Spring 2004 Seminar on Himalayan Architecture: Technology and Tradition

Posted 11/3/03

An Infinity Foundation sponsored event

We are organising a seminar at Almora in the spring of 2004 on: Himalayan Architecture: Technology and Tradition under the joint auspices of the ICHR, Delhi, the Infinity Foundation, Princeton, and Lok Vigyan Kendra, Almora. We would like to emphasize that the theme of the seminar is focussed on traditional technologies and crafts employed in the Himalayan architecture, and not on art history. We therefore would like to give more emphasis on rural and urban domestic architecture, hydraulic structures, forts and fortifications etc. We would restrict the scope of the seminar to Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal and Uttaranchal regions. Though there is considerable literature on temple architecture, there is very little on naulas, baoris, (spring wells), gharats (watermills) etc. A few publications are there on quake-proof domestic architecture, but no detailed studies are available. There are many forts and fortifications with tunnels dug through the hill from the top to the river bed. For example, there is an elaborate fortification near Lohaghat called the Banasur fort. There is a lot of folklore associated with it. Such facets of the Himalayan architecture need to be studied further. In Almora town itself there are old houses with elaborate woodwork.

We propose to give about 20 minutes to each speaker and 10 minutes for discussion. Speakers are encouraged to bring transparencies and 35mm slides. At the moment we don't have any LCD projection facilities, but those of you who can bring their own are welcome.

Early March here is sunny though cool. As the venue of the seminar is above 6000 feet, you are advised to bring woollens. Delegates are requested to make their own train reservations. We will pay for II AC fares, on production of railway tickets to and from Kathgodam. Sorry, no air fares will be possible. From Kathgodam we will make arrangements to receive the delegates and bring them to the seminar venue. There will be no registration charges and boarding and lodging will be free for three nights and four days. Those who want longer stays (of delegates/accompanying guests), the delegates would have to pay directly to the hotel manager. Exact details of the venue and the dates will be intimated to those who send their response to this circular.

We request you to send your abstract of about 500 words on A4 size paper (hard copy) and also as email attachment (soft copy) in MS Word format. As we propose to circulate abstracts to the participants, you are requested to send your abstract latest by the 1st November 2003. We have a limited budget, so we propose to restrict the number of delegates to a maximum of 20. All abstracts would therefore be screened for their suitability to the main themes of the seminar. Please send your acceptance as soon as possible, even if the abstract is sent by the 1st November 2003. Please endorse your replies on both our email IDs given below. Please do indicate your full postal address, landline and mobile phone nos., and email IDs.

Hoping to hear soon from you.

Best Wishes

DP Agrawal
Ashirvad, East Pokharkhali, Almora 263601 Mobile: 9412092086
Phones: 05962-233868/236937
Email: dpagrawal@sancharnet AND dpagrawal@lokvigyan.com