Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

International Non-Governmental Organization | Special consultative status with UN ECOSOC
Associate member with UN DPI | Institutional member of International Council of Museums (ICOM)
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Since April 28, 2017, the Non-Governmental Museum Named after Nicholas Roerich went defunct with the illegal seizure of its building and territory.

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Shooting of a documentary film about Devika Rani in the Roerichs Estate in Naggar


Shooting of a documentary film about Devika Rani – a famous Indian actress and director, cofounder of the Bombay Talkies movie studio, the wife of an outstanding Russian artist Svetoslav Roerich took place at the last days of October 2021.

Mrs. Usha Deshpande (Mumbai, India) became an initiator of the project. She is a writer and director of many documentaries and movie programs. Being delighted by the image of the beautiful actress and having realized that the great impact of Devika Rani in creating movie making industry of India has been almost forgotten and the second part of her life is little known even to her admirers Usha Deshpande sent the proposal to the Indian Government to shoot a documentary about that beautiful and talented daughter of India. She was not only supported but became the author and director of the future film. This project of the Indian Government is totally non-commercial. The aim is to pay tribute of respect to Devika Rani – the first lady of Indian movies who performed at the beginning of Indian sound filmmaking.

During several days the shooting team headed by Smt. Usha Deshpande was working in the Roerich Estate collecting materials for the future film. Interviews with Larisa Surgina, Russian Curator IRMT working on the direction of the International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow) were recorded in the room of Devika Rani and Summer Study of Svetoslav Roerich (where the exposition dedicated to Svetoslav Roerich and Devika Rani opens) and also on the balcony of the Memorial House of the Roerichs. She spoke about Devika Rani’s life in Kullu. When Devika Rani got married Svetoslav Roerich in 1945 she left the film world and committed herself to her husband. They came to the Roerichs House in Kullu. Helena and Nicholas Roerich gave their hearts to her as their daughter. Ideas of Living Ethics or Agni Yoga being the basis of the Roerichs family’s life and creativity happened to be close and clear to Devika Rani. She became not only the wife but a muse, supporter and close friend for Svetoslav Roerich.

Indian Curator Ramesh Chandra talked about Svetoslav Roerich and Devika Rani as the founders of International Roerich Memorial Trust appealed to preserve the Roerichs heritage in Kullu. The union of Devika Rani and Svetoslav Roerich became a symbol of cordial connection between India and Russia and their creation – Russian-Indian Trust has worked on the basis of mutual understanding, friendship and collaboration.

The shooting team got an opportunity to film some archive documents and publications from the IRMT collection, unique items belonged to Devika Rani, dolls and souvenirs gifted to Devika and Svetoslav by guests from Russia who visited the estate in Kullu in latter years.

Unfortunately there are not many contemporaries of Devika Rani nowadays. That is why local people of Kullu Valley who used to work in the Roerich Estate in times of Svetoslav Roerich and Devika Rani Roerich became a real gift for the film makers.

The former manager of the IRMT Sh. Tsering Dorje and Sh. Sat Ram (the farther of present IRMT gardener who worked in the Roerichs Estate in 1950–1960s) shared their treasured memories about Devika. Childhood impressions about meetings with Devika Rani and Svetoslav Roerich of the IRMT employees Smt. Swarn Lata and Sh. Surender Mohan were recorded with appreciation.

The pujari of Krishna Temple pandit Sh. Dev Acharya talked about his meeting with Devika and also conducted Shanti puja in honor of Devika Rani and Svetoslav Roerich under the old-aged Himalayan pine tree next to the Roerichs House and also performed a sacred ritual at Devika Rani’s memorial stone next to Nicholas Roerich Samadhi place. That unique footage could be seen in the new film.

Indian and Russian team of the IRMT headed by Mr. Ashutosh Garg, Director IRMT – cum – DC Kullu, HP express gratitude to Mrs. Usha Deshpande, the Director of the film and to the whole shooting team for careful and attentive attitude to the museum valuables kept in the IRMT, for mutual understanding and cooperation. We wish success to the creative team from the bottom of our hearts and look forward to the film launch dedicated to Devika Rani Roerich – remarkable Indian actress and the wife of the outstanding Russian artist.

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