two art-works of Odisha in your post-
Lord Jagannath and His siblings & the birds on the cane- wall-hanging.
d Nambiar said…
Very artistic indeed. These personal touches seem to add so much character to the place. :)
VJ Sharma said…
Yes Nambiar. These photographs are subset of the artwork one can find at Firdaus and this keeps changing with every visit by Smita and her family.
VJ Sharma said…
Anita - Ohh wow. that's a huge compliment for the post and the art-works of Firdaus.
VJ Sharma said…
Nandan - Thanks for having us there. It's always awesome to be at Firdaus and enjoy this colorful (artistic and natural) surrounding.
Smita Dhall said…
Thank you so much for the kind and very generous post about our attempts to keep Firdaus brimming with art. It really, really means so much. It will keep us encouraged too add and create a bit more art as we spend the Diwali there.

@Anita, thanks so much. Of course, Raghurajpur is the home of pattachitra which is one of the finest classical styles of painting. Thank you for mentioning that. The name fills us with joy and the being compared to that is hugely humbling. Gratitude πŸ™πŸ½.

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