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Volume: III, Issue: I, January-June 2012



Report on The Society of Pilgrimage Studies' (SPS)  forthcoming Seminar.

Keywords Content

The Society of Pilgrimage Studies (SPS), a registered academic charity, focuses on the interdisciplinary study of sacred places and journeys in all religions and countries. The SPS has endeavoured hard to bring scholars from different countries and various disciplines to a common platform for interaction on and promotion of pilgrimage studies since 1989. It functions around two broad objectives: organization of seminars and publications of studies.

The Vth Seminar ( Venue: SPS Mela Camp) is being organized on the occasion of the Kumbha Mela, the most sacred and the biggest month- long bathing festival, held every twelfth year at the holy confluence of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna at Allahabad/Prayag, U.P., India, which will attract more than 40 million pilgrims from all over the world. The main bathing day will fall on February 10, 2013. The seminar will focus on the cosmological power of and environmental issues at sacred places, besides the esoteric as well as outer meaning of the heritage associated with them. It will thus create awareness about the effect of nature-spirit and water cosmology on man inspiring pilgrimage-tourism and necessitating heritage preservation.

Themes: Religion-environment interaction; Theories and approaches to pilgrimage studies; Cosmic geometry and power of sacred places; Pilgrim circulation and economy; Pilgrimage archetype, hierarchy and pattern; Spatiality of time and temporality of space; Rituals, functionaries and festivities; Sects, saints and monastic organizations; Cultural symbolism; Environmental issues at pilgrimage places; and problem of pollution in the holy rivers.

Deadlines: Abstract in 500 words (both in hard and soft copies) by October, 2012. Registration: US $ 200 by November 2012, US $ 250 after that. Payment may be made through the Bank Draft payable to the Society of Pilgrimage Studies at Allahabad in favour of ‘The Society of Pilgrimage Studies’ and sent to the General Secretary of SPS at the address: 4A/2, Muirabad, Allahabad-211002, India or through Western Union Money Transfer. Maximum allowed participants strength is 25.

Hospitality and lodging in the SPS Mela Camp: Those requiring hotel accommodation are advised to contact their travel agents well before August 2012. SPS will not entertain any request for hotel accommodation and air/rail reservations. Allahabad is on the main Delhi-Howrah Rail-line and nearest Airports are Varanasi and Lucknow.

Those willing to avail lodging facility in the SPS camp (barring seminar days) may also contact the SPS Secretary.


Dr. D.P. Dubey (Convener): dpdpdubey123@rediffmail.com; Dr.Pushpa Tiwari (Co-ordinator):  pushpatiwari010@gmail.com            


Organizing Committee:

Dr. Rana P.B. Singh

Banaras Hindu University



Dr. John Mackim Malville

University of Colorado



Dr. Vinay K. Srivastava

University of Delhi



Ms. Sunita Dwivedi

Writer-Journalist, Delhi



Dr. Yuko Yokochi

University of Kyoto