'...now about us...'

  • 1987
  • 615 Words

Dear Mr.Garga,

Thank you for your letter to Dr.Roerich of April 15, 1987.

I am very interested to know about your documentary film Indo-Russian Contacts Through The Ages. It should be a beautiful film and you may have to go to all the historic sites to convey the rich heritage of beautiful India. In this connection, I would kindly request you to make a visit to our home Hall Estate, in Naggar, Kulu Valley, Himachal Pradesh. You will see there a Samadhi of Prof. Nicholas Roerich, and the gallery, where his paintings are featured and which is visited by hundreds of visitors every day, even in winter. It is a rare gallery for his paintings because it faces the beautiful range of mountains opposite our home. I will write to Vishnu Saran, our Manager to show you around. On the way you will see some beautiful temples, which are worth mentioning, as the beautiful architecture of our Kulu people.  It is a rare valley and I send to you Panditji’s speech on the occasion of the last exhibition after Prof. Roerich died, which Panditji inaugurated.

The mentioned speech, unfortunately, seems lost - we are trying to locate it.

Our intention is to have a research centre there with Indian and foreign collaboration because the valley is so rich with flora and fauna, minerals, medicinal plants etc which need to be studied.

Now about us. We shall be leaving for Soviet Russia on 4th May 1987, reaching Moscow on 5th morning. We are invited by the President of the Academy, Mr.Boris Ugarov, to attend a very large exhibition of eminent artists. Dr. Roerich is lending them five or six of his paintings as desired by them. We have other commitments also and shall be in Moscow 10 to 15 days. We have to go to other places in connection with our work, including Sofia and will be back in India in the beginning of June.

While in Moscow, you should go to the Oriental Institute which has a large collection of Dr. George Roerich’s books, etc. on Tibet, Mongolia, Sanskrit, etc, which my husband lent to the Oriental Institute because he wanted to have a special room dedicated to my brother-in-law. There you could meet perhaps Mr. Bongard Levin, who was a student of Dr. George Roerich and is himself an important member of the Institute. My brother-in-law died in Moscow in 1960 and his ashes are in a Monument at the Novodeivichy Monastry grounds but the design was given by Dr.Roerich and has a Tibetan motif on it.

Dr.George Roerich was a great Orientalist and he wrote several books such as The Blue Annals brought out by the Oriental Society, Calcutta and also printed in New York. He was a remarkable man who spoke 32 languages fluently, including Tibetan, Mongolian, Sanskrit and Chinese etc. His dictionary is, I think, being completed in Russian, English, Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese. The whole script was ready and partly printed before he died but the delay was due to the fact that they could not get good enough scholars to check the remaining proofs. Now however I think the dictionary is being published.

Dr.Roerich is out just now and very busy, so I have taken the liberty of answering you on his behalf.

With my kind regards and every best wish for the success of your film.

Mms. Devika Rani Roerich


The archive came to life through a useful initial contribution by Donnabelle herself, but its upkeep and maintenance over the next few years, which includes cycles of new additions, the gallery section, the eventual upload of B.D. Garga’s films and general maintenance, will require that the website generates its own revenue, or is supported by an archiving or a museum grant. While the latter may transpire over time, it is the former that can use your assistance.

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