"Water and Sacred Spaces: A Case-Study of the Ellora-Khuldabad-Daulatabad Historic Region"

Monday, February 18, 2013 to Saturday, February 23, 2013
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International Workshop at Ellora, Maharashtra, India
18-23 February 2013

Organised by the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg

A Collaborative Project of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR)
& the - German Research Foundation (DFG)

The region of Ellora is of great historical significance in the Indian sub-continent, as it was a zone of convergence of four major religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam; it lay on major trade and pilgrimage routes and was a political centre of medieval and early modern India in the Mughal Empire. The multi-culturalism of the region is represented in the architecture and building typologies, water management technologies (underground water channels which may have travelled with the Sufis who migrated there from Central and West Asia during the 13th and -14th centuries), local myths and rituals, and above all through, an ethos of co-existence and sharing of resources amongst diverse communities, which exist until today. An important representation of this “ethos of resource-sharing” is found in the community based water management practices, which have ensured the survival and development of this political and religious centre for two millennia. The water conservation techniques are based on an understanding of the rock type (Deccan Basalt) out of which the reservoirs, tanks, cisterns and step-wells were excavated.

The Workshop, to be held on site in Ellora, is a joint collaboration between the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg. It will involve the participation of scholars and specialists in the fields of history, indology, archaeology, anthropology, architecture, hydrology and geography from India and Germany.