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In Memory of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India, the outstanding statesman with the heart of a philosopher and a poet who did so much for the development of the International Roerich Memorial Trust, is no more.

The name of the great son of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee will forever remain in the hearts and minds of the Indian and Russian staff and trustees of the International Roerich Memorial Trust.

Larisa Surgina                            Ramesh Chander                          Mr. Yunus

Russian Curator, IRMT              Indian Curator, IRMT                  Director, IRMT cum- DC, Kullu

In 2001, Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited the Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery in the Roerich Estate in Naggar. He was fascinated by the art of the Russian artist and called him a great sage. Mass media quoted the following words of the head of the Government of India: “It is difficult to think of any other scholar who, within one lifetime, achieved so much as a painter, philosopher, explorer, ethnographer, writer and promoter of culture, peace and international understanding. His creative treasure, which proclaims the eternal wisdom of the yogis and seers who came to these majestic mountains in search of the truth, are a priceless contribution to the world's heritage of art.”

The Hon’ble ex-Prime Minister proposed measures to develop the Roerich Estate into a major center of cultural and spiritual tourism and attraction for Indian and foreign tourists. To this end, Shri Vajpayee made a considerable grant for the development of the IRMT.

Visiting the Roerich Estate once again in 2003, the Prime Minister initiated the creation of an art school for the Kullu children in the IRMT. Today, children and youth come to the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts managed by the IRMT to study painting, dance and music and take active part in all festivals, competitions and celebrations taking place in the IRMT. And the hallowed Roerich Estate in Naggar has become a real gem of Himachal Pradesh and a center of Russian-Indian friendship and cooperation.