The Origins of
Mahabharata Gods & Heroes
Part 1
A project about Gods & Heroes, created by mere mortals.
It all began around 5̶0̶0̶0̶ 5 years ago, when the creator of the project and thought leader Swami Avadhut finally found an artist who could bring to life an idea that had long ago matured: illustrating India's great epic, the Mahabharata.
This artist was Igor Baranko, a name that will be familiar to anyone who has had any contact with graphic novels. A serious project requires a severe approach, something the creators of our project agreed on, and so the cornerstone was laid for the project that is now familiar to you under the name of Mahabharata Gods & Heroes.

It is essential to understand that in the course of the five years it took to complete, work on the project did not stop even once. To illustrate, you need to visualize, and for this, you need to delve into the sources, try to find any descriptions of the weapons, armor, clothes, and jewelry worn by the heroes, as well as their appearance.

Igor Baranko
The Artist
Like all that is sacred in this world, this information was not to be found lying on the surface but required full devotion to the process. Bit by bit from different sources, by processing an enormous volume of information, we managed to piece together an image, which, in our humble opinion, is the most vivid and authentic.
What have we achieved in 5 years?
  • We have created, and carefully preserved 143 pages of the first book and 144 pages of the second book
  • 84-cm х 8-metre illustrations of the Battle of Kurukshetra
  • Universal form that Krishna revealed to Arjuna at the battle of Kurukshetra
  • As well as numerous pictures and posters that we will present in the future
  • And this summer we introduced our new Fulldome show, Yogi's Journey

All of this was drawn in ink by Igor's hand, digitized on a scanner with a maximum resolution of 6,000 pixels and collected in multi-terabyte archives.

Opinions on whether a graphic novel should be coloured or left in its original black-and-white form differ among connoisseurs of the genre. But for Swami Avadhut there was no question of whether to colour it or not, the answer was clear – it needed to be in colour. After all, the plan was not only to release a book but to gather together the entire world of the Mahabharata. And undoubtedly it had to be as engaging and attractive for audiences of different demographics.

No matter how hard
we tried to ruin it,
this project wanted to live!
You know how somehow the people you need appear on your path by themselves? This is precisely what began to happen with this project.

We believe that this project decided to appear in this world by itself and that we are only the tools for its realisation. Gradually a team began to form, gathering illustrators, animators, designers, publishers, copywriters and managers.

The task was straightforward: take all the artwork, cut it, colour it, animate it, prepare the books for printing, create a few teasers, a fulldome show, and of course develop an app. And this is just a tenth of the project as a whole, which ultimately should and will be realised in the form of an entire exhibition of Mahabharata.

We could talk about each aspect of the project for ages, and the more we go into detail when describing the branches of our spreading tree, the more inspired we feel. But as always, you have to start somewhere. So we will begin with a description of how our app was created, since every day we get feedback and requests from users to speed up the process of releasing the series, produce more and more content and, so to say, satisfy the demand for reading our book. So we would like to show the world the process in all its beauty and complexity.

The Mahabharata Gods & Heroes app
in numbers

  • 2 Books of 278 А4 pages total
  • 22 chapters (33,000-70,000 pixels in length and 1,080 pixels wide)
  • 3 weeks to colour and draw 1 chapter
  • 1 week to cut 1 chapter
  • 2 weeks for the final preparation of chapters for release
Total: 6 weeks to prepare 1 chapter
A team of more than 10 people is working on the project.

To be continued...
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