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The State And The Portal Of Charpaṭ: Small Shrine-Big Symbol

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Chapter Summary

The genealogy of the Chambā royal house ends abruptly around 1645. Clearly, the state was striving to create the consent-to-rule by appropriating the local symbols as the instruments of legitimation. This dichotomy, between legitimation and the consent-to-rule, is significant to understand the process of consolidation. The 'Sanskritic' religion, particularly Vaiṣṇavism, was instrumental in fostering an association with the subcontinental cosmos, while the local symbols were more concerned with the 'core area' in Chambā. The prominence accorded to the popular symbols also aimed at reassuring the people that even though the state expressed its association with Vaiṣṇavism, it was sensitive to "the belief of people" as well. This expression is emphasised in the grants made to Charpaṭnāth. The chapter also contextualises the relationship that was fostered among various tiers of religious centres. The state of Chambā provided 'big symbols' for small shrines, as revealed in the documents discussed in the chapter.

Keywords: Chambā; Charpaṭ; local symbols; Vaiṣṇavism



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