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Pole Screen in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, located in southern India, is a city with a rich history and culture. One aspect of its cultural heritage is the traditional Indian card game of Ganjifa, which is still played and enjoyed by many in the city. One important element of displaying Ganjifa cards in Hyderabad is the use of a Pole Screen, a decorative stand that holds the cards for all to see. In this blog, we will explore the history and significance of the Pole Screen in Hyderabad.

The use of Pole Screens in Hyderabad's Ganjifa tradition dates back to the 18th century, during the rule of the Nizams, who were the rulers of the state of Hyderabad. The Nizams were great patrons of the arts and encouraged the creation of elaborate Ganjifa cards, which were decorated with beautiful paintings of animals, plants, and mythological figures. The Pole Screen was developed as a way to showcase these intricate cards and elevate them to the status of art objects.

The Pole Screen used in Hyderabad's Ganjifa tradition is typically made of wood and covered in elaborate paintings. The paintings often depict scenes from Hindu mythology or local folklore, and are created using natural dyes and traditional painting techniques. The screens are highly detailed and reflect the skill and artistry of the craftsmen who make them.

In Hyderabad, the Pole Screen is not just a decorative item but also serves a practical purpose during gameplay. The cards are placed in the groove on the top of the screen, making them visible to all players. This allows players to easily see the cards and make their moves without having to handle them directly.

Today, Pole Screens are still used in Hyderabad's Ganjifa tradition and are highly valued by collectors and enthusiasts. While traditional materials such as ivory and tortoise shell are no longer used, modern versions of the cards and screens are made using materials such as wood, paper, and plastic. The artistry and craftsmanship of the Pole Screen, however, remain just as impressive as ever, with modern craftsmen using a variety of techniques to create beautiful and intricate designs.

In conclusion, the Pole Screen is an integral part of Hyderabad's Ganjifa tradition and serves as both a decorative object and a practical tool during gameplay. Its history and significance make it a fascinating piece of Indian art and culture, and its continued use and evolution demonstrate the enduring appeal of this ancient game. The Pole Screen is a testament to the skill and artistry of the craftsmen of Hyderabad and is a valued part of the city's rich cultural heritage.

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