INTACH Cultural Affairs : Invites you to the lecture Braj – creating a cultural landscape for Bhakti by Divay Gupta on 18th May 2018, 4:30 PM at Multipurpose Hall, INTACH Back

It gives us great pleasure to invite you to the lecture – Braj – Creating a Cultural Landscape for Bhakti by Divay Gupta on 18th May 2018 at 4.30 pm at the Multipurpose Hall, INTACH.

The region of Braj is bound together by the legends of Krishna. Within this context the town of Mathura, at the centre of Braj, is considered the birthplace of Krishna. However, the historicity of Braj goes beyond its popular association with Krishna. For more than 3000 years, it has been a seat of art, learning and religion. Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam have all impacted the cultural development of the region. The geographical location – in the middle of Ganga-Yamuna doab, made it extremely fertile and productive and contributed to it becoming a nodal point of various trade routes passing through it. In the 16th century it became a centre of Bhakti movement, re-emphasizing the importance of the areas as Janmabhoomi & Leela Kshetra of Krishna. Thus, Braj was established as a major pilgrimage destination for Vaishnavites between the twin Mughal capitals of Delhi & Agra. Myths, legends, history and stories all intermix and co-exist here; their symbiotic and symbolic relationship determines the cultural landscape of the region, giving Braj its unique distinction.

The lecture will elaborate how within this region an entire cultural landscape was first imagined and then created over the last 500 years, almost exclusively for celebrating Krishna Leela and how it evolved over the centuries and is under transformation today.

Divay Gupta is a leading conservation architect and heads the Architectural Heritage Division of INTACH. An Alumnus of ICCROM, University of Birmingham & School of Planning & Architecture, he has been striving for better management and conservation of the cultural resources in the country for more than 20 years. He has been a part of a number of prestigious conservation projects in India, Nepal and Cambodia and has participated in joint UNESCO & ICOMOS missions to World Heritage Sites as a conservation expert. His restoration projects in Ladakh have won the SA UNESCO awards of Merit & Excellence. He travels regularly for special lectures and being part of juries at various national and international conferences, seminars and colleges of architecture across India. He is a visiting faculty and a member board of studies, Department of Architecture Conservation at SPA New Delhi.

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