Heritage and Environment: Visions of past and future in the Indian temple town Vrindavan

Journal article

Jacobsen, Elida K. U. & Samrat Schmiem Kumar (2017) Heritage and Environment: Visions of past and future in the Indian temple town Vrindavan, Peace Works 7 (1): 115–130.

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In contemporary India, temple towns and religious-spiritual centres such as Varanasi, Puri, or Vrindavan are gradually becoming important destinations for national and international tourism. In a time of rapid changing of milieus, we still grapple to understand the social and cultural dynamics and realities that underlie process of urbanization and socioenvironmental changes in Indian cities. In this article, we investigate such processes in the Indian temple town of Vrindavan, asking first how new forms of tourism and urban development lead to contemporary environmental challenges, and secondly how different agents respond to these changes locally? To this end, we focus on the narratives of past and future by people from local environmental and heritage conservation NGOs, religious elites, middle scale entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens.

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