Allahabad has a new name. And Prayagraj has been busy painting a new picture. A ‘paint my city’ campaign is transforming the recently rechristened holy city with graffiti. The Kumbh Mela organising committee has asked around five art agencies to fill nearly 3 lakh sq-feet of the city with colourful murals. The brief is straight: mythology around Kumbh, the history of Allahabad and social programmes of the government. The budget: around Rs 30 crore. The idea of commissioned graffiti might not go too well with a rebellious Allahabad Banksy, but talented street artists from across cities have interpreted the brief in spectacular ways, adding colour and vibrancy to the city’s walls. The painting effort is part of preparations for the Kumbh Mela in January next year.
Here’s a peek into some of the artists’ interpretations of the mythologies and histories associated with Allahabad. We caught a massive commuting sadhu on a bicycle, a peaceful Hanuman with long curly locks in prayer, false windows and buffaloes with glow-in-the-dark horns watching the buzzing city traffic go by.
Text & Photographs by Tribhuvan Tiwari