The Research Seminar on “Hindu Cultural Trails: Celebration of a Timeless Tradition – Gods and Goddesses, Pilgrims and Prayers, Temples and Texts” was successfully completed

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, India
From 8th to 10th October 2018

The Research Seminar on “Hindu Cultural Trails: Celebration of a Timeless Tradition – Gods and Goddesses, Pilgrims and Prayers, Temples and Texts” was successfully completed in partnership with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi from 8th to 10th October 2018, with the participation of academics and officials from the Member States.  Participation from the Member States are as follows:

  • Bangladesh    5 participants
  • Bhutan    1 participant
  • India    35 participants
  • Pakistan    2 participants
  • Sri Lanka    5 participants

Dr. Karan Singh, Member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, erudite scholar, writer and researcher was the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker at the Inauguration.  Mr. Kinga Singye Second Secretary Royal Bhutanese Embassy in India, Ms. Fozia Manzoor Political Counsellor of the Pakistan High Commission in India and Her Excellency the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara, and represented the Member States at the Inauguration.

The Research Seminar commenced with a panel discussion on Hindu Cultural Trails with administrator and academics sharing their views on a common platform.  The panel discussion was chaired Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi.  The panelists were as follows:

  1. Dr. B.R. Mani (Director General, National Museum, India)
  2. Mr. Ashim Kumar Dey (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Bangladesh)
  3. Mr. Tassadaque Hussain (Deputy Director National Archives, India)
  4. Mr. R. Kargen (Assistant Director, Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs, Sri Lanka)
  5. Dr. Mueezuddin Hakal (Taxila Institute of Asian Civilization, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan)
  6. Ms. Tshering Choki (Archivist, Department of Culture, Bhutan)
  7. Shri. Shrivatsa Goswami (Renowned Scholar and Head Priest of Radharamana Temple Vrindavan, India)

The Research Seminar had 10 sessions and 44 papers were discussed during these sessions which are as follows:
Session 1 A – Intangible Heritage and Pilgrimages
Chair – Mr. Ashim Kumar Dey (Bangladesh)

  1. Shakti pithas and Sacredscapes in South Asia: Faithscape, Spatiality and Pilgrimage Tourism – Rana P.B. Singh (India)
  2. Saivism in Koothu – A Traditional Community Theatre – S Chandrakumar (Sri Lanka)
  3. Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath: A Grand ceremony in India and the World – Chinmayee Satpathy (India)
  4. Pilgrimage Centre: The theatre of Intangible Heritage – Shrivatsa Goswami (India)

Session 1 B – Archaeology and Tourism
Chair – Prof. G.C. Tripathy (India)

  1. Pilgrimage: The visitation to Places where Heaven and Earth meet – D.P. Dubey (India)
  2. Durga Puja in Bangladesh: An Archaeological Analysis – Bijoy Krishna Banik (Bangladesh)
  3. Fresco Paintings at Katasraj Temple Complex – Kiran Shahid Siddiqui (Pakistan)
  4. Shaiva Mural Paintings of South India – A Study of Narration of Kiratarjuniya – Hathikote Anitha Chandrashekhar (India)

Session 2 A – Intangible Heritage
Chair Prof. Molly Kaushal (India)

  1. Hindu Cultural Trail focused through the Indian Village – Mohammad Hashim Qureshi (India)
  2. Hindu Cultural Trails in Bangladesh – Role of Government and Administration – Ashim Kumar Dey (Bangladesh)
  3. Shaivism as a symbol and Peace Co-existence – Umashankar Pachauri (India)
  4. Sacred Journeys and Cultural Heritage: Evaluating Prayaga and its Kumbh Mela – Ankur Goswami (India)
  5. Hindu Goddess Renuka – The legend with Relevence to Penance and Panch Maha – Bhoota Vaishnaavi Chavan (India)

Session 2 – Archaeology and Architecture
Chair Dr. D.P. Dubey (India)

  1. The Glory of Hindu Shahis as Represented by Kattha Temple in District Khoshab – Mueezuddin Hakal (Pakistan)
  2. Gods on Hindu Coins – Shirisha Kakarla (India)
  3. Sepulchral temples and Devaraja cult in South India and South East Asia – P. Venkatesan (India)
  4. Terracotta Folk Art and Traditional Knowledge System: An Anthropological Veenture into the Panchmura Village of Bankura District, West Bengal, India – Worrel Kumar Bain (India)

Session 3 A – Archaeology and Architecture
Chair – Dr. B.M Pandey (India)

  1. Art, Architecture and Archaeology of HCT in Bangladesh – Rabindra Gope (Bangladesh)
  2. The Forgotten Archaeological Remains at Mandar in Early medieval context: Its implications – Anil Kumar (India)
  3. Issues of Conservation in Majuli, Assam – Achal Pandya (India)
  4. Intangible Heritage of Cultural Routes of Jammu and Kashmir: Road towards Sustainable Development – Poonam Chaudhary (India)
  5. Ancient Temples in Telangana State – Deekonda Narsingh Rao (India)

Session 3 B – Pilgrimages
Chair – Mr. R. Kargen (Sri Lanka)

  1. Re-interpreting the Deeper Significance of Tirtha Yatra in Light of Some Basic ideas of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankaradeva, the Founder of Eka Sarana Nam Dharma in Assam – Archana Barua (India)
  2. Shiva Trail among the Himalayan Tribes – Molly Kaushal (India)
  3. Shaiva Trails: Timeless Tradition of Hindu Culture – Shanthi Swaroop Sinha (India)
  4. Study of Tirthas in Janasthaana with reference to Puranas – Chaitanya Jayant Gaidhani
  5. The Genesis of Shakti pitha and Hingula Shakti pitha of Baluchistan – N. D. Sharma

Session 4 A – Temples, Traditions and Pilgrimages
Chair – Dr. Archana Barua (India)

  1. Identification of Hindu Temples in Northern Province Kilinochchi District Sri Lanka – Vasana Premachandra, P.M. Renuka Priyadarshani & Kalpa Asanga (Sri Lanka)
  2. Reflection of Hindu Culture in Ajanta and its Preservation Through Digital Media – Prasad Pawar (India)
  3. Vaishnav Tirth: Sentimental Geography of Braj – Umesh Sharma (India)

Session 4 B – Geography, Governance, Education and Healing
Chair – Dr. Achal Pandya (India)

  1. Indic Pilgrimage Tradition and Sacred Geography – Arya P. Adityan (India)
  2. Sacred Geography of Kashmir – Advaitvadini Kaul (India)
  3. Relevance of Shanti Parva for the Present-day Polity and Governance in India – Bipin Kumar Thakur (India)
  4. Historizing the Eternal Healing System: Ayurveda, Myth and Reality – Saurav Kumar Rai (India)
  5. Role of School Education in Strengthening Cultural Ties Among SAARC Countries through the Hindu Cultural Trails: An Analytical Study of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Text Books – Sharad Kumar Pandey (India)

Session 5 A – Gods, Goddesses and Pilgrimages
Dr. Kiran Shahid Siddique (Pakistan)

  1. The Role of Hindu Cultural Trails to Reconstruct the Cultural heritage of Bangladesh – Hasibul Hasan Sumi (Bangladesh)
  2. Goddess Nanda Devi Pilgrimage and Rupkund Mystery – Manwendra Singh Bartwal (India)
  3. From Bleeding Goddess to Bleeding Hearts – Ananya Barua (India)

Session 5 B – Intangible Cultural Heritage & Tourism
Chair – Ms. Tshering Choki (Bhutan)

  1. Trends of Hindu Religious Pilgrimage between Sri Lanka and India – Rajaratnam Kargen (Sri Lanka)
  2. The Influence of Vaishnava Cult on Bharathiya Natya Shastra: A Special Reference to Yakshagana – Santhoshi Subrahmanya (India)
  3. Intangible Cultural Heritage of Assam – Sattriya: The Path Pristine – Sharodi Saikia (India)
  4. The Confluence of Vaishnava and Shakta Traditions in Mohiniyattam – Aiswaria Wariar (India)
  5. Sankirtana of Manipur: Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity – S. Shyamkishore Singh (India)

The papers discussed within these 10 sessions included new archaeological findings on Hindu Cultural Trails from the Member States, documentation of Hindu art and archaeology, Archaeology, Tangible Heritage, Intangible Heritage, Texts, Tourism, Heritage Management, etc.  A discussion was held during the Question and Answer sessions which followed the presentation.  These discussions enabled the participants to share their ideas and of course gain new knowledge about the work within the Region.  The Research Seminar was concluded on 9th October 2018 with the distribution of certificates of participation for the paper presenters and gifts of books and DVDs presented by the IGNCA.

On 10th October 2018, the participants joined a Cultural Tour to sacred area of Vrindavan near Mathura and visited Radhamadha Jaipur Temple and Govind Dev Temple.  Lunch was organised at the Jai Singh Ghera constructed by the founder of Jaipur Sawai Jay Singh in early 18th century.  The Research Seminar and Cultural Tour both brought together a camaraderie among all participants and established academic and social links among the participants.