The volume underscores the uniqueness of Buddhist heritage as both a historical tradition and
living heritage. Its conservation requires a specialized understanding of many different
perspectives. This collection has been brought out in honor of Professor Vibha Upadhyaya;
Director of Centre for Museology and Conservation and Buddhist Studies Centre, University of
Rajasthan, Jaipur It is hoped that this volume will present fresh insights to make the conservation
of Buddhist heritage more informed with a renewed role of documentation, archaeology and
The conference presentations discussed Buddhist heritage in multiple
perspectives that dealt with both tangible and intangible aspects. Buddhist sites,
Buddhist teachings, Buddhist artifacts and museum collections and practices
emerged as focal points for documentation and conservation of Buddhist
heritage. Hence, in view of the wide-ranging themes addressed, the volume is
titled Conserving Buddhist Heritage. The contributors have engaged with
documentation, symbolism, historical interpretation, regional archaeology,
museum practices, philosophical heritage, and museum collections. The
analysis of diverse themes and adoption of cross-disciplinary approach can
fulfill many emerging conservation needs. The deliberations on the processes
that shape Buddhist heritage aim to render better understanding to the
conservators and scholars alike.
The first part of the volume is a thematic overview of the Buddhist heritage
and the efforts to conserve it. Professor S N Dube's valedictory address traces
the intangible heritage of Buddhism through its philosophical and cultural
facets. He outlines its evolution in the context of revival and relevance.
Professor Maheshwari Prasad focuses on the tangible heritage and provides a
comprehensive and analytical account of conservation efforts. Professor
Maheshwari Prasad was to deliver the inaugural address but could not arrive
due to unavoidable reasons.
The second part of the volume is a compendium of essays that discuss
Buddhist heritage through archaeology, symbolism and history. Dr B R Mani,
in his keynote address, highlights the importance of conservation and
documentation of Buddhist heritage in light of the destruction of monuments
caused by urban growth, rise of population and misguided conservation efforts.
The paper focuses on two significant Buddhist sites in India, namely Sarnath
and Nalanda and refers to state of preservation of Buddhist heritage in
Maldives. With a plethora of archaeological details about this site, we are
acquainted evocatively with the two binaries of destruction and restoration.
Buddhist heritage' cannot be understood without knowledge of the
meanings imbued in various symbols. Professor Varsha Shirgaonkar discusses
symbolism in the use of colours through semiotics. She constructs the
philosophical and historical meaning of colours in Buddhist heritage. She
traces the journey of communication through color from Vedic-Pauranik
times to early Buddhism and moves on to Mahayana and Tantric Buddhism.
Professor RP. Pandey and Nand Kumar Mishra posit that many Buddhist
symbols need to be considered within the culture of the people who follow it.
Through an analysis of. specific symbols, the paper links them to cultural milieu
and philosophical developments of Theravada, Mahayana and Tibetan
The expanding frontiers of knowledge and new methodologies necessitate
periodic revisions, in analysis of archaeological sites. In this line, Professor
Neelima Dahiya revisits the Buddhist heritage of Haryana while Dr D.P.
Sharma presents the chronological evolution of early Buddhist art In mid-
lower Ganga Yamuna Doab. As an important region of Buddhist
archaeology, an account of Madhya Pradesh is presented by Dr O.P.Mishra.
These archaeological studies underscore significant historical contexts.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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