Archaeology and Religion Online Lecture Series

Project leader
Prof. Himanshu Prabha Ray

Project Outline

The central argument of this series of online lectures and the two-day workshop is that monuments are not static embodiments of culture but are, rather, a medium through which identity, power, and society are produced and reproduced. The processes through which transformations take place are vital to an understanding of the role that heritage and the past could play in South Asia, especially in preserving cultural plurality and building sustainable networks. Thus, rather than viewing history and other disciplines that study the past such as archaeology and art history, as separate from heritage, this series highlights their interdependence and symbiotic relationship. Besides, this tangible past cannot be separated from intangible cultural beliefs and resonances. Two aspects of monuments in Asia are striking: one the diversity; and second the interconnectedness and yet these two have seldom found space in current studies. The online lectures and the two-day workshop integrate diverse cultural forms and values in the historical and socio-cultural contexts of early Indian society and religious practices.

Project outputs

An edited book drawing on papers presented at the workshop is under preparation.


Book Discussion – Routledge Handbook of Hindu Temples

The Discovery and Dispersal of Relics: The Modern History of Buddhism by Himanshu Prabha Ray.
Chairperson: Professor Madhavan Palat

Hampi-Vijayanagara: its Life and Afterlives by Dr Anila Verghese, Director of Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai.
Chairperson: Dr Anna Dallapiccola

Rearranging Sandstone: the Temples of the Chalukyas of Vatapi.
By Dr Srikumar Menon, National Institute of Advanced Study, Bengaluru

Shared Cultural Heritage across the Indian Ocean,
Workshop presentations

Sikotar Mata (Sea Goddess) – Maritime Archaeology along the Saurashtra coast.
By Dr Anirudh Gaur, National Institute of Oceanography