Jhansi Fort… the very name springs a hair-raising spirit of Freedom. A battleground that symbolizes a very different kind of bravery…. A vibe that involuntarily vibrates the mind and body of every Indian, reminding one of the lady who personified a rebellion against a draconian colonialism… A queen who took to battleground in a fairy tale sort, and laid down her life in defense of Independence….
That fort, and its story is again retold in all its glory by means of a spectacular sound and light show. Creating the prideful storyboard is Pan Intellecom, and glowing the fort in all its vivid colour is Digital Projection – a Delta Display Solutions concern – in association with Dataton WatchOut.
As the country celebrates the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (75 years of Indian Independence), SIA India prides bringing you the bravery epic.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is happening in the best of the expressive ways. For, we, Indians are being retold the saga of our struggle and spirit of Freedom- and in the process, the glory of our history, culture, and heritage.
The latest in this saga is the story of Jhansi- which is actually the story of a legend. A national heroine who ruled, nay, revolted against the British oppression from her ‘fort’- Jhansi.
Giving a grand spectacle of life to this story is Digital Projection whose eight 4K-UHD TITAN laser projectors of 33,000 lumens brightness each have been weaved together into creating an immersive visual saga. Taking the honour of this prestigious task is Pan Intellecom, who already built a reputation for awe-inspiring projection stories.
The 30-minute experience uses state-of-the-art projection mapping technology to depict the life and death of Lakshmi Bai, the 22-year-old rani (queen) of Jhansi, who died fighting the British East India Company during the Indian Mutiny of 1857–1858.
For the new sound-and-light show, PAN Intellecom Ltd created an impressive 270°, 83m-wide projection canvas on the walls of the hilltop Jhansi Fort, which was originally built in the 17th century and saw heavy fighting during the rebellion. PAN Intellecom also created the content for the show, which uses a mix of projection mapping, lasers, LED lights, lighting fixtures and a surround-sound system to bring to life Lakshmi Bai’s courage during the siege of Jhansi Fort.
Avnish Rai, CEO of Jhansi Smart City Limited, explains that the show had to be ready two months ahead of the original schedule in time for a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We are extremely happy that the show was commissioned in record time,” says Rai. “We hope that the state-of-the-art technologies, including laser projectors, used in the creation of this show will attract not just locals from the city but also attract tourists from around the country and abroad. We would like to congratulate PAN Intellecom for the wonderful job they have done.
“Along with all stakeholders, we worked day and night to achieve it. The outcome was spectacular, with applause coming in from all corners.”
The selection of the Digital Projection equipment was based on a “quality- and cost-based” system, explains PAN Intellecom Director Harbir Singh, with the TITAN Laser projectors offering the best performance at a competitive price point. “The 33,000-lumen TITAN Laser 33000 4K-UHD projector was used because of the large canvas and the high brightness requirements,” he says. “As the audience sits close to the projected surface, 4K-UHD resolution was paramount to give a great viewing experience.”
In addition to the size of the fort, the projectors had to work with its challenging facade, which has been damaged and weathered over the past 400 years. “Being a heritage fort, built hundreds of years back, the challenge was to ensure the safety and integrity of the structure and still deliver a show that could mesmerise the audience,” adds Singh.
For the Jhansi Fort installation, three TITAN Laser projectors are stacked in the centre and three on the right, with a further two on the left-hand side. Fitted with Digital Projection’s 2.56–4.16:1 zoom lens, the projectors have a long throw distance that make them very flexible.
Sankalp Srivastava, AGM of projects for PAN Intellecom, says the “Digital Projection equipment is a “perfect match” for the rest of the AV system, which also includes a Xeon processor, Dataton WATCHOUT software for blending and light recording, a Medialon server as an overall show controller, and a surround sound audio system featuring 12 Dual 12” speakers and four Dual 15” subwoofers.”
The Digital Projection team supported PAN Intellecom throughout the project, offering guidance on the projectors, lenses and their positioning on site, as well as during installation and commissioning. “We had a very good experience in working with the team – they supported us on every aspect during the tendering stage, as well as the execution stage,” he comments.
“As a creative director, it’s like a dream come true to narrate the story of Rani Lakshmi Bai through a 270° architectural projection-mapping show, the first of its kind in the country,” says Aman Arora, Technical-Creative Director for the project. “Digital Projection’s TITAN Laser 33000 4K-UHD projector’s true reproduction of colours made life easier for the content and creative team, who had a huge challenge to deliver uniform colours on a facade with stones that have lost their colour in an uneven fashion over a period of time.”
“Being associated with India’s largest projection-mapping sound-and-light show in a fort complex is indeed a matter of great pride for Digital Projection,” says Hemant Agarwal, head of the Delta Display Solution business unit for Delta India. “But what’s even more joyful is to see a satisfied customer, mesmerised visitors and a proud Digital Projection partner – a great combination that ensures even greater successes for Digital Projection in India in the years to come.”
Playing an equally prideful role in the sage is Dataton WatchOut- the brand known for prestigiously large-scale projection mapping settings.
“The Jhansi Fort projection mapping is a very inspiring story to tell; we pride being part of it,” says Ashok Sharma, Dataton’s APAC Representative. “It was a great opportunity and we’re glad to get involved with the project, supporting the project team in every possible way,” he explains. “Traditionally, Dataton has built this reputation world-wide over the years for this kind of large-scale, high-profile projection mapping stories; it is even more prideful for us at Jhansi for the reason that it relives one of the grandest stories of India’s First Freedom Struggle.”
That the Jhasi story gets life every evening on one of the grandest canvases is a prideful possession of Indian AV.