A Hindu Temple runs deeper than its brick and stone exterior, existing on various planes of meanings and significance. On one hand, it is the nucleus of knowledge and learning, a preserve of Indic Knowledge Traditions, on the other, a socio-economic entity and a welfare institution. In the Hindu social system, temples have served as centres of art, culture, and economics where music, dance, painting, sculpture, architecture, and other forms of craftsmanship have flourished; as treasury offices that distributed resources, and as legal courts that dispensed justice.
This year, Pathik – Temple Trails & Stories is unfolding along the azure sea in Goa, taking you on a pilgrimage across some of the most exquisite, yet lesser-known Devasthanams of the world. Uncovering Goa beyond clichés, we will immerse deep and long in her vibrant community life, experiencing first-hand the uniqueness of this Indian state where traditionalism blends seamlessly with modernity. Tracing our steps back into the annals of history, we will discover the civilisational wonder that was Bharatvarsha.
Enrollment Status: CLOSED
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Goa is alive and versatile beyond the beaches, beer, and casinos that she is usually associated with. She will take you by surprise where a road turns, leaving behind the glimmering sea and stretches towards the cliffs, where the neon haze of the casino district fade in the distance and the narrow lanes of an old temple town come to light. Inciting great curiosity, the journey of Pathik will beg a myriad of questions – What’s the story behind the strange church-like architecture of the Goan temples? Why are they built away from the beautiful coastline?
We’ll look for answers, and in the quest, dive beyond the glory of the Portuguese colonial heritage projected in Goa. On this pilgrimage, we shall discover the unconquerable soul of Bharatvarsha still residing in Goa – the seat of regeneration and civilisational survival.
Participate in a freewheeling conversation with Dr. Pankaj Saxena, Director of the Indica-Rashtram Centre for Cultural Leadership, where he explains the socio-cultural upheavals that Goa through centuries of Islamic and European colonisation has witnessed, developing her unique and vibrant eclecticism. Exchange notes and ideas on the civilisational significances of Hindu temple and temple-going, with central focus on Goa’s temples with their unique characteristics. This intellectual groundwork will help you appreciate the pilgrim trail ahead with all its nuances.
Explore Ponda, in central Goa – a place where the spiritual vibes are most palpable, with a number of magnificent devasthana located here. We shall visit:
Dive deeper into the checkered history of Goa’s Hindu past with visits to multitudes of ancient ruins of temples, under the guidance of eminent historians. Discover the unsung tales of civilisational struggle from the days of Portuguese occupation of Goa and how the temples became major sites of violation. Next, we will go on to tour –
Discover more of Goa’s renowned temples today and interact with the acharakas and other communities integral to the temple ecosystem to study the present circumstances. Visit –
Mahadev Temple in Tambdi Surla – the only hindu worship house that remains standing in Goa today from antiquity. Learn how the temple survived Portuguese onslaughts owing to its remote location inside the forest.
Shantadurga Temple in Kavale – a Shakti temple which regained its stature by going through a complete restoration after the destruction of the original structure by the Portuguese.
Get a glimpse of the traditional Goan architecture with a visit to an old Goan house more than 250 years old. We will see how architectural continuities make for cultural continuity and how culture is passed through abstract as well as concrete mediums.
Sum up your observations and learnings on the temple trail with a visit to the local museum where the checkered past of Goa is preserved. We shall recount the many assaults that the temples here have suffered at the hands of colonisers, the culture of abrahamic iconoclasm leading to the systematic destruction of temples, and the great cultural survival of Goa’s Hindu heritage against all odds.
Note: This itinerary is subject to changes. A final, more detailed version will be shared with you closer to the programme dates.
Accommodation will be provided at the hotels on a twin-sharing basis. During the journey, a mix of Indian, Continental, and Konkani vegetarian meals will be served. Comfortable travel to-and-from airport and entrance fee at all places are also part of the services offered.
Note: Personal expenses and other expenditures not mentioned here to be borne by participants.
Fee for Indian Citizens: ₹29,999 (incl. of all taxes)
Fee for International Candidates: $499 (incl. of all taxes)
This amount is inclusive of travel for the entire duration of yatra, food and accommodation, workshops and activities during the programme, Rashtram alumni status after the programme, 25% discount in all the future programmes of Rashtram. Break up of the fees is as follows:
Rashtram is committed to the safety and wellbeing of its learners, faculty and staff. Rashtram will provide support to ensure the yatra has all covid safety protocols. Additionally, all learners will sign a declaration upon admission into the program, confirming their status of health and willingness to follow COVID protocols as per relevant government regulations issued at the time. We would have to follow standard disciplinary actions (including debarment from the programme) against anyone who is non-cooperative about the established safety protocols.
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