Re-imagining Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage culture in India

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Date
2017
Authors
Kalmar, Brigitta
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ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork
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Abstract
This article explores how Tibetans have defined India, the birthplace of Buddhism, as a space for themselves and hence created, re-created and reinvented their ancient pilgrimage destinations and rituals there since the middle of 20th century. I begin this paper by introducing the historical development of pilgrimage in the Buddhist tradition and mapping the sacred Buddhist geography of India. In the second part, I explore the development of pilgrimage traditions in Tibetan Buddhism and the network of sacred sites used by pilgrims. In the third part, I introduce some of the Tibetan inventions and reinventions of the pilgrimage tradition over an extensive period of time, between the 12th and the mid-20th century. Finally, partly based on my fieldwork findings, I examine how the Tibetan diasporic community in India has maintained and reinvented its pilgrimage culture and what possible changes have occurred subsequently.
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Buddhism , Pilgrimage , Tibetan , India , Tibetan , Buddhism
Citation
Kalmar, B. 2017. 'Re-imagining Tibetan Buddhist Pilgrimage Culture in India', Journal of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions 5, pp. 40 - 68.
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©2017, The Author(s).