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Gandhara: A Retrospective

Gandhara: A Retrospective

DESIGN COLLECTION 2018-19
Inspiration

As we close the chapter of our design collection for 2018-19, here’s looking back at the myth, memories, and legacy of the ancient land of Gandhara.

We only know what we’ve lost because
of what is left behind.

Each year we create a design collection that tells the story of a particular culture or mythical aspect of a region in the Indian subcontinent and surrounding areas across Asia. For the year 2018-19, we embarked on a design journey to unfold the legends of Gandhara along the famed Silk Route.

An ancient kingdom that existed during the time of the Rig Vedas, Gandhara, was located at the confluence of rivers Swat and Kabul, both tributaries of the mighty Sindhu. The first true global civilisation, exemplifying a fluid melding of Indic, Persian, Greek and Central Asian cultures with a predominantly Buddhist influence, it was a cradle of art and design, and a hub of knowledge and learning.

As we proceed towards this year’s annual theme, we bring the Gandhara chapter to a close with the launch of our design journal. Insightful and visually rich, it records our inspiration and research behind the Gandhara Design Collection: a re-imagining of the rich history through the Good Earth lens.

Ancient Inspirations: Designs and Details

THE ARTIST'S BRUSH

The trumpeting elephant motif was borrowed from the coins issued by the ruling Satraps of that time.

The Bactrian Horse motif was inspired by the mythical flying stallions of Bakhtar, as ancient Bactria was known.

Dining like Royalty

The Taxila dinnerware collection was named after the city of Takshashila, where one of the world’s oldest universities was situated. It was also an important centre of commerce, and its residents lived in ease, amongst the prosperity that trade and exchange ensured in the region.

 

The Taxila dinnerware collection was named after the city of Takshashila, where one of the world’s oldest universities was situated. It was also an important centre of commerce, and its residents lived in ease, amongst the prosperity that trade and exchange ensured in the region.

The Potter’s Wheel

Gandharan terracotta represented a stylistic simplicity of form and material. With practical, functional shapes to assist everyday use—such as storing food and grain or drinking and pouring water—each vessel celebrated distinctive curves, balance, and subtle refinement. Drawing from the pottery and utensils excavated at Gandhara, we created a range of handcrafted Greek amphorae, pots, and jars, along with metal and glass ones.

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The Weaver’s Loom

Gandharan textiles reflected a diverse amalgam of culture, design influences, and style. From the beguiling geometric patterns of Ajrakh to the twinkling Banjaran mirrorwork of nomadic tribes, our collections captured the spirit of this cosmopolitan civilisation with rich textures and traditional craft techniques, narrating tales of a forgotten world.

 

Gandhara Playlist

FEATURING

Anhad Naad 
Ram Sampath, Sona Mohapatra & Shadab

Dil Sulagta Raha Chandni Raat Mein
Ustad Nusurat Fateh Ali Khan

Khwaja Mere Khwaja
Instrumental

Kaho Kya Khayal Hai
Zeb and Haniya

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@goodearthindia | #DiscoverGandhara

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