News and Activities

  • Research Fellowship from Humboldt University of Berlin November 24, 2023

    Dr Megha Yadav has received a prestigious fellowship from the Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study, inherit.Heritage in Transformation, Humboldt Universität Zu Berlin, Germany. The fellowship allows for the undertaking of the research project, Visualising the Tradition, Preserving History: Material Practices in Tibetan Buddhism. This project takes an initiative to understand the ideas of heritage and history among the Tibetan Buddhist community by looking at the visual material and its heritage in Tibetan society to reach a nuanced picture of Tibetan history and heritage which keeps the Tibetan community at the centre of this understanding.

    The project will attempt to understand the ways and methods of remembrance, preservation, and transmission of what Tibetan Buddhists consider to be their history. Most academic works have utilized Buddhist textual traditions to talk about Tibetan society, which has the inherent limitation of being one-dimensional. As a point of entry, this research will focus on thangka paintings as they create a very intimate window to people’s way of thinking about themselves, their universes, and their personal history. It was a ‘material’ to be showcased in public spaces, notably monasteries. It was meant for everyone to see, pay their respects, and take the image back with them in their minds and hearts. In a sense, these paintings were a showcase for the Tibetan Buddhist community.

    This project will also pay attention to the changes brought about by 20th-century events, most notably colonization and the exile of the Dalai Lama and many Tibetans by inquiring into the changes brought into the idea and making of thangka paintings, raising questions about patronage, method, and content in the 20th century. An equally important intervention in the method and content of these paintings came with the spread of digital media platforms. While digital media has ‘democratised’ the making of thangka paintings, the question remains: what has it done to the process of making a thangka? How has the value associated with the paintings, as well as their making process, been changed by the technical medium? Has it impacted the content of these paintings? More importantly, what kind of changes have come into the community’s understanding of their past and present? These and any other issues that may come up during research will be addressed.

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  • Discourse on Buddhism provides Valuable Insights October 16, 2023


    Dr Shrikant Ganvir, Assistant Professor in Ancient Indian History, Culture, and Archaeology from Deccan College Post Graduate Research Institute, Pune, delivered an invigorating session organised by the Department of History at SRM University-AP on October 11, 2023. Dr Ganvir’s session dealt with Buddhist studies, particularly of the Andhra region, and he has extensively worked on sites like Phanigiri, Salihundam, Amaravati, Guntapalli, and likewise.

    Dr. Ganvir specialises in Buddhist art, architecture, and iconography. His area of expertise includes the religious history of Deccan, the history of Buddhism in South Asia, the rock-cut architecture of the Deccan, the religious imagery of ancient India, and the archaeology of religions. His broad knowledge in these fields allowed him to share enlightening insights with his audience.


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