Monday, May 28, 2012


When we first visited this shrine in the forest around fifteen years ago, there was no enclosing wall around the temple, as it has now been constructed. All that was here in a clearing in the forest, was a kind of mound, probably what was left over of an earth fort that had been built by the Vani, with a surrounding deep ditch, to protect the settlement from elephants, and other dangerous denizens of the forest. But now a process of sanskritization associated with a Hindu rightist ideology, is appropriating these ancient holy places that originally had their roots in tribal, or Buddhist culture. The same process can be noted in the pilgrimage centre of Ayappan further south in Kerala.

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