The term ‘Kshetram’ has several meanings. It is a holy and sacred spot, a place of pilgrimage. It denotes the body where the term ‘Kshetram’ refers to the soul. Kshetram is also a field or an enclosed space.
India abounds in holy spots, which are part of its collective consciousness. While the North is famous for its Teertha (sacred rivers), the South is well known for its Murtis (God images in temples). Every ‘Kshetram’ has one or more temples for Hindu Gods with lores and legends called ‘Sthala Puranams’, specific to the deities and the place. Many of these holy places are on the banks of rivers, some are on mountains, hills or on the seashore.
The history of a Kshetram, the sages and saints whose lives are associated with it, the festivals, the congregation of devotees through the ages, are other factors enhancing its sanctity. Poets and composers have sung its glories in several languages over the centuries.
Visit to a Kshetram is often prescribed to overcome a specific problem in life, regardless of the age of the person. A pilgrimage is sometimes undertaken to fulfil a vow or as an auspicious ritual to mark a happy family event. One gets an opportunity to experience first hand the rich tapestry of varied cultures and traditions. Kshetrams stimulate the physical, mental and spiritual energies of the pilgrim towards a sense of fulfillment.
In the Golden Jubilee Year of Narada Gana Sabha, and this being the Diamond Jubilee year of India’s Independence, we thought it would be most appropriate to knit our country through its sacred spots as we present our eleventh thematic dance presentation, KSHETRA BHARATHAM, this year.
This book is a compendium of eleven articles by eminent scholars and writers who have written on the Kshetrams selected for presentation in the ‘Kshetra Bharatham’ dance festival. The articles are highly informative and we hope you would find them interesting. We thank the authors for their excellent research work. A couple of articles have been suitably edited to present a fair picture.
We thank the Natyarangam Committee Members in general and Ms. S. Janaki in Particular, in bringing out this collection. We acknowledge with thanks the authorities of India Tourism and Sri Yoga, for some of the photographs used in this book.
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