Cheriyal murals adorning 163-foot kitchen tunnel inside ‘Rashatrapati Nilayam’ in Hyderabad bedazzle visitors

The winter retreat of the President has become a goto place for designers as a team of artists has created mesmerising murals depicting various festivals, occupations, agricultural practices and social messages like educating the girl child inside a covered corridor.

Recently opened to public visit,the estate that serves as the Southern sojourn ‘Rashatrapati Nilayam’ draws huge crowd making a beeline to peek into the 163-foot covered corridor connecting   kitchen and dining hall which has been turned into a wonderland with murals, masks, and animal heads in the Telangana folk art form of Cheriyal.

The mural painting team comprises Nagilla Ganesh and his two daughters Yamani and Ashvini. Dhanalakota Rakesh, Vinay and Sravan Kumar, Nampally Abhilash Varma; Dhanalakota Nageshwar and Padma, and Ramigiri Anudeep, painted the masks and animal heads.

Dhanalakota Nageshwar & Dhanalakota Padma

According to artist Saikiran, who now lives in Hyderabad, “Its a privileged to paint a section of this prestigious building. Our art has embellished the walls of Rashtrapati Nilayam and brought honour to Cheriyal.”

The 400-year-old art form named after the village is a stylized version of the Nakashi art form typical of the Telangana region.

Having learnt Cheriyal art from their father Ganesh, Yamini and Ashwini call this a memorable experience. Painting for around 10 years now, the duo have travelled with their father for projects in Nagpur, Lucknow and Khajuraho.

Two pairs of masks and a hand-painted elephant head greet visitors at the entrance; “We have created concepts in art on the wall; our thematic paintings that run along the walls are 24 and 18 feet long,” says Saikiran. The murals are interspersed with Cheriyal masks and animal heads.

It took 20 days to finish the project.Unlike traditional Cheriyal art wherein artists use a red background to highlight the blue and white colours for mythological characters, here the artists have experimented with light green, brown and orange hues.

The sunlight filtering  through ventilators creates a serene ambience adding charm to this pictorial presentation.

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