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A Small State And The Little Shrine

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Chapter Summary

The documents presented in this chapter are 'thick description' of a little Shrine. The word 'little' describes not only the meagre size and resources of the portal of Charpatn ath, but the ideological taxonomy as well, which is directed against the 'great tradition'. Moreover, couched within these historical-ethnographic texts, as we may call these documents, is the powerful sub-text that begs to understand the limitations of the small state. Yet, these documents belong to the genre of ascetics, the Nath-Siddhas, whose role in the complex South Asian medieval polity is now being realised. Often, the role of the state and that of the renouncers was intertwined, they were dependent upon each other for their respective survival. The chapter rethinks the story of the small state that was seated in the huge western-Himalayan mountains.

Keywords: little Shrine; Nath-Siddhas; small state; South Asian medieval polity; western-Himalayan mountains



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