Title: Political determinants of Indian pilgrimages to Mount Kailas and Manasarovar Lake


Urbańska-Szymoszyn, Anna

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Ethnologia Polona 33-34 (2012-2013)


Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences

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24 cm

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This article1 describes the phenomenon of the contemporary Indian national pilgrimage to Mount Kailas and Manasarovar Lake in Tibet called Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra (KMY), in the context of complicated international relations (between India and China), and border relationships (Himalayan frontier between India, China and Nepal). The pilgrimage is organised annually by the Indian government for ca. 650 Shiva worshippers who have Indian citizenship. Chosen from among thousands of applicants, the pilgrims (yatri) set out on the extremely difficult, over-month route through the Himalayas to Tibet. To them, the pilgrimage to Tibet constitutes a challenge, a dream and a chance to win social and religious prestige. The present article is based on ethnological fieldworks combined with the analysis of the political situation in the region. The historical and political background of pilgrimages to Mount Kailas makes them a fascinating subject of research not only for ethnographers and experts in religious studies, but also for political scientists. It constitutes an example of how great power politics of two countries (dependent on historical decisions of colonial empires) may directly influence the lives of ordinary people and local communities both in Indian mainland and in the Himalayan borderland


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Ethnologia Polona



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oai:rcin.org.pl:54897 ; 0137-4079


IAiE PAN, call no. P 366 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 367 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 368 ; click here to follow the link




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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences





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