The burning question: sacred and profane space in a South Indian temple town

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Abstract

An 1895 riot in the South Indian town of Kalugumalai is analysed with reference to the spatial and cosmological issues which provided the idiom for the conflict. The paper explains the background to the dispute between Nadars and other local Hindus, which focused on the right to take wedding processions around the town's 'car streets'. Using both historical evidence and contemporary ethnographic observations of temple worship, it shows how Hindu cosmology is expressed in the layout of the town, which becomes an extended precinct of the temple several times each year during maior temple festivals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-84
JournalAnthropos
Volume94
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Tamil Nadu
  • Hinduism
  • temples
  • festivals
  • cosmology
  • conflict

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