Hindu pilgrimage in India and walkability

Theory and praxis

Authored by: Subhajit Das , Manirul Islam

The Routledge International Handbook of Walking

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138195349
eBook ISBN: 9781315638461
Adobe ISBN:


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Hinduism in India dates back to 5000 BCE (Singh 2006) and has systematically organized the sacred space of the country (Bharadwaj 1973). Traditionally, Hindu pilgrimage has been characterized by some sort of austerity and strenuous walking, which became ritualized as part of the spiritual experience of pilgrims. Although the notion of pilgrimage and its practice have evolved over times, walking is still central to Hindu pilgrimage. The conduciveness of environment matters to pilgrims when they walk to the religious sites. Although the concept of walkability has become increasingly significant (Litman 2003; Kemperman et al. 2009; Southworth and Ben-Joseph 2013; Ujang and Muslim 2014; see also chapter 30, this volume), no attempt has previously been made to study the walkability issues associated with Hindu pilgrimage.

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