Sachi Annual Event 2016: Mapping the Kumbh Mela

Date:     Saturday, November - 05, 2016
Time:    2 pm
Location:   Asian Art Museum, Samsung Hall, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India and Asian Art Museum, San Francisco in collaboration with South Asia Institute, Harvard University proudly present Mapping the Kumbh Mela The World’s Largest Gathering of Humanity.

Kumbh Mela represents the world’s largest gathering of humanity at a religious festival that occurs every twelve years, lasts 55 days, and draws millions of visitors to a temporary, purpose built tent city on the banks of the Ganges and Yamuna. Over fifty Harvard professors, students, administrative staff, and medical practitioners made the pilgrimage to Allahabad, India, to the Kumbh Mela site in 2013, inspired by its scale and complexity, to document and analyze the processes involved in the successful functioning of the Kumbh. An interdisciplinary team included faculty from Harvard’s Business School, Divinity School, Graduate School of Design, and School of Public Health.

Join Harvard faculty leaders Diana Eck and Rahul Mehrotra of the Kumbh Mela research project as they share viewpoints from the 2013 Kumbh. Prof. Robert Goldman, UC Berkeley,  and international humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine will be the hosts leading the panel discussion and Q & A.

This event coincides with the Asian Art Museum’s 50th Anniversary Special Exhibition, The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe on view through January 15, 2017.The Event is Free after Museum admission, and open to the public.

Image Credit. Lisa Kristine


Subterranean Ghosts: India’s Vanishing Stepwells by Victoria Lautman

Date:     Friday, October - 07, 2016
Time:    7.00 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA

SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India, in collaboration with Palo Alto Art Center is honored to present Chicago journalist and arts and culture specialist ,Victoria Lautman, in a discussion on her passionately researched theme  Subterranean Ghosts: India’s Vanishing Stepwells.

While Indian palaces, forts and temples receive much-deserved attention, one of the most significant architectural wonders, stepwells are often overlooked. Several stories deep, these primarily functioned to store water during the monsoons, but also served as civic retreats, respite for traveling caravans from the brutal heat, and spiritual destinations. Please join us to learn more about these fascinating structures that are rapidly disappearing.

The event is free and open to the public.

RSVP:; Tel 650-918-6335


Devdutt Pattanaik in a Discussion of the Ramayana

Date:     Tuesday, October - 04, 2016
Time:    7 pm - 9 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto

INK Talks and SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India, present Indian author and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik in A Discussion of the Ramayana.

Bringing his creative lens, Devdutt explores the beauty and timelessness of the ancient Ramayana epic through new and fresh perspectives. With his unique, contemporary take on myth, which he defines as subjective truth, he sheds new insights on the Ramayana’s enduring appeal across two millennia, and examines its particular relevance for contemporary society, breaking free of the traditional/non traditional ideological approach.  Join SACHI and INK as Devdutt brings into focus the epic’s immersive and harmonizing influence across generations and cultures.

Priority seating, $50; Open seating, $25; Members receive 20% discount

This Ramayana discussion precedes the Asian Art Museum Special Exhibition,

The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe which will be on display October 21, 2016 -January 15, 2017

Pattanaik’s books, published by Westland Ltd. ,will be available for sale at this event.

To learn more about Devdutt Pattanaik,  please visit

Image Credit: Illustration by Devdutt Pattanaik from his book Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana

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Depicting the Beloved: Exploring Text and Image in Sixteenth-Century Persian Painting

Date:     Sunday, September - 18, 2016
Time:    2 pm to 4 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA

SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India and American Friends of SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies (London), in collaboration with Palo Alto Art Center are pleased to present visiting Scholar Naciem Nikkhah, Ph.D.candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the relationship between text and image in sixteenth and seventeenth century Persian painting. She is particularly interested in understanding the selection process of verses of poetry that borders a painting on a single-folio, and the agency of text in comparison to painting. Her discussion focuses on Safavid and Mughal paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and argues for a direct relationship between text and image (in which the image demonstrates the outer allure and the text highlights the inner refinement). Please join us for this unique discussion.

Free and open to the public.

Hindustani Classical Music (2)

Indian Classical Music-The Next Generation in a Sarode, Sitar, and Tabla Recital

Date:     Sunday, August - 21, 2016
Time:    4.00 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road
Palo Alto, CA

SACHI (Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India) in collaboration with Palo Alto Art Center and SOHARA

brings on stage a new generation of excellent young musicians from the UK:

Arnab Chakrabarty | Sarode

Roopa Panesar | Sitar

Sanju Sahai | Tabla

Join us for an afternoon of instrumental music.



Portal to Sri Lankan Culture: The Architecture of Geoffrey Bawa, an Illustrated Presentation by Architect Thomas Soper, AIA

Date:     Sunday, June - 19, 2016
Time:    2 p.m.
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto

SACHI in collaboration with Palo Alto Art Center is delighted to present an illuminating discussion on Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa by Thomas Soper.

Geoffrey Bawa (1919-2003) is Sri Lanka’s and one of Asia’s most celebrated and influential architects of the 20th century. Bawa received the Aga Khan Special Award for a Lifetime’s Achievement in Architecture in 2001. His life, work, and legacy have had a tremendous impact on emerging architects in the regions of Asia.

Mr. Soper’s objective is to present Geoffrey Bawa’s inspiring vision as a world architect. He will elaborate on some of Bawa’s key projects to demonstrate his mastery of regional splendor, providing insight into Sri Lankan culture via his art form. Mr. Soper traveled to Sri Lanka in 2007, and continues to explore Bawa’s architecture with great fascination.During the recent Sri Lanka trip, Tom led a small museum group to visit some of Architect Geoffrey Bawa’s key projects, which he will focus on in this lecture.

Thomas Soper is a practicing architect working in and from the Bay Area for the past four decades. While the majority of his architectural projects are California and US based, his work has taken him as far away as Bangladesh where he designed a school for the American International School system. Tom is a member of the American Institute of Architects. He has traveled extensively to Asia including Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Korea, Myanmar and Iran.

Suggested Fee: $10, collected at the door.

Image: Kandalma Hotel, Dambulla. Geoffrey Bawa, 1991-4.

Photograph, courtesy, Thomas Soper.


The Rama Epic : Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe

SACHI proudly co-sponsors the Asian Art Museum 50th anniversary publication for the ongoing exhibition on the Ramayana.

Please visit the exhibition from Oct. 21, 2016 to Jan. 15, 2017. Further details here.