P. K. Mahanandia

P. K. Mahanandia

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P. K. Mahanandia Profile

  • Name:
  • P. K. Mahanandia
  • Spouse:
  • Ann-charlotte Mahanandia Von Schedvin

P. K. Mahanandia Biography

Dr. Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia is an Indian born Swedish artist who used to make portraits. But he came to news after he picked up a cycle and sets on a journey across 8 countries to meet the love of his life! This happened in 1977 and his lady love is Charlotte Von Schedvin, belonging to a royal family. His unusual love story has all the elements of a Bollywood film, quite unbelievable. He is fondly called PK. Currently he serves as the Oriya Cultural ambassador to Sweden, appointed by the Government of Odisha. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Utkal University of Culture (UUC) in Bhubaneshwar.


PK was born in 1949 in a poor weaver family of lower caste in Odisha. His caste was considered untouchable in those days were caste system highly prevailed in India. He had to face such discriminations since school days. He got through the interview of Visva-Bharati to study art and admitted as a student in Kolkata. However he returned back as he was not able to pay the fees and later joined Government College of art & crafts, Khallikote, followed by College of Art, Delhi to study Fine Arts in 1971. PK was an expert in making portraits and he shot to fame making portraits of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.


He used to sit under holy fountain at Connaught Place taking permission from authorities and draw portraits. He met Charlotte from Sweden for the first time at Connaught place. She was a student from London who solely reached India to make a portrait from PK. Love blossomed between the two and they got married. Though Charlotte promised him air tickets he hesitated to accept it from her and promised her to meet at Sweden. They communicated through letters.


PK sold all his belongings and bought a second-hand bicycle. He set up a journey in 1978 carrying only paints and brush in his hand. He set out on a voyage to the Far West with a hope to reunite with his love. He reached Delhi from Amritsar and travelled through the countries, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Germany, Austria and Denmark. Though his cycle broke several times and he had to spend many days in hunger nothing could stop him away from his determination.


After 4 months and 3 weeks he finally reached Gothenburg, Sweden, where he was stopped by Swedish immigration officers who were amazed to see a man from India who took a long journey in a bicycle. He showed the photographs. Yet officers were not ready to believe that a person from a royal family would accept a poor Indian. It made PK skeptical who has never thought about such a situation earlier. But Charlotte Von Schedvin drove to Gothenburg and received her husband. Her parents too accepted him as their son-in-law, breaking their traditions.


They got married for the second time and were blessed with two kids – one son and one daughter. PK calls his wife, Lotta. They are currently living in Charlotte's home town Boras. PK is a well-known artist in Sweden who works as an Adviser, Art and Culture, under the Swedish Government. The government has made films to document their love and the latest buzz is that the director of romance of Bollywood – Sanjay Leela Bansali too plans to make a movie on their love story.

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Updated: December 24, 2015

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