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The Emergence of the Himalayas as a Sacred Landscape

  • Dr. Nachiket Chanchani
Friday 15 April 2016
Lecture series Society of Friends of the Kern Institute (VVIK)
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden
104 (Verbarium)

VVIK Indology Lecture | The Emergence of the Himalayas as a Sacred Landscape

by Dr. Nachiket Chanchani (University of Michigan)

This exquisitely illustrated talk aims to explicate how a remote mountainous landscape around the upper reaches of the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers in the Himalayas transformed into an exalted region evoking deep faith in millions of pilgrims. From approximately the third century BCE up to the thirteenth century CE, numerous stone monuments, schist steles, and metal statues were erected in this landscape. This talk explores the processes by which these monuments and sculptures evoked mythic worlds, embedded historical memories, enhanced the mountain range's appearance, and altered its symbolic significance. 

Nachiket Chanchani (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2012), in this moment Gonda fellow at IIAS, Leiden University, is a tenure-track assistant professor jointly appointed in the Department of the History of Art and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. His writings are appearing in Artibus Asiae, Archives of Asian Art, History of Photography, Arts Orientalis, Art in Translation, Arts Asiatiques, in various edited books, and on the editorial pages of venerable and widely read The Hindu newspaper. He has been closely invoked with curatorial projects at premier art museums and has been awarded fellowships from the Nehru Trust at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Asian Cultural Council, New York, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, and other institutions. 

The lecture will be followed by drinks in the basement of Matthias de Vrieshof 3. 


The event is organised by the Society of Friends of the Kern Institute (VVIK). All are welcome to attend. 

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