Friday, April 19, 2019


        ( Baba Jitto sculpture near Katra)

            ( After winning an award .New Delhi 1978)

5th December proved important in his life. He was born and died on this day and date. Hailing from village Gurah Slathia (Near Vijaypur Jammu), a village that produced stalwart modern Dogri poet Kehri Singh Madhukar, Vidya Ratan did his graduation in geology from Jammu. A childhood interest in sculpture and painting drove him to MS University ,Baroda where he did another graduation in fine arts. His teacher at Baroda was Sankho Chaudhury, the renowned sculptor of the country .

The information about V R Khajuria at shodhganga  reads this :-

 “In 1950’s Apurab Somnath decided to hold the Industrial Exhibition in Parade Ground. At that time there used to be numerous stalls in the exhibition, but one of the stalls was kept reserved for artists, so that they could display their paintings. In this industrial exhibition there were also the paintings of Kashmiri artists, and which was a main attraction for the public. One of the visitors to the exhibition was V.R.Khajuria. In 1950’s. V.R.Khajuria used to do water colours and portraits etc. But in 1953 when he went to Kashmir as a Govt. employee in the Agricultural department, he came into contact with artist Nissar and G.R.Santosh, who were connected with the people who had initiated modern movement viz. S.N.Bhat, and Triloke Kaul. The above two were

under the tutelage of Bhatt and Triloke Kaul, V.R.Khajuria was highly inspired by his interaction with Sh. Santosh and Nissar. During that period Khajuria did commissioned work at Premier Hotel, Kashmir, which was in tune with the modern style. In the year 1957, a spring festival was held in Kashmir in which Khajuria and a few artists from Kashmir participated. This exhibition had a great effect on Khajuria and this moment was a beginning towards modernism. Khajuria wanted to go to Baroda because that was the place where he could learn something away from traditionalism. He did not want to confine himself to water colours and either portraits, but he remained in contact with Santosh and Kaul. Khajuria went to Baroda in mid 1960’s and there he was the student of Sankho Choudhary. There he got his degree of BFA in sculpture. He was known as the key modern sculptor of Jammu province."


He inspired and trained so many students at Institute of Music And Fine Arts Jammu . He was also posted at Srinagar where so many students received training from him . He Served as H.O.D Department of Sculpture  at  Institute of Music and  Fine Arts,Jammu.

Late Gobind Kaur , a talented sculptor of the state was his student. So is the well known sculptor Ravinder Jamwal. Ganesh Kumar Sharma  is another sculptor trained by him . Ganesh Sharma and Ravindra Jamwal are now being recognised  as  sculptors on national scene.


 ( Left ..VR Khajuria .. Mumbai Exhibition. Photo  source..Sculptor  Ganesh Sharma)

So many awards. So many prizes. More than 200 sculptures on display at various museums and galleries in India and abroad or with private collectors. In india, these are prominently displayed at National Art Gallery Of Modern Art, Lalit Kala Akademi,New Delhi and Government Museum Chandhigarh etc. He was the first sculptor who used Sheesham wood and black  marble from Kashmir as his medium .

An imposing 18 Feet Sculpture of Baba Jitto Near katra(Vaishno Devi) has been done by him .
Apart from being a member of General Council of Lalit Kala Academy ,he was a member of so many committees and groups working for the development of Art in our state and the country.

His support to Sansar Chand Baru in setting up of Dogra Art Gallery is monumental. 


  ( Photo source.. Ganesh Sharma sculptor ,Jammu)

Vidya Ratan loved Kashmir. He painted some exceptionally beautiful Kashmir landscapes . He admired Bansi Parimu's art who happened to be his close friend. When Vidya Ratan died , Parimu wrote an emotional tribute to the great Artist and sculptor that was published by Kashmir Times in 1990 .And in 1991 , Parimu followed him to his heavenly abode. Both died young. Both had so much to do.

His book in Dogri titled 'Sanbhal uss kaley di' (Preserving our past) is the only book of it's kind in Dogri.

To his friends, Vidya Ratan would often sing Kehri Singh Madhukar's dogri song that conveys intense need of friends, well wishers and communication in life.

' Keep visiting. Keep meeting. These breaths are unreliable. This life is not to be taken for granted. We nourish hopes. We have desires. '

"Aoundhe jandhe raina,
mildhey gildhey raina
Iney sahain da ke parbhasa jindey
Asain laggi de raini hai asha jindey
Aoundhe jandhe raina,
mildhey gildhey raina"

(Avtar Mota)

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