Cities are excellent reminders of our cultural memory, aspirational projections, our successes and failures in establishing cosmopolitan spaces of collective living. We look at the imaginaries of the cities in Indian epic literature. (Photo Source: Vaibhavsoni1/Wikimedia Commons)
William Blake once wrote, 'Whatever is proven today was once imagined'. Would that be true of the cities? Were they once imagined? What would classical Indian literature say about cities?
The most popular story associated with the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj, Haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain is that of the pot of nectar that emerged from the samudramanthan (churning of the ocean) by the gods and the asuras. While there are several references to this tale in the epics and the Puranas, there is neither a mention of four drops of nectar falling on earth nor of the Kumbh as a festival (Photo Source: Puneet Wadhwani)
This content has been created as part of a project commissioned by the Directorate of Culture and Archaeology, Government of Chhattisgarh, to document the cultural and natural heritage of the state of Chhattisgarh.
Paramparik Karigar, an association of craftspeople, has been working towards promoting and preserving Indian arts and crafts. It holds exhibitions and workshops, including design and marketing workshops, to ensure sustainable livelihoods and maintenance of quality of products.
Sahapedia is collaborating with Paramparik Karigar to document the work of craftspeople it represents by preparing modules, which will comprise articles, interviews and multimedia features, to provide an integrated understanding of these art forms.
The Oral Histories project is meant to preserve for posterity the memories, lived experiences and opinions of people who are repositories of knowledge in the fields of arts, culture and heritage. Under this collaborative effort between Sahapedia and Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) in Shimla, extensive interactions with knowledge bearers have been filmed, recorded and transcribed.
Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellowship is a collaborative project to encourage fresh research on tangible and intangible heritage across India and South Asia. Articles, videos, interviews and more, supported by the Fellowship, are freely available for everyone to read, watch and hear at www.sahapedia.org.
Sahapedia, in collaboration with the Directorate of Culture and Archaeology, Government of Chhattisgarh, has undertaken the project of documenting comprehensively the rich and diverse cultural traditions and natural heritage of the state. This involves preparing multi-media modules which include articles, interviews and documentaries of a wide range of cultural forms including oral epics, performing art and craft traditions etc.
The ubiquitous Hanuman is in the eye of a storm because of his lineage and where he belongs, thanks to a politician’s comments. While we do not intend to contest or endorse the veracity of such statements, we explore here some of the legends and lore associated with the much-loved vanardev, or monkey god (In Pic: A late 19th-century Kangra painting depicting Hanuman paying obeisance to Lord Rama from K.C. Aryan's collection of folk art)