Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya


Śrī Reṇukā of Mahur: A case study

Friday, July 02, 2021, 05:30pm - 06:30pm
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By Prof. A.P. Jamkhedkar

4th Dr. Devangana Desai Endowment Lecture

On the CSMVS Mumbai Youtube channel

The history of medieval India is usually constructed based on written records. But most times it can be better understood and reconstructed with the help of oral traditions, material remains and monuments. This lecture is a similar exercise in the case of the ‘account of glory’ of the holy place known as Mahur, as obtained in the Sahyādri section of the Skanda-purāṇa.

Mahur is well known as one of the three and a half śakti-piṭhas that are located in Maharashtra. The pilgrimage at Mahur shows the involvement of the Goṇḍs and the kings of Goṇḍwana in the development of the cult of Reṇukā, as also the emergence of Mahur is a sacred place among the hundred and eight śakti-piṭhas, a phenomenon that must have occurred around 9th century CE.

The oral tradition from the Sahyadri section of the Skanda-purāṇa sheds welcome light on this process of ‘Hinduisation’ that brought urbanisation to many forest-dwelling ethnic groups in different parts of India during the early and late medieval period.

About the speaker:

Prof. Arvind P. Jamkhedkar is currently the Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research. He was previously the Chancellor of Deccan College, Pune, the Director of KJ Somaiya Centre for South & South-East Asian Studies, Mumbai, the Director of State Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra, and the vice-president of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai. Prof. Jamkhedkar is a renowned historian with several publications in his name.

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