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Along the River, Towards God – Kaveri and Pañcaraṅga Shrines


· Marzenna Czerniak-Drożdżowicz Jagiellonian University (Cracow, Poland)


07/29 | 09:00-09:20 UTC+2/CEST


Water reservoirs have always been challenging imagination of inhabitants of India for obvious reasons, valid also in other cultures – water not only gives life, ensuring vegetation, but also, through its natural and sometimes unbridled power resembles gods or rather goddesses, thus the rivers are often personified as females. The topic of Indian rivers being constituents of both the natural and cultural landscapes of India, has already been treated by scholars, among them Indologists and it is also an element of the ongoing project within which we are working on some South Indian māhātmyas. Working for some time on the māhātmyas of the holy kṣetra in Śrīraṅgam, I cannot overlook the importance of the river for this place, but also for the whole region. One of the specific religious phenomena of the region is the concept of not only one but several raṅgas situated along the banks of the river Kāveri or on its islands. They are collectively called pañcaraṅga – five raṅgas. I would like to dedicate my presentation to the above mentioned issues.