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Volume 69 Number 4, June-September 2018

Volume 69 Number 4

The Draw of the Hills
Edited by: Latika Gupta

Almora Dreams: Art and Life at the Uday Shankar India Cultural Centre, 1939–44
Sonal Khullar

Rudolf Ray in Almora
Naman P. Ahuja

Art, Ritual and Belief at the Mirkula Devi Temple in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh
Yashaswini Chandra

Perspectives on “Shangri-La”: Understanding Place, Regional Identity and Tourism Discourses in Ladakh
Jacqueline Fewkes

Photographing Spiti
Patrick Sutherland in conversation with Latika Gupta

A Sense of Place—Islam in the Western Himalaya
Abeer Gupta

Book Reviews
Theory and Practice of Temple Architecture in Medieval India: Bhoja’s Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra and the Bhojpur Line Drawings, by Adam Hardy
George Michell

Puja and Piety, edited by Pratapaditya Pal
Anjan Chakraverty

Inside cover and pages 1-9:
Thematic ad-portfolio on The Norbulingka Institute, Dharamsala
Latika Gupta

Thematic Ad-Portfolio: The Norbulingka Institute, Dharamsala
Gupta, Latika
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, pp. 1–9

This article features one of the key cultural centres for the Tibetan community living in exile in India. It highlights the history and present-day activities of the institute and how it has helped this diaspora keep alive their identity and heritage by providing training and promotion of their religious arts and crafts. The main thematic ad pages showcase the works produced in the Applique, Thangka, Metal Sculpture, Wood Carving and Wood Painting studios of the Norbulingka.

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Editorial Note
Gupta, Latika
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, p. 12

In this note, the associate editor discusses the problems of corporate takeover of heritage management and conservation, particularly in light of the "Adopt a Heritage" programme introduced by the Indian government. She also mentions how this magazine on the Himalayan mountains and hills looks at the many ways in which living heritage in those regions adapts to the impact of increasing tourism and ecological change and how modern-day scholars wish to engage with this transformation rather than stick to older exoticized depictions of the place as "timeless".

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Almora Dreams: Art and Life at the Uday Shankar Cultural Centre, 1939–44
Khullar, Sonal
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, pp. 14–31

This essay analyses the ambitions and achievements of a performing arts space and school set up by Uday Shankar in Almora in 1939. The Centre offered lessons in dance, music, paintingand theatre, drawing inspiration from everyday life, folk and tribal traditions, and classical and modernist art. Although a short-lived project, it brought together a talented group of individuals from different communities and regions, who would go onto make their mark on stage and screen and define the cultural foundations of a newly independent India. The author traces the little-known history of this institution, based on an archive of photographs and papers belonging to one of its former students.

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Rudolf Ray in Almora
Ahuja, Naman P.
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, pp. 32–43

This essay focuses on the abstractionist painter Rudolf Rapaport Ray who was educated in Vienna in the 1910s and spent two significant phases of his career (in the 1920s and ’50s) in India, seeking inspiration from its spiritual environment. During the latter trip, Ray stayed in Almora with his second wife Joyce. There, his interaction with intellectuals and villagers, and the indigenous materials he sourced from nature, helped develop a style and set of themes that would come to define his oeuvre. Through a close look at some of his works, and insights gained from Joyce’s memoirs and writings left behind by art critics of the time, the author brings to light this lesser-known period in the artist’s life.

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Art, Ritual and Belief at the Mirkula Devi Temple in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh
Chandra, Yashaswini
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, pp. 44–55

This essay examines the complex religious heritage of the Pattan valley and the larger region of Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh through a close study of a particular temple. The nondescript building of Mirkula Devi encloses an astonishing interior consisting of wooden carved panels with an eclectic mix of Shakta, Shaivite, Vaishnavite and Buddhist iconography. The temple is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike.By focusing on ritual ceremonies in and around the site, the author highlights the temple's historical links with Kashmir and Chamba, and its interactions with other deities of the region and the processions undertaken by them. The ongoing system of incorporation reflects syncretism in a uniquely local vernacular culture.

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Perspectives on "Shangri-La": Understanding Place, Regional Identity and Tourism Discourses in Ladakh
Fewkes, Jacqueline
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, pp. 56–67

This essay unpacks the manynames and images of Ladakh that have been conjured up by foreigners intravel narratives and tourism-related materialover the decades. Described as "Moonland", "Shangri-La", "Roof of the World" and "Little Tibet", each of these terms have their own complex historical contexts and connotations, determined by politics, trade relations, geographical features, religious interest and Orientalist fantasies. Drawing on the distinction between "space" and "place" made by social geographers, the author explores the construction of Ladakh into "place"—a region that can change meaning over time, and that can hold different (often contradictory) meanings for different people at the same time.

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Photographing Spiti-Patrick Sutherland in conversation with Latika Gupta
Gupta, Latika
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, pp. 68–87

For over two decades, Patrick Sutherland has been photographing the Tibetan community of Spiti valley, in particular a group of nomadic performers called the Buchen who enact religious plays and stone-breaking rituals. In this interview, he discusses the insider-outsider dynamics that come into play in ethnographic images, the archive of previous work done in the field that influenced him, his close interaction with the Buchen and how he has attempted to give them an active role in the project, allowing them control over how they are represented and the photos they choose to preserve and showcase. The oral and visual material collected is valuable for its documentation of a people and region undergoing rapid transformation.

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A Sense of Place-Islam in the Western Himalaya
Gupta, Abeer
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, pp. 88–97

Ladakh has been broadly studied as part of a larger Tibetan Buddhist cultural sphere. In this essay, the author shifts focus to look at the Islamic minority communities that exist within the region and their material culture. The history of their objects and sites reveals a syncretic use of various religious traditions and symbols. But with the increasing communal presence in recent years and the affluence that has come in with tourism, local Muslims have chosen to adopt a more distinct identity which emerges in the newer elaborate structures being created and the renovations being made to older buildings. The author traces this change through a study of contemporary vernacular motifs and architecture.

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Book Reviews
Vol. 69 No. 4, June–September 2018, pp. 98–101

Theory and Practice of Temple Architecture in Medieval India: Bhoja’s Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra and the Bhojpur Line Drawings, by Adam Hardy, reviewed by George Michell; Puja and Piety: Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist Art from the Indian Subcontinent, edited by Pratapaditya Pal, reviewed by Anjan Chakraverty.

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