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The Dussehra of Kulu: History and Analysis of a Cultural Phenomenon

Karuna Goswamy (Author)

In many ways, the Dussehra of Kulu has few parallels, not only as a religious ‘festival’ or a colourful annual ‘fair’, but also as a cultural phenomenon. For more than three hundred and fifty years, the festival, participated in by hundreds of thousands of visitors or ‘pilgrims’ from all over the hills, and outside, has gone on being held, year after year. The history of it alone is absorbing in the extreme; what is even more remarkable is the manner in which it has kept changing but without losing its core. Year after year ‘deotas’ keep coming to Kulu, carried on their shoulders by devoted followers, walking scores of miles across hilly terrains; year after year Rama as ‘Raghunathji’ leaves his temple-home and camps in the chaugan of Kulu to receive their homage; year after year exchanges of the utmost courtesy keep taking place between gods and goddesses cast in different moulds, classical or folk. All this while, everything is bathed in the colours of marigold, and music fills the air.

The present volume, the first of its kind, explores this fascinating territory and invites the reader to take the same journey. There is not only history in these pages, but also understanding: a measure of delight and spiritual upliftment.

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About the author

Karuna Goswamy

Karuna Goswamy, Professor at the Panjab University, Chandigarh, is an historian whose work is distinguished by the use of materials and sources too often ignored by others. Gaining an understanding of the social impulses that the art of any given period mirrors, and using art as primary evidence, have marked virtually all her work. Author of two important studies, Vaishnavism in the Punjab Hills, and Pahari Painting (doctoral dissertation, Chandigarh, 1968), and The Glory of the Great Goddess: An Illustrated Manuscript from Kashmir in the Alice Boner Collection (Zurich, 1989), Dr. Goswamy has also published a large number of research papers. The present work was completed by her at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, where she was a Fellow for the years 1991-93. Currently she is engaged in an extensive research project on The Dussehra of Kulu: History and Development of a Cultural Phenomenon.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Dussehra of Kulu: History and Analysis of a Cultural Phenomenon
Format Hardcover
Date published: 29.08.2014
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173055232
length xviii+314p., Maps 3; Colour; Illustrations 110; Bibliography; 22cm x 28cm.