An international conference ‘Pilgrimages in India: Celebrating Journeys of Plurality and Sacredness’ was held on March 3 and 4, 2016 at the IU India Gateway office.
Organized by Dr. Ian McIntosh of IUPUI and a committee of faculty and students from the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University, this international conference and accompanying exhibition of sacred architecture brought together distinguished faculty, graduate students, independent scholars, and also alumni from IU’s Indianapolis and Bloomington campuses.
The classic definition of Indian pilgrimage is a physical journey to a sacred place made for purification and redemption. This culture of pilgrimage is deeply embedded in Indian society and 25 conference participants explored all dimensions of this ancient and contemporary practice.
Distinguished speakers included Prof. David Haberman of Indiana University, Prof. Raj Kumar of the University of Delhi, and Prof. Rana P.B. Singh from Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. An exhibition on sacred Indian architecture opened at the conference in partnership with the American Institute for Indian Studies and the IU India Gateway.
The final session of the conference was recorded by Indian National Public Television. Conference organizers are also planning to publish the preceedings in the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage.
Conference sponsors include the Indiana University Office of the Vice President of International Affairs and Dhar India Studies, the IUPUI Office of International Affairs, the IUPUI Department of Religious Studies, and the IU Alumni Association.