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Religions 2018, 9(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040111

Heading to Chaityabhoomi: Pilgrimages of Remembrance

Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Mokhovaya Str. 11, Bldg.1, Moscow, Russia
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Journeys: Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage)
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Abstract

This article explores individual and collective pilgrimages to the Mumbai-based cremation ground (samādhi) of Bhimrao Ramji (Babasaheb) Ambedkar (1891–1956), a renowned economist and lawyer, academician and philosopher, political leader and social reformer who dedicated his life to the struggle for rights of the untouchables (Dalits) in India. In October 1956, Dr. Ambedkar together with almost half a million of low-caste followers converted to Buddhism. After Babasaheb’s death on 6 December, 1956, his cremation ground became an object of worship for Buddhists and adherents of other religions. In December 1971, on the eve of the 15th year of his demise, the Chaityabhoomi memorial was inaugurated there. A dramatic increase in the number of pilgrims coming from all across India to Dr. Ambedkar’s samādhi as well as to other places associated with him has become instrumental in building up Dalits’ sites of memory/lieux de mémoire in contemporary India. The growing interest to Chaityabhoomi has also acquired a political dimension in contemporary India. View Full-Text
Keywords: Buddhism; pilgrimage; samadhi; Ambedkar; Dalits; Chaityabhoomi; sites of memory Buddhism; pilgrimage; samadhi; Ambedkar; Dalits; Chaityabhoomi; sites of memory
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Bochkovskaya, A. Heading to Chaityabhoomi: Pilgrimages of Remembrance. Religions 2018, 9, 111.

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