New Delhi, Oct 8: In a new cultural and religious diplomatic moves, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Cultural Centre, Sri Lanka and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts are organising 'Hindu Cultural Trails: Celebration of a Timeless Tradition - Gods and Goddesses, Pilgrims and Prayers, Temples and Texts' for which 15 themes have been identified to be deliberate upon. This is part of the people-to-people connect with the neighbouring countries with similar religious and cultural connect. The event will be organised on October 8-9 and delegates will be taken to some some pilgrimages as well after the event.
These themes included: Hindu Cultural Trails - tirtha yatra, Shaktha trails, Shaiva trails and Vaishnava trails; Identification of new sites and locations along the Hindu cultural trails; Comparative studies of Hindu temples in different areas; Comparative research and interpretation of landscape values of Hindu sites; Travels of Hindu pilgrims; Connectivity between Hindu temples of different countries and regions; Art and architecture of Hindu cultural trails; Archeology of Hindu cultural trails; Intangible heritage of Hindu cultural trails (music, dance, folk art, folk stories, traditional healing, handicrafts, etc.); Trade and commerce of Hindu cultural trails; Manuscripts, texts and inscriptions, languages and scripts of Hinduism; Technology of Hindu cultural trails (irrigation, engineering, agriculture, etc.); Cultural diffusion of hinduism; Heritage management of Hindu cultural trails sites and Tourism promotion of Hindu cultural trails.
Sources said that the government is already working on Ram Van Gaman Path (path taken by Ram to forest) with the Sri Lankan and Nepalese Government besides similar thing on Lord Krishna in which also international players are involves.
Actually the 18th SAARC Summit held in November 2014 in Kathmandu had approved the proposal 'South Asian Cultural Trails' which commenced with the Research Seminar on Buddhist Cultural Trails in 2017. The SAARC Seminar, Research Grant and Publications on Hindu Cultural Trails will be the second such event in the series of 'South Asian Cultural Trails.' Organizers say that the SAARC region is bound together through the shared cultural traits which have evolved through the centuries. Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion in South Asia dating back to more than three millennium BCE.
They said that Hinduism is one of the shared cultural characteristics in the region, with art and architecture portraying 'unity within diversity' as seen in the evolving styles and the embracing of new characteristics through the ages. This diversity was a result of interactions that took place along the trading routes criss-crossing east and west Asia, South and Central Asia, along with the exchange of merchandise, knowledge, concepts, designs, religions, technology and other sundry of objects and ideas were also exchanged.
They further said that although the ancient trade routes have long been abandoned, the legacy of those who travelled these routes can be found in the disseminated knowledge, ideas, religions and the diffusion of culture which persists. These routes can be aptly named 'Cultural Trails'.