Ahead of World Heritage Day, Sahapedia, the online encyclopaedia of arts, cultures and heritage of India, has announced a pilot fellowship programme with Banasthali University, Rajasthan to enable faculty, students, scholars and other enthusiasts to contribute to the portal and share materials that will enable new ways of looking at heritage sites.
The Fellowship programme, to be launched on April 18, offers two variants – the Sahapedia Project Fellowship and the Sahapedia Research Fellowship. “This gives the applicant the option of participating both at the level of primary documentation and the content curation process,” said Dr. Sudha Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, Sahapedia.
“This programme is being launched as an invitation to all for engaging with the rich and diverse range of arts, heritages and cultures of India. Through this initiative, Sahapedia hopes to encourage documentation and research in diverse areas of cultural knowledge and also enhance networks that contribute to the creation of the online resources,” she added.
The online interactive portal, launched last year, has a range of articles, images, videos and recorded interviews with experts, who explore the cultural landscape of India. There are modules, for example, on the Kalamkari textile legacy, a brief description of the world heritage sites located in India besides virtual walks through historic sites and natural spaces in various cities.
Sahapedia also collaborates with institutions and organisations to curate and share their materials through various projects which provide greater access to rare archival material and old publications that are otherwise only accessible in print.
Previous heritage sites documented by the portal include Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves and Elephanta Caves. Through a collaboration with the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), multimedia modules on the two World Heritage Sites the Taj Mahal and the great Chola temples of Thanjavur — are also made available on the encyclopaedic portal.
The nonprofit body has also lined up a week-long celebration for the World Heritage Day (April 18) through a series of events aimed at bringing to the fore various aspects of tangible and intangible heritage of the Delhi-NCR region.
“We have been working a lot in the field of heritage, helping people gain an understanding of the material, cultural and built heritage wealth of their cities. For the upcoming heritage week, we have a series of programmes designed to provide insights into the histories associated with places,” said Vaibhav Chauhan, Secretary, Sahapedia.
The non-profit body conducts 8-10 walks per month across different cities exploring their “neglected complexes” for the lay person. Subject experts have led walks detailing numerous stories and historical facts related to the buildings, monuments and places in which they walk.
Lawyer and walk leader Talish Ray will chart a food walk through the bylanes of Purani Dilli, where one finds a melting pot of faith, food and history. It aims to explore traditional mouthwatering cuisines of Old Delhi while soaking up its historic and monumental history.
Two more guided walks themed around built heritages – The 14th century citadel of Feroz Shah Kotla and the Qutub Minar Complex, studded with various ruins and monuments, are lined up further in the week.
In Gurugram, a Nature walk has been planned inside the Aravalis Sacred Grove on April 23.
An exclusive workshop on the beautiful art of calligraphy and its various traditions, besides a talk on the father-son Mughal noble duo of Bairam Khan and Abdul Rahim, who were c
ourtiers and poets in the lifetimes of three Mughal rulers, Humayun, Akbar and Jahangir, are slated to be held in the city during the coming week.
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