Spatial Texts, Cartography and Pilgrimage Practices in India
This ongoing project builds on previous research on the visualization of space in religious maps as well as spatial texts that have been produced in the context of pilgrimage practices in Vārāṇasī. The focus is now being extended to the study of pilgrimage networks in North India. We will especially look at textual and cartographical sources about processions to the three cities Prayāg, Kāśī and Gayā (tristhalī).
As a rare example a pilgrimage scroll (tīrthapaṭṭa) from Rajasthan depicting the three sites has already been studied. Practices of ancestor worship (śrāddha) linked to those three sites are of special interest here. In addition, the dynamics of contemporary pilgrimage practices are being observed at our yearly course Lived Sanskrit Cultures in Vārāṇasī.
Keywords: Religious Maps, Vārāṇasī, pilgrimage, ritual studies
Researcher: Jörg Gengnagel